Water Scarcity in Pakistan

Water scarcity is both natural and of human origin, is the deficiency of adequate availability of water resources to fulfill the requirements of an area.

Water Scarcity in PakistanWater is unequally accessed on time and space.

  • Much of it polluted, wasted and miss-managed.
  • There is no global water scarcity but many places are facing the problem of water scarcity as the world population is increasing.
  • Water resources of many countries have pressure and it is increasing in some parts of the world, especially China, Pakistan, India and many countries in Africa.

Causes of water scarcity in Pakistan

Pakistan is running out of fresh water at an alarming rate, experts say the main cause of the crisis is the population growth and urbanization, and authorities foresee that it is likely to suffer a shortage of 31 million acre-feet (MAF) of water by 2025.

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Pakistan is among third the countries which are facing a severe shortage of water. The deficiency will be destructive for the agriculture-based country. The issue has also been aggravated by climate change, poor water management and a lack of political will to deal with the crisis.

Overuse of water

Overuse of water is the main issue which causes water scarcity, insufficient management of water resources, 70% of fresh water is wasted in agricultural activities due to an outdated system of canals. Much water is wasted in homes and industries as well.

Climate Change

Ice packs and Glaciers are melting in Northern areas of Pakistan which are highly affecting the supply of freshwater. Due to Global Warming, there is more risk of floods, heatwaves. Climate change is so more aggravating the water crisis.

Growing Freshwater Demand

Due to rapid population growth, the need for freshwater to drink, cook and meet other requirements have been much increased. Pakistan has a wane system of dams, as the population is expected to increase in the coming decades there should be a proper water storage system. So, can be water resources managed properly.

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Pollution

In Pakistan, water pollution is one of the major warnings to public health. Pakistan ranked at number 80 among 122 nations concerning drinking water quality. Drinking water resources of surface and ground are polluted with toxic materials, industrial wastage and pesticides from  all over the country.

Effects of Water Scarcity

Hunger

The dehydration due to the apparent deficiency of drinking water, hunger is the most affected by water scarcity. Water shortage has direct collision on livestock and crops which can cause food deficiency and famine in many areas of Pakistan, especially Tharparkar. Where the death rate is 1,500 children every year.

Sanitation Issues and Diseases

Water scarcity give rise to sanitation problems by compelling people to drink hazardous water. Indeed, when water-scarce people move to store it at home, which raises the possibility of household water pollution and generates nursery for mosquitoes which transmits dengue and malaria. Polluted water is the main reason for Hepatitis. Deficiency of water also causes many diseases such as plague, trachoma (blindness of eyes).

Biodiversity Loss

Water scarcity has many negative influences on freshwater resources. It suffers the environment in some methods such as rise nutrient contaminations and the misplacement of the floodplains and wetlands. 

Government Steps

Moto “Water Research for Changing World”.

Pakistan Council Water Resources (PCRWR) was confirmed in 1964 and working as an association under the PCRWR Act Of Research In 2007, under the Ministry of Science and Technology. The management of Council is composed of the Board of Governors, The Chairman and the Executive Committee. Since, its establishment PCRWR played the title role as a National Research Association by performing and promoting research in different aspects of water sector particularly in flood, sewerage, ground and surface management, management of watersheds, desertification control and rainwater Harvesting etc.

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Major Research Areas 

Water Management

  • Crops water demand
  • Water conservation
  • Groundwater research
  • Hydrology modelling & GIS/RS
  • Research of distributed natural elevation 
  • Watershed management
  • Sewerage management and land preservation  

Water Quality

  • Regular observing of water quality of surface, sub-surface water, drainage and industrial discharge.
  • Establishment of low-cost water filtration and testing technologies.
  • Developing a national water quality database.

Desertification Control

  • Rainwater collection.
  • Dune equalization.
  • Range land management.
  • Grassland development.
  • Saline agriculture.

In a landmark step to preserve country water resources, Pakistan has approved its first-ever water policy.

The federal and provincial governments are agreed on a National Water Policy (NWP) and inked a document the “The Pakistan Water Charter” on Tuesday in the 37th meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) that was organized in Prime Minister Office.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also chaired up a meeting of National Water Council and advised all stakeholders to coordinate well with each other, to solve the water scarcity issue and to fulfill the water requirements of the country.

After completion of initial planning, study, consultation, financing and cooking up by previous governments, finally Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated construction of Mohammad Dam on May 2, 2019. The expected completion date of Mohmand Dam is 2024.

Solutions of Water

Scarcity Reclaimed Water

Rainwater recycled and harvesting decreases the wastage of water. In this way, rainwater can be stored and used to meet daily needs. It will reduce pressure on groundwater and other resources. Groundwater recharge, which allows to move surface water to groundwater, it is a major and important process to decrease water scarcity. 

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Pollution Control and Better Sewage Treatment

Without the proper system of sanitation water becomes harmful, cause diseases unable to drink and for other needs. Due to this reason, addressing pollution, measuring and checking of water is mandatory. On the other hand, improving the sewage systems in particular areas is another Conway to prevent water scarcity before it becomes a danger.

Sustainable Water Management

Improving water system facilities and provision of capital machines and instruments must be a priority. As water prevention from wastage and order are the main parts of sustainable water management. Solar chemical actions and smart irrigation systems are the great examples of the clean and best technology for water efficiency and control. That applied more to the agriculture and farming sector, the largest consumer of water.

Support Clean Water Initiatives

There are many associations all over the world which are working for the easy access of freshwater to those areas which need it. Pay attention to donating fund to these association, either with your money, your time or your skills whichever you can give easily to them.

Awareness and Education

Education is censorious to solve the water crisis issue. Indeed, to handle future water scarcity, it is essential to make solid reforms, in all consumption’s, from a single person to the supply chains and even in large companies also

umar Farooq
Author: umar Farooq

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