KWSC announces new policy for water boring

A symbolic picture of water being poured into a bucket. — Gill
  • Industrial area water extraction licences to be renewed biennially.
  • Revocation of all prior borehole permits: official statement.
  • Penalty of Rs5 million imposed for unauthorized water exploitation and sales.

On Saturday, Syed Salahuddin Ahmed, CEO of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KW&SC), rolled out a revamped strategy on the drilling for groundwater, aiming to clamp down on illicit water extraction and to bolster fiscal revenues.

The notice disseminated by the water utility declares that for industrial zones, the permission to pump out groundwater will have a two-year lifespan. 

The directive also states that current drilling authorizations will be nullified, with the directive that gauges must be affixed to all drilling rigs. Additionally, the issued notification specifies that obtaining a licence is a prerequisite for those who use groundwater for industrial ends.

The released document also indicates that a single licence can encompass a quota of up to four closely located boreholes or wells. Entities looking to drill more than four boreholes must apply for an extra permit.

The notice categorizes groundwater usage into five sectors: industrial, water drilling operators, commercial entities, healthcare and educational institutions, and residential complexes.

The KW&SC has delegated a five-person committee to oversee the licence distribution process.

A representative of KW&SC clarified that their drilling activities would be situated at a minimum of 330 feet from any water reservoirs or pumping stations, iterating that a penalty of Rs5 million will be levied on those found guilty of water theft or engaging in unlawful sales of water.

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