Monday, 15 June 2020

Katzarah Dam-The Largest Dam in the World is in Pakistan

Katzarah Dam_ the Largest Dam of Pakistan is the Largest in the World. It has a colossal storage capacity and massive hydropower generation capacity of about 15,000 MW. The Katzarah reservoir would have a lifespan of over 1000 years. It would irrigate about 10 million acres of barren land in the four provinces if modern methods of irrigation practices were adopted and water was used economically. The fact is that this is the only project in the country that can bring about a green revolution by irrigating the deserts of Pakistan.

Katzarah is a carry-over dam, irrigation dam, power dam, super flood-control dam, river-regulation dam, watershed-management dam (which would prevent silt), water-management dam, poverty-alleviation dam,and economic-development dam.

The unique benefit of Katzarah is that it will function as a watershed management dam to prevent silt that originates from the Skardu valley. According to the studies conducted by Dr.Attaullah (in two volumes), Skardu valley has one of the world's highly erodible soils and is the source of silt in the Indus river, causing rapid silting of reservoirs. The rapid silting of Tarbela on the downstream of Skardu valley is basically due to the very high erodibility of the soil in Skardu valley. The Indus, therefore, carries heavy silt from Skardu valley. The silt needs to be prevented at all costs by watershed management to increase the life of reservoirs.

Pakistan has very limited and poor dam sites on the Indus below Basha dam. Each dam has less storage capacity than Katzarah. There is need to carefully plan dams and reservoirs that have a long lifespan. Silting of reservoirs shall have to be prevented. The example of the 11.6-maf Tarbela dam, with a lifespan of about 50 years, is before us. It compels us to hold back silt by watershed management so as to stop soil erosion in Skardu valley by building a dam at Katzarah.

Katzarah dam would transform Pakistan from a water-starved state to a very rich agriculture state. Let us save Pakistan from this desolate and catastrophic scenario which would be the result of shortage of water, power and food.

Munda dam is basically a power dam and not a storage dam. Its storage capacity is only 0.67 maf and it will silt up soon. The power generation capacity is 740 MW. The Kurram Tangi dam has a small storage capacity of about 0.8 maf. Both are local dams to serve local areas. These are best for local areas. Dams meant for the Indus basin are to store the Indus river waters. The Akhori dam with a height of 250 feet has an indirect storage capacity of 3.3 maf diverting water from the raised Tarbela reservoir into other valleys across the country's drainage and communication system. Akhori dam has already rejected by Dr Pieter Lieftnick, Head of the World Bank team, due to its weak foundation.

Gariala dam has superseded Akhori dam. This fact is concealed by WAPDA from the president. Refer to pages 266, 269, 292 of Dr.Pieter Lieftnick's report. On the contrary, WAPDA has arbitrarily raised the height of Akhori Dam from 250 feet on weak foundation to 420 feet simply to increase the storage capacity at the cost of the safety of the dam. WAPDA has played a very risky game through local consultants and inexperienced staff. Kalabagh Dam has been very controversial for the past 30 years despite the fact that the pre-feasibility of Basha Dam was established in 1981.

Munda and Kurram Tangi are local and provincial dams with very small storage capacities for local and urgent use. There are three mega dams for storing the water of the Indus River. One is Basha with a storage capacity of 6.4 maf which has already started. Basha will generate 4500 MW of power. Next is the controversial Kalabagh dam with a storage capacity of 6.4 maf and dependable power generation capacity of 1460 MW. The third is the Akhori dam with a storage capacity of 3.3 maf but it is rejected by the World Bank. It has no power component. The combined storage of these three comes to 16.1 maf with rapid silting and a short lifespan.

The revised cost of Kalabagh is about $18 billion, the cost of arbitrarily raised Akhori dam comes to about $18 billion and the cost of Basha is $6.5 billion. The total cost comes to $42.5 billion. Their combined power generation capacity is about 6000 MW. The lifespan of these dams is less than 80 years. Against all these dams under the Water Vision 2016, the cost of Katzarah comes up to $7 billion to store 35 maf of water, generate 15,000 MW of power and have a lifespan of more than 1000 years besides its unique function of watershed management.


  • Katzarah dam would create a reservoir up to 35 maf of water storage capacity.
  • Katzarah Dam would be the Largest Dam in the World with the Highest lifespan of over 1000 years.
  • It can generate 15000 MW Cheap Electricity. It has a total capacity of 35 Million Acre Feet. Katzarah Dam is 6 Times Larger than Kalabagh dam & Bhasha Dam.
  • It is located about Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
  • Its cost is about 8 to 10 billion USD, far better than every other Dam in Pakistan which would bring a Green Revolution in Pakistan.