After the bilateral Strategic Dialogue meeting in Islamabad today, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a multi-year Signature Water Program for Pakistan to improve Pakistan’s ability to increase efficient management and use of its scarce water resources and improve water distribution. The first phase of the program will cover seven projects costing over $270 million:
- Jacobabad and Peshawar Municipal Water Projects: The U.S. will work with the two cities over five years to rehabilitate or construct water storage, supply, distribution, and metering systems and improve the water services delivery management capacity of the Northern Sindh Utility Services Corporation and the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
- Municipal Services Delivery: The U.S. will conduct a five-year national program to improve the capacity of local authorities to manage public services, including the provision of potable safe water, sanitation and solid waste collection and disposal, as well as other basic municipal services. Scheduled to begin in August in southern Punjab, the program will target 42 vulnerable districts and 139 municipalities that have a combined population of over 50 million.
- Gomal Zam Dam Irrigation Project: When completed, this project – connected to the new energy-producing dam – will store water to irrigate 190,000 acres in South Waziristan, Tank, and Dera Ismail Khan to control flooding. The effort will prevent an estimated $2.6 million annually in damage, and enhance agricultural opportunities for approximately 30,000 farming families.
- Satpara Dam Irrigation Project: This project, located in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, connected to the new energy-producing dam will help improve irrigation for 15,500 acres of land and provide 3.1 million gallons of clean drinking water daily for Skardu’s 280,000 local residents.
- High Efficiency Irrigation Project: This three-year project will introduce improved irrigation technologies on over 250,000 acres of land in all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). In each location, the project will substantially reduce water use – increasing crop yields 30-100% – and reducing fertilizer and pesticide use.
- Balochistan Water Storage Dams: This project will support plans by the Government of Balochistan to create a series of water storage dams and will enhance existing programs for irrigation water storage and distributionwhile also promoting watershed management and integrated crop management.
- Expert Consultations: The United States will fund a professional exchange visit by Pakistani experts in water management to the U.S. to meet with counterparts and to examine cost recovery and policy mechanisms that incentivize private sector investment in the water sector.