The Josh and Mak Team can advise you on the Institutional and Legislative frameworks which govern the Water and Power laws of Pakistan as well as the law relating to Water Rights and Allocation and Environment, Fisheries and Recreational Aspects. For more information on any of these aspects please email us jm@joshandmak.com or call us now at +92-51-8442922

Hydro Electric Dam 

The Pakistani Legal framework of Water Laws is a mixture of informal rules and the more recently established legislative enactments with their accompanying regulations and related manuals of procedure (formal rules). Most of these formal rules themselves are based upon customary practices. It be said that the pattern Pakistani water regulation and distribution have come down from various cultural influences of many different eras: the Indus Civilization of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa periods, the Aryan, the Greek, the Arab and, more recently, the British. The Islamic Principles manifest themselves within the informal irrigation rules which are based on communal ownership, equitable sharing of water and the acceptance of social control over water. During the British Raj we saw the British dispense rules enforcing strict compliance to achieve management of water shortages. Later in the century and the formation of Pakistan the same rules and procedures were amended occasionally to meet those specific purposes, but the basic structure of the original rules system has remained unaltered. Many of these formal rules governing Pakistan’s irrigation operations originate from the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act of 1873.

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One example of the informal rules is Jamabandi, which means that there will be a repeated rotation of canal water distribution with a fixed time duration for each farmer based on their landholding to be irrigated by the particular watercourse.

The Punjab Public Works Department (PWD) Revenue Manual defines warabandi as “Wahr-bandi­ the scheme or list of rotational turns or times at which each shareholder in a watercourse obtains his supply, or each outlet in a distributary is al­ lowed to be open.”

The underlying primary objective of warabandi is the distribution of scarce canal water equitably over the watercourse command area based heavily on the hydraulic performance of the canal system. The agency that delivers water has to establish some essential conditions in the canal system above the mogha (the head of the watercourse). These conditions are that the distributing points of the main canal should operate at full supply level, that the dis­ tributary canals should operate at no less than a particular level (75 percent of full supply level as designed for Pakistan’s canal system), that only “authorized” outlets should operate drawing their allotted share of water from the distributary at the ame time, that the outlets are un-gated and deliver a flow rate proportional to the area commanded (remaining open all the time), and that each farmer receives the total allocated flow of the watercourse for a duration proportional to his area.

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Listed below are some of the formal laws and regulations governing the system of Pakistani Water Management Laws:

Federal Water Laws

Freshwater

•          Canal and Drainage Act 1873

•          Indus River System Authority Ordinance 1992

Marine and Coastal Water

•          Territorial Water and Maritime Zones Act 1976

Energy/Hydel Power

•          Electricity Act 1910

•          Electricity Control Ordinance 1965

•          Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act 1997

•          Natural Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance 1997

Sindh Water Laws

Freshwater

•          West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act 1958

•          West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Amendment) Ordinance
1964

•          West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Amendment) Act 1967

•          West Pakistan Land and Water and Power Development Board (Reclamation Fee)
Rules 1965

•          West Pakistan Land and Water and Power Development Board (Authority for
Payment from Board Fund) Rules 1966

•          Karachi Water Management Board Ordinance 1981

•          Sindh Canal and Drainage Act 1991 (may be no such law)

•          Canal and Drainage (Extension to Rohri Canal Area) Act 1991

•          Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Act 1996

Marine and Coastal Water

•          Coastal Development Authority Act 1994

Agriculture

•          Sindh Irrigation Act 1879

•          Sindh Irrigation (Amendment) Act 1976

•          Sindh Irrigation (Amendment) Ordinance 1984

•          Sindh Irrigation (Amendment) Ordinance 1999

•          Sindh Canal Water Flat Rate Rules 1972

•          Sindh Irrigation Water users Association Ordinance1982

•          Sindh Irrigation Water users Association (Amendment) Ordinance1984

Energy/Hydel Power

  • West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act 1958
  • West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Amendment) Act 1967