Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP, Malik Mehr Elahi has stressed on the execution of Greater Water Supply Scheme for meeting the future needs of the provincial metropolis, Peshawar, while keeping in view fast groundwater depletion in the city. “While realizing the upcoming drinking water crisis in Peshawar, it is need of the hour to fully concentrate on execution of Greater Water Supply Scheme which was approved in 2014 but could not get due attention with the passage of time,” he said while talking to APP here Sunday. If we want to protect our coming generations from facing sever water scarcity, we have to launch an environment friendly surface water supply projects to meet the future needs, Malik stressed. The Greater Water Supply Scheme was introduced by Governor KP, Haji Ghulam during his tenure as Nazim Peshawar district, he recalled. The project was aimed to supply drinking water from the ground water sources to Peshawar through laying of a pipeline. Owning to the depletion of groundwater, the KP government explored the option of surface water supply for residents of Peshawar. The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Peshawar engaged NESPAK to provide consultancy services for carrying out detailed feasibility study and detailed engineering design based on various water sources in the vicinity of Peshawar. This study named as Greater Water Supply Scheme for Peshawar was submitted in November 2012 and approved in 2014, Malik informed, adding that the installation of 537 tube wells by Water and Sanitation Services (WSSP) for supplying drinking water to 42 urban union councils and extraction of ground water through the use of 1400 tube wells by Public Health Engineering Department and private housing colonies was fast lowering in the city which would create a very serious crisis in near future. This huge extraction of ground water table need to be halted at the earliest by introducing a surface water supply scheme for which the Greater Water Supply project is very suitable option, Malik Mehar suggested. Fortunately, Peshawar is surrounded by a number of ground water sources and surface water supply is a viable option to conserve our aquafer, he added. Mehar Elahi also gave the example of water supply scheme for Peshawar from Bara river. “In far past, a water supply scheme using Bara River water was constructed in the year 1918. It commenced supply of water to the residents of Peshawar in 1923. The system designed for 10 cusec of 24/7 supply in 1908 has become redundant due to construction of SPIRA dam which reduced the downstream flow”. He said Warsak Dam can be used as an additional source of water through construction of a 16 km long tunnel for water supply to Peshawar. Surface water supply has enormous environmental, social and financial befits and it is recommended that already completed feasibility study be updated through NESPAK and scheme be again submitted to federal government for consideration. Alternatively, it shall be funded through some donor funding agency, Malik reiterated.