Home Views & Opinions Water scarcity and crises in Pakistan

Water scarcity and crises in Pakistan


It is a whim that the next war could be on water resources . The bliss of God, that our planet the Earth contains all of those elements which are necessary for existence of life into it but we are damaging these with the ironic claws of negligence. Water is also a blessing ;it is the basic commodity of life .The total Earth surface is covered with 71% with water and out of this most of is exist in oceanic form almost 96.5% and only 3% is in fresh water .But this fresh water is locked in glaciers,polar ice caps ,in atmosphere and only .5% of fresh water is available for use. The extreme usage of water is going to cause a threat and danger for the coming years, it is a bolt from blue for economy. Water scarcity is arising day by day . Just like the two super powers US Sino are still engaged in holding hegemony at water resources .it has been estimated that about 1/3population of the whole world is using contaminated water and this may be reached up to 2/3 in 2025.Using contaminated and polluted water cause serious health issues and also harmful for all living things .
About 20% population of Pakistan has access to save drinking water while 80 % is devoid of this and compelled to use contaminated water due to water scarcity faced by Pakistan .Pakistan and other countries mainly developing countries faces financial constraints from developed countries .There are 8 organizations who stressed IMF ,world Bank not to support these third world countries in dams construction .They assured that these development would disturb the nature ,water cycle and mostly their hegemony would be come under threat .Pakistan is facing water crises with the time of her emergence.
Pakistan is an agrarian country and economy depends upon its agriculture ,but mishaps came with its existences. As it is low agrarian country compared to India ,in 1948 a clash rise between the two newly born countries when India stopped the water running in Pakistan but has origin from Indian occupied Kashmir.That was a direct invasion at Pakistan’s economy. Next to Kashmir the water disputes is second bone of contention between these two countries .However, the contention was sort out by the collaboration of World Bank in 1960 when a treaty was signed known as Indus water treaty .with this treaty three Western rivers were assigned to Pakistan which are Indus ,Jahlam and Chanab, while India will hold three Eastern rivers . The Indus river is considered the life of Pakistan as economy depends upon it .
Due to negligence and inappropriate management water is not properly used in agriculture ,industries, household activities . An estimate reveals that in Pakistan 93%of total water is used in agriculture and out of this 60%goes to waste due to water logging in canal system or other reasons .In 1951 the availability of water per person was 5000cubic metre. Now the population of Pakistan is 6 times more than that was in 1950s and availability is now 1,017 cubic metre per person which is near to threshold capacity 1,000cubic metre. Every person needs 101.5 gallons daily for drinking ,cooking and other personal uses. By increasing the global population this availability is decreasing day by day.
Pakistan has also an apple of discord on water issues with Afghanistan. The Kabul river is draining in Indus river from Afghanistan .But Kabul is willing to build new dams at this river because of Indian conspiracy to damage Pakistan’s economy .Despite water scarcity Pakistan is 3rd most wasting country as people lack knowledge and education abut importance of water . Pakistan is a country which is robustly influenced by climate and weather change. Some time there are high level of rain fall in winter while some time the whole winter goes without any rain water drop. It has Annually 147m acre -feet water flows through rain while Pakistan holding capacity to store rain water is just 14.5m acre-feet .This is due to lack of proper infrastructures, dams through water can be stored .Pakistan has a capacity to store water only for 36 days while India has 90 days an average.
The incompetent governance and lack of accountability are the reason behind this dire situation which constraints to build up new dams and overcome the water scarcity issues. The biggest example of lack of willingness is Kalabagh dam .For the looming economy of Pakistan its construction is need of hour but the country is under the game of politics .It has become a trend to blame the other one and never pay heed own selves. Some previous constructed dams like Diamer and Maghla dams have no enough capacity to hold enough and extra water for a huge populated country .The initiatives were taken during the Auyyub’s era to build Kalbagh dam but dam could not accomplished due to some constraints. The upcoming government also taken steps but conflicts about Kalabagh dam remained intact . The provincial conflicts at water is also common and our political system also supports this conflict .As Sindh is low riparian province ,it accused Punjab to use its water but Punjab refused their allegations.
Baluchistan province is mostly suffering of water crises Annual rain fall is enough but due to hot climate it readily evaporates .The agriculture system is also old fashioned and not up to date in some areas of the country .Like if we take example of Baluchistan province which has a dire threat of water deficiency ,there should be such agricultural techniques which are helpful to secure water resources .There should be canal system to preserve water and these canals should b cemented so keep away water from being logging .Some crops need excess water for cultivation .e.g;rice, sugar cane etc. But we can save water in those crops which need not much water .A pertinent solution is irrigation by dripping in which each plant is being irrigated individually and hence saves wat These obviously need excess water and also has influenced in import export cycle and thus indirectly in economy of Pakistan .But due to water scarcity Pakistan is seeking some alternative ways to protect their economy.
In Pakistan some areas are drought bearing areas . The province of Sindh has some areas in this category .Sindh has beared three most severe droughts from 1999 to 2015. Droughts in Pakistan occur mainly due to extreme variation in monsoon rainfalls .This variations are the reaction of climate change and the climax is changed by global warming .The temperature of the universe is increasing day by day . Increase in temperature will follow by melting of polar ice -caps and glaciers consequently rise in see level ,low in humidity ,moisturizing , more heat wave , disturb water cycle ,floods and land erosion pertaining to maritime and a huge list of calamities. As Pakistan is n agrarian country and less contribute in global warming compared to industrialized countries but it has to bear all these. Just like floods in 2010 was a worst flood in Pakistan history due to monsoon rainfalls in different regions of Pakistan and a rose in Indus water basin and caused a humanitarian as well as economic destruction. More than 1,700 people and an loss in economy was estimated $43 billion. Natural disasters directly or indirectly disrupt livelihoods ,infrastructures , normal services.
Water pollution is also rising at alarming rate. Humans and human made activates make it pollute. Water is used in agriculture ,industries , cooking ,bathing and for many other pollute it. By the human strength increase its demand also enhanced ,readily increased in industries to combat the challenges. The list of some diseases which are incepted by drinking contaminated water in Pakistan .Typhoid , intestinal worm,diarrhea,and many others .The infant death due to water borne diarrhea is 60% according to IUCN and this is the highest rate in Asia which referring Pakistan a country not suitable for living and basic amenities are missing .But Pakistan is a affluent country regarding water resources ;only a proper and deliberate planning is need of hour to over come this calamity .By introducing agriculture reforms ,cleaning process installation and filtration plants pave a way to conserve water. By building more dams to store excess water ,by shifting industries and the poultry farm away from water resources ,not to use chemicals in agriculture ,educate people about water scarcity and its need ,use water as a renewable source of energy to overcome the threat of pollution instead of using fossil fuels which harm climax ,stringent rule and regulation to be followed by every one , the competent leadership ,the mismanagements in power sectors and water disputes among provinces should be eliminated . Positive gesture is essential for Pakistan from the leadership and also the populace .water taxation is also helpful to alleviate this threat and the most importantly is self audit to act as a responsible native of country.
The current scenario of water crises is going to marred day by day .we should make strategies to compete this bolt from the blue .The government and public both have to take steps to over come this curse. The fourth estate also have to play its role in public awareness . The government and politicians will have to take such solution that would mitigate the conflicts between provinces at water resources . Equal and righteous distribution of resources may redress their harsh behaviour towards each other . save water for your selves ,for next generations, for survival of life on Earth ,for continuity of cycles at Earth.