Jul 2, 2018, 1:14 PM
News Code: 82959217
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Pakistan water crisis

Islamabad, July 2, IRNA - According to an International Monetary Fund report, Pakistan ranks third among the countries facing water shortage and the country due to a lack of water conservation systems is dumping water worth approximately $21 billion into the sea each year.

The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) in May this year had issued warnings of a looming water crisis in Pakistan.

It had also warned the government that the country can only store water up to 30 days and that if no water reservoirs are made, the country could face an extreme water shortage in the coming years. According to international standards, a country must have at least 120 days of water stocked.

Pakistan is having three basic reservoirs, namely Mangla dam reservoir, Terbela dam reservoir and Chashma barrage reservoir while there are numbers of small reservoirs all over the country.

IRSA spokesman said that in the current situation, only exceptional monsoon or early glacial melting would ensure that dams were filled to full capacity otherwise the situation may turn worse for crops.

Reports by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) also warn the authorities that the South Asian country will reach absolute water scarcity by 2025.

Experts say that climate change, less winter snow cover, low rainfall and wastage of water have added to the severity of the situation.

In 1960, the World Bank brokered the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) that gives Pakistan exclusive rights to use the region's western rivers — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — while India has the authority over three eastern rivers.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while hearing a case on water scarcity and construction of dams had said the resolution of water crisis would be our highest priority from now onwards.

He revealed that all stakeholders have agreed to the construction of two dams in the country. The CJP while announcing a ‘good news’ noted that money taken from the write-off loan defaulters would be spent on the construction of dams.

Meanwhile the Rawal Dam which is considered to be one of the major sources of drinking water for people residing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi has gone below the dead level. Similarly, the most important source of water supply to Karachi, the Hub Dam, is also drying up rapidly.

Experts are concerned that if there are no rains in the coming days, the water supply to the residents could be completely halted by the end of July. The Hub Dam also supplies water to Balochistan.

Researchers predict that Pakistan is on its way to becoming the most water-stressed country in the region by the year 2040.

Pakistan has the world's fourth-highest rate of water use. Its water intensity rate — the amount of water, in cubic meters, used per unit of GDP — is the world's highest. This suggests that no country's economy is more water-intensive than Pakistan's.

Less water means less agricultural yields and to fulfill the food requirements of the nation Pakistan will be dependent on other countries.

The water crisis has to be managed, there is no escaping it and it can only get worse if unattended. Pakistan has to construct more reservoirs to save its water amid creating awareness among the masses about the consequences of water wastage.

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