Pakistan since the last over a decade is fast becoming a water scarcity-hit country, courtesy the climate change impacts. The agriculture sector, which is contributing one-fourth of the country’s GDP, relies on the natural weather cycle in the region especially the Himalayas, the main water source of Punjab and Sindh agriculture. Now extreme weather variability in shape of excessive rainfalls, heavy floods, droughts, etc., triggered by climate change, is continuously impacting these major sectors. Floods and other natural disasters normally result in loss of infrastructure, energy insecurity, political and economic instability and deterioration of natural ecosystems in the country. While on the other side, Indias attempts to divert substantial flows of water from rivers like Sutlej, Ravi, Beas and Chenab have resulted in drying of these main water channels in Pakistan, which were not only the major contributors to agriculture in the region but also the potential source of groundwater recharge. The situation is relatively becoming from bad to worse as groundwater resources are depleting in the region and water quality has been seriously affected. There is an evidence of change in monsoon rainfall patterns in this region. Intensity in rainfall during the monsoon has increased and that there is also an increase in the heavy rain events on the sub-continent. Climate change model simulations also found similar changes in spatial distribution and magnitude of the heaviest extremes of daily monsoon rainfall as assessed through the use of high emission scenarios. These changes in patterns and frequency of extreme weather events would potentially affect the sustainable water resource management in Pakistan. In fact, the climate change causes the chain of changes from natural weather cycle, heavy floods, droughts, destruction of populated areas as well as millions of acres agriculture lands to critical food security. Remedial measures like concentrating on maintaining a better irrigation system, improved watershed management, and updated water supply and sewage systems and disaster prevention infrastructure are needed to be focused. Similarly, local people should also be mobilized through training and awareness-raising activities like holding workshops and seminars, improved planning for evacuation and increased support to the community. Pakistan needs to integrate climate change into development actions by better planning and strong policies with long-term vision, which is the only way to counter the climate change effects and ensure sustainable development.
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