A. Physical environment
3. Hydrologyp> Water is the most extensive resource of NWFP, providing ample supplies for drinking water, irrigation water hydropower generation. Tarbela, Warsak and Dargai-Jaban (Malakand) are the most important areas for hydroelectric power generation. Both the underground and surface water are classified as sweet with the exception of brackish water zones in D.I. Khan, Bannu and Karak districts. Water is generally found in abundance in the form of springs lakes, streams and rivers. In addition, water which collects in alluvial deposits in the plains areas is drawn from wells and tubewells for irrigation.
The Indus, which is the largest river in Pakistan, originates from Lake Mansarwar in Tibet, entering Pakistan near Marol in the Kharmang valley. It then passes through close to Skardu to Gilgit before flowing into Kohistan-Batagramm and Haripur districts of NWFP. The River Kabul joins the Indus near Khairabad and then flows southward along the eastern border of NWFP, until it enters Punjab. The total length of the Indus is 2,900 km. The important tributaries of the Indus in Hazara Division include the Sarin, Dor and Haro, while the Kunhar River is an important tributary of the Jhelum River.
The western tributaries of the River Indus are the Chitral, Swat, Panjkora, Kabul, Tochi, Kurram and Gomal rivers, all of which have high potential for hydroelectric power generation. From 1992 to 1993, the dams and power stations in NWFP generated 15,141 million kilowatt hours of power, amounting to 30.96 per cent of total electricity generation output in Pakistan. Of the total NWFP output, only 9.69 per cent was consumed locally; the balance was transmitted to the rest of the country (Bureau of Statistics, NWFP, 1995/1996). The NWFP provincial government considers this power surplus availability to be very important, as reflected in the recent creation of a power cell in the Planning, Environment and Development Department.
The province also has several lakes which are a major tourist and very
important to the wetland ecosystem: Shandur Lake and Qomboh Lake in Chitral
district; Mahudand Lake in upper Kalam-Swat from where the River Usho originates;
Daral Danda Lake in upper Swat; and Lake Saif-ul-Malook Naran, Lake Lolosur
and Lake Dodipat sur in upper Kaghan in the Kaghan valley, from which the
River Khunhar originates.