Home Views & Opinions Thousands live sans love, but not sans water

Thousands live sans love, but not sans water


There is no denying the impression that throughout the history humans have looked and searched for different ways to solve their issues. It is a well-documented fact that food, security and shelter hold a vanguard position in this regard. In the same time, it is evident beyond the shred of doubt that life without water is unimaginable. In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” So, it can easily be palpable that eco-system without is unable to thrive. It is a well-documented fact that water is ubiquitous everywhere on the earth but it is highly unfortunate that world is embroiled in the web of severe water shortage. In addition to this, Pakistan has also been enmeshed in the trap of water scarcity that is stifling the development potential of the country.
It is a matter of deep sorrow and lamentable too that despite huge reserves country is facing severe water scarcity. International Monetary Fund (IMF) has depicted a very grim picture and ranked Pakistan as the third most water scarce country. Similarly, according to Pakistan Council of Research on Water Resources (PCRWR) survey, alarmed that country would run out of potable water by 2025. The above-mentioned also highlighted that country has crossed the water stress line in 1990 and water scarcity line in 2005.
In the meantime, agriculture is the lifeblood of Pakistan’s economy. In a recent Economic Survey (2017-18), agriculture contributes 19.5% of total country’ GDP as well as employing 42.3% of labor force. But if we jump into the annals of history according to the then economic survey of 1999-2000 agriculture contribution was 27%. So, water is the pivotal cause behind the descent.
It is evident beyond an iota of doubt that plethora of causes have been responsible to bring the country in the verge of severe water crisis. So, in this regard meager amount of reservoirs have cast havoc and plunged the masses in the pit of obscurity. Mangla and Tarbela are the two major water storage reservoirs but due to silting their storage capacity has lost to 30 %. In a similar way, wastage of water is another cardinal cause.
According to Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Pakistan receives 145 million acre feet of water every year but can save only 13.7 MAF. Pakistan needs 40 million acre feet of water every year but 29 million acre feet of its flood water is wasted because of fewer dams. Furthermore, outdated irrigation technology has wreaked havoc in this regard and added fuel into already aggravated situation.
However, it is still not too late to act serious maturity is needed at this time to bring the country’s ship from the troubled waters to the safe shores. It is evident beyond the realm of doubt that it is not an easy task to dismantle the nation from the snare of water shortage but by bringing into vogue some rational steps crisis can easily be averted. Firstly, government must design policies to conserve water especially in the agriculture sector. According to United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), development of lesser leveling technology and furrow bed irrigation system had resulted in saving 30% water in Punjab district. So, government has to design introduce other technology in other parts of Punjab too. Secondly, government must chalk out measures and start construction of new dams. Thirdly, government should remove shortcomings in the state institutions like IRSA and PCRWR.
If these steps are implemented country can easily disentangle herself from the fold of water shortage and bring back prestige of the country.