Pakistan in need of 170 million-acre feet of additional water

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PAKISTAN ON average by nature has capacity to store approximately 145 million-acre feet (MAF) of surface water annually. Pakistan is the only country in the world among Muslim countries sacred by vast, precious and treasures of nature. “Indus Water Basin” is the composition of the Indus river and its streams; Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej. It is known as the essential supplier of fresh water that become the backbone of the Pakistan’s economy. Water is a life line for the agricultural sector of Pakistan. More than 90 percent of water resources are used on agriculture. Pakistan once in 1947 was a water rich country with approx. 5,300 cubic meter that drastically reduced to less than 1,000 cubic meters in 2016. Results come up to 144.72 /nearly145 MAF annually but the facts are exposed that almost every year Rs25 billion worth of water is lost in Pakistan. 14m acre feet of water is conserved out of total 145 million-acre feet that country gets in a year. The Himalaya holds ice bulk which is third largest in world subsequently Antarctica and Greenland. Glaciers of Himalaya contributes over 80 percent water to Indus river which feed approx. more than 65 percent of the country’s agriculture, unfortunately is withdrawing at the rate of 30 – 50 meters per annum. Pakistan’s glacial areas of north spread over an area of 16,933 km square, which is being labeled by international organizations as water ample country in 1950. In 1951, Pakistan holds the availability of water 5056m3 per capita annually that was way more than of the verge value of 1700meter cube per capita per annum. In present with shocking reduced availability of around 940meter cube per capita per annum Pakistan is water sparse country in the world which is dangerously less than the verge value, and ready to move down further if there is no exemplar change in the established water infrastructure. Pakistan is in need of 170 million-acre feet of additional water in future to meet irrigation and other requirements of the people. This was not possible unless new storage dams were built.  The water scarcity in Pakistan is affected by overpopulation, climate change and beyond highly non-development of huge pool after Tarbela dam. Due to the natural phenomenon of sedimentation storage capacity of Tarbela Dam has cut down to 36 percent. Consequent to Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960, Pakistan lay foundation of two large versatile dams, Mangla (1967) and Tarbela (1975) since 1975 Pakistan has not built any large dam. Whereas water is essential for life, agriculture and industry. Government seems to neglecting the water allotting massive budget to other sectors. As the available water is being lost and ground level of water is going down and down there is a serious need to work on water management. It is high time that all groundless and untruthful stances are set separately and an extremely important decision is taken sincerely for setting up the versatile dams.


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