Water Issue and Our National Impasse

Out of 75% of total water on earth, there is only 3% of pure water present. Of that 3% Fresh Water, 70% is locked in glaciers, 29% is found underground in aquifers and 1% is found in lakes, rivers, & streams

Looking into the increasing world population and careless use of pure water in different areas of the world which puts further check on the future of human lives, Scientists have already predicted horrible stats about the near future of world related to water scarcity and developing world regions will be the primary target of water issues. Pakistan lies in the region of developing states and it faced severe water crises in last two to three decades. The shameful part of the journey is that despite the fact that immense negative effect of water crises in Pakistan, counting from economy up to the lower level of individual lives, everything remains under short of the target. Country agriculture sector which is known as the backbone of our economy. It offers almost 40% of national employments but it is declining due to seriousness in the crises of water in the whole country. Moreover, according to the Pakistan’s economic survey, Agricultural contribution in the overall economic muscles remain to contain up to less the 19% and cost 0.5 percent negative decline in the budget.

No doubt the current time has proven bitter for many development states in to cope with water crises but Pakistan has God gifted natural resources from every perspective. If we look into the overall water resources which Pakistan have, anybody can clearly assume that where the fault lies.

Globally there is 3395 MAF of water present.Whole Asian region has 5900 MAF water Pakistan shares it 145 MAF in the south Asian region.

In a whole year, only 20% of water remains available for use from 15 June up to 15 September and after this period the remaining water flow in the foam of floods which causes the destruction of the canal system in the whole country. 80% of water is getting wasted every year due to lack of reserving capacity. Out of total reserved water, agricultural sector consumes up to 90% water of the system and reaming percent of water get distribute among domestic and industrial sectors. System loss is also one of the major flaws in order to reserve enough water. Evaporation process of water add further resistance to the overall water reserving capacity Distribution of water among provinces also remains an issue of attention but Government established Haleem commission in 1991 which solved the reservation of provinces over water distribution.

According to the commission respective percentage of water been allotted to provinces and it was a successful accord in order to solve the contempt of provinces against one another.

Punjab 55%, Sindh 48.76% KPK 8.7% Baluchistan 3.8% (ISRA)

 Currency of the issue

The country is facing the burden of economic down fall. Textile agricultural sectors are completely out capacity in order to perfume on standard bases. Major investing groups are approaching for the alternative to shifting their capital abroad anywhere. In short past time, Bangladesh proved to be the better alternative option for the textile sector from Pakistan. There is a lack of water reservoirs and Pakistan has not enough capacity to reserve water for more than 20 days, unlike India which is increasing its water reserving capacity day by day and currently India have the capacity to reserve water for more than 120 days.

The government should have to focus on the construction of small and middle level of water reservoirs in the whole country. It’s much needed to increase the capacity of river water storage from 10 % up to 20 or 25% in the future.

World Bank Report on Water and Power Resources of West Pakistan by Peter Lieftinck (1969)

“Pakistan should be building at least one reservoir for storage of about 6 MAF of water every decade in the foreseeable future.’’

Canal water is short due to increasing cropping intensity (130% in 1988 to 175% at present). Agricultural downfall is also alarming for the future requirement of food in the country. Up till now, the government has not come with any alternative policies in order to change the mood of cultivation and do some experiment to cultivate different crops which can be suitable for seasonal conditions and consume less water. Israel has banned the cultivation of potato because it consumes more water to grow. Same as Pakistan can come up with the different alternative option to lessen the waste of water and save more.

Way forward

Since water issue is becoming a bottle neck for our national security. There is need to compromise on the ethical and provincial contempt and join the collective struggle to find out the solution of our national issues there water is one of the major and it yields further problems. There is enough water present under the ground. Tube well and home underground well water system should be formulated for the means to overcome water crises in backward areas of the country. There should be proper treatment of water pipeline to avoid waste of water through the system.

Furthermore, it’s very must to create awareness in public that how water is important for their lives and how it means to their future because without creating the culture of water saving among the general public, it fails to struggle to implement any policy and get desired result. The active participating of the public can support government planning process to avoid growing question to our national origin due to water crises.

A Committee of Chief Ministers under Council of Common Interests (CCI) to deal with water issues especially construction of new water storages

  • Rationalization of water pricing
  • Regulation of sub-soil water extraction
  • Canal lining
  • Action plan for the treatment of effluent generated by industry, agriculture & municipal use
  • Strengthening IRSA
  • Adoption of latest technologies in consultation with Provinces to bring transparency and access to all on water issues



Unseen force behind rising food price

We usually get a sneaking suspicion every time we go to shop for groceries (fruits, vegetables). Food generally costs more than it did a year ago. Global food production is struggling to keep pace with rise in demand for commodities. This leads to increase in price of commodities.

Government and consumer are decrying about the steady increase in food prices. However many groups of NGOs are taking a hard look at some of the factors that contribute to linkage of increase in commodity price and climate change.

Climate Change has environmental and socioeconomic outcomes for agriculture. There is change in quality and availability of land, soil and water resources. This later reflects in crop performance which causes price to rise. Conditions of climate change force farmers to continually adapt their agricultural productions particularly in decline or rise in water availability.

Primary and Secondary data sources believe that climate change has been attributed to greater inconsistencies in agricultural condition. It ranges from erratic flood and drought cycles to longer growing seasons. This impacts the supply in market of food commodities to be less as compared to before, leading to increase in demand and prices. Rising food cost impacts every person across the globe. It diminishes the ability of millions of families to meet the other essential needs.

The truth is that we will probably not be able to stop the climate change to any significant degree to bring the food yields to what we need. The biggest concern is probably in developing countries that rely more on grains. We may need to find different ways to grow the grains we need to supply the growth in population. Maybe developing controlled environment grow houses that can grow all year long will help. These would also help with employment. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Climate Change and Realities of Pakistan

Climate change is an established fact. It has lot of impact on water, agriculture, forest, health and socio economic sectors are visible around the world.  Developing and least developed countries are suffering more due to climate change as compared to developed countries. This is true if we scale down this fact to the community level, in case of any climatic anomaly the poor people face the consequences due to lack of resources and access to information.

Pakistan has generally a warm climate and is vulnerable to climate change. Pakistan lies in a geographical region where the temperature increases are expected to be higher than the global average.  Land is mostly semi arid and arid. Rivers are predominantly fed by the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalayan glacier. Important point to be notes is they too are receding rapidly due to the global warming.  It has highly sensitive climate and economy is largely agrarian. Pakistan furthermore faces large risk of variability in monsoon rains and this there is occurrence of floods and extended droughts. Some serious threats that have come forward are water, flood, and energy crisis. These problems are risk to coastal areas and Indus Delta region due to rise to sea level rise, saline sea water intrusion, coastal erosion and increasing cyclonic activity in Arabia Sea.

There is so much on the plate. Some measures need to be taken in order to eradicate or have some control on things that affect us. Policies need to be devised by taking considerate actions for food, water and energy security. It can be done in a consultative manner in which all relevant stakeholders are taken on board.

According to me capacity building of vulnerable communities and adaptation measures should be adopted that goes along with socio economic realities of the beneficiaries.