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USAID to Improve Water Systems in Karachi

As a part of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Power Distribution Program, the agency is currently helping Karachi Water and Sewage Board to improve water supply for the 21 million inhabitants of Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city. The Power Distribution Program is a 5 year, $60 million project to improve electric power utilities across Pakistan.

Karachi currently uses a 20-year old system of pumping stations that pump water from filtration plants into the city, but are extremely energy inefficient. The pumps use huge amounts of electricity from the grid, creating expensive electricity bills for the city, and providing less water to its citizens. Some areas of the city are unable to access water several times a month, simply because the pumps are unable to provide enough for the entire city.

The new pumps installed by USAID will be modern, and highly efficient. 41 out of 75 new pumps have already been installed, and the rest are expected to be completed by the end of September. The electric efficiency rate before the new pumps was at an average of 29 percent, but the new pumps will boost that to 55-65 percent, decreasing the city’s energy cost by $1.15 million per annum. All residents of Karachi will now be able to access water on a regular basis. In addition to saving energy and providing more water, the new pumps will save time and money spent on daily maintenance for the pumps.

In addition to improving the water systems in Karachi, the Power Distribution Program is also working directly with Pakistan’s government owned power distribution companies to increase their efficiency by introducing new technologies, training in human resources management and customer service, and creating legal and political space for the companies to operate.

– Emma McKay

Sources: PDIP, Daily Times