Pakistan has launched its first underground water reservoir system to store water from seasonal rains and reduce flooding in Lahore, a city of over 11 million people.
The project, titled “Monsoon Underground Water Reservoir”, took three months to be completed at Lahore’s Lawrence Garden. Built at the cost of Rs. 149 million, the water tank can hold up to 1.5 million gallons of water after a heavy downpour.
It is modelled after reservoirs in Japan and the United States, which offer an effective use of water resources and disaster prevention especially in metropolitan areas.
The city’s Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), a government body responsible for the planning and maintenance of water supply and sewerage, identified 22 trouble spots in Lahore. After a monsoon shower, these areas, mostly low lying, would be submerged, forcing residents to wade into waterlogged streets.
One of those areas is the Lawrence Garden, a public park dating back to the 1800s.
Other areas identified included the Mall Road near Punjab Assembly, Shahra-e-Fatima Jinnah, the building of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, the British Council, the Lahore Zoo and close to the Walled City Authority.
The WASA analysed the data of seasonal rainfall for the last five years to mark the areas which most needed the underground system.
Syed Zahid Aziz, WASA’s managing director told that his agency has hashed out a three-pronged strategy.
“First, a 600-feet drain has been laid down connecting Lawrence Garden to the underground water reservoir or the storage tank,” Aziz said, “In case it rains the entire day, and the tank overflows, WASA has constructed an outer surface reservoir to accommodate over 0.2 million gallons of water.”
If even the second reservoir fills up, a third system has been put in place to channel the water towards the Birdwood drain, he added.
More such systems will be rolled out in the city, he explained, if the government approves funding.