The study aims at exploring various options to evacuate sediments from the reservoir to tackle the issue of decreasing water storage capacity in the reservoir because of the natural phenomenon of sedimentation. These options include dredging, flushing, blowing etc, said a press release received here on Tuesday.
The study will be completed in one year and three months with a cost of about $3 million. The World Bank is providing funds for the study through its Water Sector Capacity Building and Advisory Services Project (WCAP).
The agreement signing ceremony, held here today at WAPDA House, was also witnessed by WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani, Member (Water) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Member (Power) Muhammad Qasim Khan, Member (Finance) Nazakat Ali Shah and other officers concerned. Tarbela Dam Project General Manager Hazrat Umar signed the agreement on behalf of WAPDA while Waseem Nazir and Pervez Anjum on behalf of the joint venture.
It is worth mentioning here that Tarbela Dam Project, an engineering marvel built in 1974, is considered to be the lifeline for national economy. Tarbela Lake spreads over an area of 259 square kilometers, with maximum elevation of 1550 feet above mean sea level. Average annual water inflows at Tarbela is 64 million acre feet (MAF), which brings along a huge quantum of sediments estimated at 200 million tons per year from a catchment area of more than 169,000 square kilometers.
These sediments have not only decreased the storage capacity of the reservoir but is also posing a serious threat to the powerhouse structures, machines etc. It is pertinent to mention that live storage capacity of Tarbela lake has gone down to 6.77 MAF from its original storage capacity of 9.68 MAF, recording 30 percent decrease during the last 36 years.