Mehran University Of Engineering And Technology Jamshoro USPCAS-W Organises National Seminar On "Shrinking Indus Delta"

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Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro USPCAS-W organises national seminar on

The Vice Chancellor Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili has said that availability of freshwater was the global issue, which is declining with the passage of time.

HYDERABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 02nd Mar, 2018 ) :The Vice Chancellor Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili has said that availability of freshwater was the global issue, which is declining with the passage of time.

He expressed these remarks while addressing the national seminar on "Shrinking Indus Delta: Current Status and Way Forward" held at U.S.-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) MUET Jamshoro on Friday.

Dr. Uqaili said that the communities living in the lower riparian of the rivers have right for a due share of water recognized everywhere in the world. Dr. Uqaili said that due to lack and sometimes zero flow in the sea cause sea intrusion which ultimately affects the livelihood of the communities of the respective area.

He emphasised to ensure the flow of water Indus Delta to save the climate and ecosystem and the people associated with. During technical session, Prof. Dr. Altaf Ali Siyal, the principal investigator of this fifteen-month study while sharing his findings said that Indus Delta is fifth largest and one of the most vulnerable deltas of the world, designed as Ramsar wetland and supports 7th largest mangrove forest system in the world.

While sharing the presentations slides, Dr. Siyal said geo-morphological, environmental and socio-economic characteristics of the Indus River Delta are under constant threat due to coastal erosion and resulting dynamics in the shoreline position.

He said that the left side of the river Indus of Sujawal District is more degraded and more vulnerable to coastal erosion as compared to the right side of the river the Thatta district. He informed that rapid sea intrusion had degraded the Indus Delta which affected the community very badly and only four percent is drinkable water is accessible by the communities of the Delta.

While distinguishing the various in the existing data, Dr. Siyal said that the net inward shift of water in the shoreline/coastline is quantified as 860 90 m using DSAS software while it is 1295m 260 through manual calculations.

He said that the higher shoreline/coastline change rate was observed 34.3 m/year for the period 1990-2017 compared to 28.4 m/year in 1972-1990. He said that now the delta existed only on 1070 square kilometer where it was 12900 square kilometer in 1838 A.D.

He observed in his study that tidal floodplain area has increased from 0.6 to 0.

64 million hectares (Mha) about 7.1 percent increase, whereas the subsurface seawater intrusion is quantified as 1.15 Mha (88.3% of Delta) while only 0.15 Mha (11.7 percent) is still unaffected.

He said water bodies in the entire delta have doubled in last 27 years and 80 percent of the natural surface water bodies (lakes) had saline water unfit for drinking purpose. He warned that if due to Tsunami or other natural reason seawater level rises about 5 meter, more than 50 percent of Delta will be flooded.

While sharing recommendations of the research study, Dr. Siyal suggested a protective levee of about 200 km length and 2 to 4-meter height should be constructed along the periphery of the tidal floodplains on an emergency basis.

He recommended that relic river channels, such as Ochito and Old Pinyari should be restored and revived, which will carry extra flood water during peak flood to the sea and also will supply fresh water to coastal communities living far from the main river course, recharge groundwater and thus will be supportive in revitalizing the delta.

He advised that for minimizing the surface and subsurface seawater intrusion in the entire delta, irrigation water flow at the tail end of irrigation canals off-taking from Kotri Barrage especially Pinyari, Phuleli and KB Feeder should be assured.

He opined that the most of the Natural lakes in the delta are saline, which should be revived by adding fresh water during the monsoon period because the freshwater lakes not only provide drinking water to communities but also work as groundwater recharge spots.

He further recommended that the cultivation of value-added halophytes such as Salicornia, Sea Aster, Spartina alterniflora, Suaeda, etc. in the tidal flood plains should be introduced and encouraged by the government.

It will provide fodder and livelihood to coastal communities, he said. The Project Director USPCAS-W Mehran University Prof. Dr. Bakshal Khan Lashari and Deputy Project Director Prof. Dr. Rasool Bux Mahar also addressed the participants of the seminar.

Among others, Prof. Dr. Tauha Hussain Ali, Pro Vice Chancellor Mehran University, Dr. Sarfraz Hussain Solangi Pro Vice Chancellor of Sindh University Thatta Campus, Additional Secretary Livestock and Fisheries Khawar Parvez Awan, Deans Dr. Khan Muhammad Brohi, Dr. Abdul Sami Qureshi, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Moazam Baloch and Dr. Muhammad Moazm Baloch were also present on the occasion.

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