Artificial groundwater recharge site inaugurated in Kachnar Park Islamabad
An artificial groundwater recharge site has been opened to help fulfil the water demand in Kachnar Park in the federal capital.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan, and Water Aid Pakistan came up with the idea for the pilot project.
The initiative “Demonstration of nature-based solutions for improving the resilience of groundwater aquifers in Islamabad” has begun the artificial groundwater recharge site.
The project paid for by WaterAid discovered seven possible spots in Islamabad where groundwater could be refilled.
Highlighting the water problems in the city, IWMI’s country representative and regional representative for Central Asia, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez said that water problems have gotten worse owing to careless use of rainwater, the metropolis’s horizontal growth, poor water supply, over-extraction of groundwater resources, hygiene problems, and unsustainable use.
“On average, Islamabad gets 1,400 mm of rain a year. We can meet the demand for 46 million gallons of water per day with the supply of 45 million gallons per day if we save just 30% of the rainwater through artificial groundwater recharge sites,” Dr. Mohsin said.
He added that IWMI had developed the first advanced artificial groundwater recharge pilot site consisting of all the tools required to measure groundwater quality, rainfall, groundwater level, and the amount of rainfall put into the aquifer.
“In Islamabad, there are problems with not having enough water, so IWMI has suggested that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) install rainwater tanks at the household level,” he said.
Moreover, Kachnar Park was selected as it gets a lot of rain and has underground storage space for 566,000 liters of water that is three feet deep.
According to the experts, the twin cities would probably get 40% more rain in the coming monsoon season.
Meanwhile, PCRWR head Dr. Mohammad Ashraf said that rainwater harvesting to refill groundwater was one of the solutions to the water supply problem, however, it needed to be scaled up to resolve problems with groundwater depletion.
“It means that we could easily fill the gap between supply and demand with groundwater if we used recharge to save rainwater in a smart way,” the official said.