Monday, August 24, 2009

Water Shortage in Pakistan

Quoting from a World Bank's 2005's study, the Center for Research & Security Studies has identified the coming crisis of water in Pakistan. This report, which is titled Pakistan Will Cry for Water, describes how Pakistan is changing from 'water scarce' country to 'waster stressed' country.

This report goes on to describe that lack of a comprehensive water strategy, public's insensitivity and wastage of water and out of control population are some of the reasons that clean drinking water, or water in general is on the decline in Pakistan.

Obviously, Pakistan is not the only country that is faced with this shortage. But, the fact that Pakistan is more water stressed than Ethiopia according to the same report is alarming. In fact, not only is the World Bank worried about this crisis, but the UN is also concerned about this problem in Pakistan. The report states the concern as below:

In addition to the World Bank report, the UN's World Water Development Report states that the "total actual renewable water resources in Pakistan decreased from 2,961 cubic meters per capita in 2000 to 1,420 cubic meters in 2005." That indeed is a 50 percent drop in actual renewable water resources over a mere 5-year period-and an additional 50 percent drop is bound to strangle Pakistan's water-based economic activities by year 2015.

Another good read about this frightening prospect is a piece by Farrukh Sohail Goindi titled Water Crisis in Pakistan which details everything wrong that the country has done to waster and destroy water resources in the country.

This surely is very worrisome to everyone who wants Pakistan to succeed. What this shortage means is that even if Pakistan successfully defeats the Taliban, manages to lower the inflation, controls population explosion, and the country becomes stable politically, socially, and culturally, this water shortage would destroy all other gains in every other field. Yet, I don't see anyone in the country hitting the panic button to educate the population to conserve water. I also don't see any effort by the government, or by the opposition to develop a practical response to tackle the worsening water shortage in the country. Currently, everyone is focused on power shortage, which in itself is a serious challenge. And the country has to prepare itself for responding to all the challenges, i.e. water shortage, electricity shortage, lack of economic opportunities for youngsters, the Taliban threat, out of control population etc without wasting even a single moment. But as for as water shortage goes, CSS Forum has posted a detailed plan on its website and it would be wise for Islamabad to at least look at it. It is titled Water Crisis in Pakistan and its remedies.

Hopefully, someone, anyone concerned with Pakistan's future and for the millions of people living in the country would read it!

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