Water scarcity; a nightmare for Pakistan

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Water, the most basic necessity of life without which there would be no life on earth, is getting scarce in our country day by day. Despite having one of the largest glacial resources, water shortage is becoming a nightmare for Pakistan. Its shortage is hitting such an alarming level that experts say PAKISTAN could run dry by 2025. According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan ranks third in the world among countries facing acute water shortage. Reports by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) also warn the authorities that the South Asian country will reach absolute water scarcity by 2025.

There are a number of reasons behind this scarcity, but the main reason is lack of dams and water reservoirs. According to reports, Pakistan’s total dam storage is only 30 days of average demand whereas the figure is 1000 days for Egypt,900 days for America and almost 220 days for India. Pakistan loses most of its water because of this storage problem. Other reasons behind this crisis include domestic wastage of water, rapid growth of population, climate change and poor water resource management and preservation policies. As our economy is agriculture-based, this scarcity will have baneful effects on the economy, tensions among different provinces can rise over water distribution and even the whole country could be struck by severe episodes of drought.

Therefore, water shortage is truly a big challenge for Pakistan which needs to be paid due attention on an urgent basis.

Furthermore, there is a dire need to formulate an effective water resource management agenda, a uniform water distribution policy and an efficient plan for the prevention of water wastage. Most importantly, the government should make concerted efforts for building water reservoirs and storage dams in the country so that the real issue can be addressed.

written by Hammad Iqbal