STAFF REPORT LHR: Dr Christopher J Gippels report – Indus River: Review of Environmental Flows to Maintain Delta Ecosystem – developed under the Building Capacity on the Climate Change Adaptation in the Coastal Areas of Pakistan, WWF-Pakistan, has been released.
Main threats to the Indus delta include reduced freshwater flow, construction of dams and canals; encroachments, clearing mangroves for agriculture, reduced sediment loads, habitat destruction and pollution. However, the threats do not necessarily impact the delta in isolation.
The study also notes that intrusion of seawater inland has presented a surface water problem for the people living in the delta and for riparian plants and aquatic organisms that prefer freshwater some or all the time.
Speaking during a workshop held in this connection, WWF-Pakistans Senior Project Manager Ali Dehlavi informed the gathering that environmental flows were designed to maintain at least some of the natural flow variability along the whole length of the Indus River so that the people, animals and plants downstream can continue to survive and make use of the rivers resources.
“The report is intended to help inform decisions around the use and management of water in the wider river Indus basin,” Dehlavi said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ghulam Nabi, a sediment transport modeler and hydrology/water resources engineer, suggested that most of the differences could be resolved by undertaking an expert review and if necessary commissioning specific research to address uncertainties.