Centre for Climate Research & Development (CCRD) at COMSATS University Islamabad organized a talk on ‘Challenges & Opportunities in the hydropower sector of Pakistan’ on 29 August 2018 in the Library Auditorium of the Campus. The talk was delivered by renowned speaker, Dr. Pervaiz Amir, who is water expert and currently associated with Global Water Partnership as Regional Member. Participants from different public and private institutes attended the event. In his talk, Dr. Pervaiz highlighted the importance of dams in the development of nation. He pointed out that the existing large dams, Tarbela and Mangla, have completed their operational life and new dams need to be constructed to increase share of hydropower in the energy-mix which currently stands at 33%. Pakistan is presently facing serious water security challenge as having carry over capacity (days to survive without rain) of 30 days only, while our neighboring country, India, has 120-220 days for the same. The carry over capacity can only be increased with construction of vast number of small and large dams. Energy security is another challenge for Pakistan; the high production cost from fossil-fuel and power shortfall affects GDP. The electricity generated from hydropower is most economical (Rs. 2.5 per kilo-Watt-hour) and very environment-friendly as no carbon emissions are produced in the production. Another major water challenge is transboundary issues. The construction of dams on Indian side will affect the hydropower generation in Pakistan. In addition, Kabul river basin is emerging conflict in this context. If Afghanistan plans to store Kabul river water, Pakistan would be in trouble situation. Dr. Pervaiz provided facts on losses due to lack of storage over the past 38 years. During this period, we lost 1270 Million Acre Feet (MAF) which costs about 186 billion USD. Total energy losses from non-utilization of water for hydropower equals 429,500 MW. To move forward, Pakistan need to develop water security to serve its interests well. Dams not only store water for hydropower and irrigation purposes, they are vital for national security as well. Pakistan has advantage of largest canal system in the world which could be used for hydropower generation. At the end, vote of thanks were given by Head of CCRD, Prof. Dr. Athar Hussain and souvenir was presented to guest speaker. Refreshments were served to participants.
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