Pakistan, 3 July 2006: Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers are working with colleagues from Punjab University and government agencies in Pakistan to help solve a critical water problem. Over the last 40 years, sediment has been building up at the bottom of the giant Malaga Dam reservoir on the river Jhelum. The research will determine the major sources of sediment by combining erosion modeling, GIS, Remote Sensing, geomorphology, hydrology and sediment source tracing.
Part of the Indus river basin system, the Malaga Dam was built in 1967 with a storage capacity of 5.88 million acre feet. Since its construction, a large quantity of sediment has been continuously transported into the reservoir reducing its storage capacity by 20 per cent. This has had a major impact on irrigation and electricity generation.
The research project also includes the Tarbela Dam in the Indus catchment area which is also suffering from a build up of sediment. The construction of a further dam upstream will assist in reducing the problem but requires careful planning and construction.