Pakistan as one of the developing countries has been facing a serious water crisis and there is an immediate need to find a solution for scarcity of this resource. According to reports, if water crisis in Pakistan remained continue, Pakistan may face drought by 2025. Pakistan water crisis solutions must be taken into account to fight this shortage of water and make more dams to conserve it.
Negligence by the authorities have posed a threat to the stability of Pakistan and water crisis if continued may prove fatal in the long run. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows in the report that Pakistan is the third country with water crisis. This is alarming that Pakistan is among those countries who are facing an acute level of water shortage.
Water Crisis in Pakistan and its Solution
Organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRW) has warned all the South Asian countries that they will run out of water reserves in 2025.
The UN humanitarian to Pakistan, Neil Buhne said that no one in Pakistan is secure against this ongoing water crisis, whether they belong to north with 500 glaciers or from the south with enormous deserts.
Researchers have clearly communicated with authorities that Pakistan may become a country with an acute water shortage region by 2040. The development and research organizations have warned Pakistan many times about this inevitable water crisis that is posing the greatest threat to the future generation.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRW), affiliated with the Ministry of Science South Asian pointed out this scarcity.
PCRW reported in 2016 that Pakistan has previously crossed the water stressed line during 1990 and this country has touched the water scarcity line in 2015 as well.
Pakistan is fighting with water Scarcity:
It is expected that the population of Pakistan may reach to 263 million by the year 2050. With this population rate, Pakistan water crisis solutions must find out before reaching into that acute scarcity time frame. Pakistan is currently in the fourth number with excessive water usage country. However, Pakistan has moved to take steps in order to lessen the future water shortage issues and dam construction has begun.
Water crisis Pakistan has reached to the point to think that how this country will provide sufficient amount of water to different sectors like industries, agricultural sector, and business sectors and to the common man. With the diminishing sources of water, and an economy that is more water intensive, this is a big challenge Pakistan is currently facing.
The reports of IMF states that the per capita water availability of Pakistan was 1500 cubic meters in 2009. This proportion reduces and now it is left with the availability of 1017 cubic meters annually and alarmingly it is closer to the scarcity threshold 1000 cubic meters.
Other than these water shortage issues Pakistan is facing many problems in the water sector. Currently, the storage capacity of water is for 30 days in Pakistan and water crisis may reach to alarmed level.
Moreover, the further reports of the International Monetary Fund IMF also indicated other facts related to the water crisis in Pakistan. It is said that the farmlands in Pakistan are mostly supplied with water from canal system. The IMF reported that the canal system in this country is highly underpriced and it does not meet the cost that incurred in the maintenance and other operations annually. While, on the other hand, agriculture sector in this country devour most of the water annually which remained untaxed.
Experts have also revealed other factors which are responsible for the water crisis in Pakistan. These are population growth and increasing levels of urbanization in the country. Apart from these issues, climate change, lack of water management has played a role in worsening the water scarcity. There is also a lack of political will aspect involved in intensifying the water crisis in Pakistan.
The South Asian expert, Micheal Kugelman from Woodrow Wilson Center based in Washington said that Pakistan is reaching to the threshold of the water scarcity. He added that the most disturbing thing is depletion of the ground water supplies. Above all, the authorities have no such plan to fight with this upcoming acute crisis more alarming than terrorism.
Previously the Qazi Talhat from the Ministry of Water Resources said that this situation is literally “scary” for Pakistani nation. Experts further unveiled the alarming economic impacts which are destroying the water resources and people of Pakistan are fighting to save the future generation from acute scarcity.
Climate change followed by rising temperature has increased the water scarcity in the past few years in Pakistan and water crisis has become uncontrollable now. During 2015, around 1200 people died in Pakistan as a result of heat stroke from climate change.
An Environmental expert and research member of the institute of Strategic Studies In Islamabad, Mian Ahmed Naeem Salik also communicated the facts that drought and heat wave conditions arises from climate change in Pakistan.
Previously, he also explained the reason of water crisis in Pakistan that monsoon time period has become unpredictable and winters have shrinked from 4 months to 2 months only. This is quite alarming situation in our country where we are unable to store the floodwater due to shortage of the dam facility.
The most alarming thing is that, at the time of 1947, Pakistan had total 5 percent forests in the region and this number has reduced to 2 percent unfortunately.
Global warming has increased as a result of emission of greenhouse gases, which have drastically impacted the weather conditions. Indus River System Authority (IRSA) member Rao Irshad Khan said that climate change due to global warming is producing abundant amount of water vapors, which have in return disturbed the rain patterns.
For the few past years, the irregular rain patterns have produced floods, which have created water crisis due to lack of dams to save the water.
Currently, Pakistan has two reservoirs to store water in Tarbela and Mangla Dams. While the government Pakistan 2019 is working on construction and funding of two more dams named Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.
A spokesman from the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Muhammad Khalid Rana said that in this water crisis situation, Pakistan can be able to store water only for 30 days. On the other hand, Indian can store water reserves for 190 days and the US has the potential to store water for 900 days.
Khalid Rana has also explained the facts that Pakistan receives an amount of 145 million acre feet water every year. Unfortunately, they are able to save on 13.7 million acre feet water of total 145 million acre feet water. Due to lack of facility, Pakistan lost around 29 million acre feet of flood water. Authorities have to work on finding Pakistan water crisis solutions to protect this resource as this country needs 40 million acre feet of water.
Pakistan Water Crisis Solutions
Apart from building dams like Mohmand and Bhasha Dams for long term water conservation, there is the need to reduce the water wastage ways in Pakistan. The water crisis in Pakistan and its solution can be resolved through some convenient Samurai ways.
This is a global water crisis and with rising water demand, water conservation techniques should be adopted.
Protecting the Groundwater:
These methods include the canal system lining in order to utilize safe water in an optimal way in the agricultural sector as soon as possible. Pakistan water crisis solutions involve defining an ownership for the groundwater. Through legislation for the licensing of ground water and increasing the charges for urban and rural ground water reserves, this water scarcity can be eliminated.
Subsidies and Tax Relaxation for Water Treatment:
Water pollution is another factor that is wasting our precious water resources and creating water crisis and health problems for the citizens of the country. There is the need to control the water pollution to protect the surface water as well as groundwater.
In order to fight the water crisis, there is need to implement the national environmental quality standards. Moreover, incentives should be awarded to the industrial sector to treat the polluted water. Subsidies and tax relaxation should be provided in order to increase storage capacity and install water and sanitation treatment plants and penalties should be imposed on the polluters.
Drip Irrigation & Sprinklers for Crops:
At the farm level, there is a need to adopt the drip irrigation and sprinklers to reduce the wastage of water. Through drip irrigation, there will be less evaporation of water and sprinklers will make the crops fresh and boost photosynthesis at the same time.
Awareness should be raised to save Pakistan from acute water crisis in the future. Pakistan water crisis solutions should be taken into account which includes ascertaining the water requirement by different sectors.
The demographic transitions and increasing urbanization are another major cause of the scarcity of water resources. A Public sector fund program to different sectors may reduce the issue.
The water crisis of Pakistan should be dealt with the proper plan in order to save water by 2050 and more. More dams should be constructed in Pakistan and there must be a speedy inauguration of Mohmand and Bhasha dams to fight with the ongoing crisis.
Proper environmental control and public awareness campaigns should be started to save water for future. Billions of people around the globe lack water storage and this is the time to apply solutions to the water crisis in order to save this remaining precious water source.