This refers to the letter in the Nation of May 7, ’Scarcity of water in Karachi’, by the Grade 5-A students of Beaconhouse School System, Clifton Campus, Karachi. It is very encouraging that students are taking interest in such important matters and offering useful suggestions. It is only by such give and take through the media that we can hope to reach some meeting ground. 

The students have asked for the building of dams to improve the city’s water storage capacity and certainly all possible means of conserving water must be adopted. However, dams with enough capacity to serve the irrigation, industrial and communal needs of the whole country can be built only in the mountain valleys that are hundreds of feet deep (Mangla and Tarbela are about 400 feet deep), and many miles wide and long. 

The two dams (Mangla and Tarbela) are supplying water to as far as Kotri barrage which is where Karachi gets its drinking water. The shortage of water that has been mentioned is because of the reduced storage capacity of these dams. 

Tarbela dam was built 40 years ago when the population was 8 crore and it is 20 crore now. It is only by building fresh storage on a war footing that our water crisis can be overcome. 


Lahore, May 7.