This letter is for the uninformed, including members of the provincial and national assembly, who think that small dams can solve our water problem. Small Dams Organization of Pakistan has so far built 60 small dams in the Pothohar Plateu, the only place in Punjab which has sites for dams. Sites for another 19 small dams have been identified. The point to note is that if 60 small dams have not added much to the 104 million acre feet of water, which has been available for irrigation ever since Tarbela dam was commissioned, then how can another 19 small dams make any difference?

The water stored in these Dams is mainly for the consumption of the localities in which they are built. Also they are non-power-generation dams because they do not have the hydraulic head necessary for power generation. Obviously, they cannot contribute to the national power grid. The dams that have the hydraulic head available for power generation are mostly in the mountainous KPK. But being run-of-the-river dams they will not store much water. Only a mega dam on the Indus at the earliest can save Pakistan.


Lahore, February 8.