For over four months, there has been an ongoing campaign initiated by former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to construct more dams on the Indus River through crowdfunding. This campaign was eventually joined by incumbent Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan. Ignoring the piles of pending cases in courts across the country — which was his actual mandate — Saqib Nisar jumped into government affairs. In one of his campaign visits, he even declared that he would construct twenty more dams but for now would devote his attention to the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams. However, anyone who has actually visited the downstream Kotri areas will agree that the construction of these dams on the Indus is a bad idea. Back in 2008, I was working with an international organisation in Keti Bunder, Thatta-Sindh, a small project for the provision of solar electricity through solar panels in the mosques and community schools in creeks villages (the villages those are situated on islands). The project was funded by Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy and Technology (PCRET). A delegation from the ministry of Science and Technology asked me a couple of silly questions, one of which was what is this water and why are these villages situated in water. When I responded that this is sea water which is intruding rapidly into the area due to the reduction in the Indus River flows, they not only realised the importance of Kotri downstream flows but came to know the facts about beating the same old drums of water wastage. Countries like Pakistan are facing a severe water shortage and will face more in the future, but construction of dams is not a solution to this problem. A comprehensive approach is required to deal with this issue. If you are able to manage water losses; including conveyance losses, water theft and equitable water distribution then half the job is already done. Better water management — not dams — are the solution to the water shortage issues in the country. Better water management — not dams — are the solution to the water shortage issues in the country Yes, running campaigns for fund raising and creating supporters from different walks of society will not result in the creation of public level support for the construction of more dams on the Indus River. Recen campaigns like “I am Pakistan” and awareness raising through electronic and print media will ultimately fail because none of these advertisments feature the voices of people from the tail end of the River Indus (the public from the districts Thatta, Sujawal and Badin). There is the common perception that the water downstream of Kotri Barrage is being wasted and thrown into the sea. This is not true as there is not a huge population living in downstream Kotri. There is also an Indus Delta Ecosystem (Indus Delta is the worlds fortieth largest ecosystem) which is also declared protected by the government of Pakistan. The Indus Delta Ecosystem comprises of human-beings, animals (livestock), mangroves, fish, shrimps and many other livelihoods for the local inhabitants, especially fishermens communities. The survival of the dying Indus Delta only depends upon the continuous flow of fresh water downstream. If one looks into the water flows coming downstream Kotri, it has always been less than 5 MAF and is restricted to the flood season (June-August). So before construction of more dams we need to understand the facts about the availability of water flows in the Indus River System and its negative impacts on the local inhabitants as well as the whole ecosystem. According to a research report commissioned by an international organisation, the impact of sea intrusion remained worse those affected 0.5 million hectares of fertile land in Thatta district alone (or 12 percent of the entire cultivated area of the province). The lives of about 400,000 fishermen families are threatened and range land depletion, shortage of fodder and food crops, reduction in potable water, losses to livestock production is translating in the local population leaving the area. The writer is a Development Professional doing freelance based in Islamabad Published in Daily Times, February 15th 2019.