Put a STOP to the Water DROP

Water is the precious blessing of nature and life is impossible without water. It is essential for all forms of life on this planet but the water availability is becoming very scarce in Pakistan with the passage of time. Pakistan by birth is an agro-based economy, agriculture contributes for more than 21.8% in GDP and 70% of exports are associated with this sector. A huge amount of total water available in Pakistan (>95%) is consumed by agricultural sector as majority of the country population (>60%) is related to this sector either directly or indirectly. Population and water demand of Pakistan is increasing rapidly but Per capita water availability is decreasing at an alarming rate, posing adverse impacts on country health and economy and leading towards devastation. The reduced water availability will disturb national economy very badly in multiple ways e.g. reduced agricultural production, hydropower generation potential, industrial activity, disease etc. The growth rate of Pakistan reached to 5.7% in 2018 due effective policies of the government.

Water security is becoming a very hot issue especially for Pakistan as Pakistani Government didn’t pay serious attention regarding this issue and India is busy in blocking our water by forming dams on eastern rivers. Per capita, water availability decreased with the passage of time and reached to 1000 cubic meters in 2015 from 5600 cubic meters in 1947 because water is excessively wasted at houses, offices, markets, and factories. Fresh and drinking water is used for washing, gardening, and other non-drinkable purposes. All these activities ranked Pakistan as 3rd water scarce country, placing human survival at risk and halting all development. Indus river and its tributaries, bring 144 MAF of water annually to Pakistan, more than 90% from western rivers and remaining from eastern rivers. 105 MAF is diverted for irrigation. Of the 105 MAF withdrawn by canal network, approximately 42 percent infiltrates to groundwater reservoir while 3 percent is lost as evaporation or through non-beneficial consumption, including unintended vegetation along banks, and breaches etc. in the conveyance network. The balance 55 percent, or 58 MAF, becomes available to farmers for use in the fields by crops.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, a well-known agriculturist said that country’s water storage capacity is decreasing that will badly disturb agricultural and power sector. He said that storage capacity of one of the biggest water project Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam decreased from 9.69 to 6.56 MAF (32%) and 5.34 to 4.41 MAF (18%) respectively.

Pakistan can store only 10% of its annual rivers flow as compared to the world average of 40%. By 2025, more than 31% population of Pakistan will face severing water shortage. This need for serious steps e.g. imposing water conservation strategies e.g. water metering and charging, building of water reservoirs, dams including Kala-Bagh dam and many other water storage projects. The government allocated 79 billion in the 2018-19 budget for water division including 18 billion for completion of DiaMirBhasha Dam and claimed that by completing this dam water storing capacity will increase from 38 days to 45 days against the minimum requirement of 120 days while most of the developed countries have 1-2 years’ water storage capability.

Pakistan is working on water policy since many years and finally formulated Pakistan’s first water policy 2018 in compliance with National Climate Change Policy 2012. This water policy focuses on sustainable use of water resources, increasing the efficiency of the water system, repairing the downstream leakages, smart metering, treating wastewater and creating effective solutions increasing water efficiency.

Pakistan should work on the serious issue of water scarcity on a priority basis to deal with adverse social and economic impacts. There are 26 water projects in the pipeline, construction activities must be completed on priority basis. Siltation of Tarbela and Mangla dam is reducing total water storage capacity. In this regard Kalabagh dam will the best solution to overcome water crisis by storing 3.2 MAF for next 100 years, will also help in generating renewable 3600 MW hydropower and lowering flood risk due to monsoon rainfall.

Sindh will be worst affected if Kalabagh dam not completed on time because of reduced water supply for irrigation. Some NGO’s and politician for their own benefits are opposing kalabagh dam by saying that this will reduce water supply and be leading to saline intrusion. Actually after the construction of this Sindh will receive additional 2.26 MAF water. This will increase average water supply of Sindh from 37% to 40%. Kalabagh and other such water projects must be completed on a priority basis to solve the upcoming water crisis.

 

Water, Water, Everywhere Water but No Drop to Cultivate the Fertile Lands”

History is witness that where the access to irrigation water is sufficient anywhere in any country in the world then the survival is easy & comfortable.

Our treasured Pakistan since its inception have been depending on its economy on agriculture that because we are called an agriculture country. However, agriculture is the backbone of our country’s economy. Agriculture I Pakistan plays a very pivotal & essential role among the lives of common people of all provinces of our state.

If we put our eyes on the previous growth of our agriculture, then we feel a sigh of relief, because life of common people was so good in early days soon after independence.

However, if we shed light on the current scenario of failed policies of our state’s inefficient leaders then we only find wilderness around our country-side.

Among those victim areas of water shortages, Kadhan Union Council, which is located at the coastal belt area of Badin District have been suffering an acute shortage of irrigation water. It’s also in tail end area. The people of this area basically depend on agriculture lands, their survival relates to irrigation water but for many years, they have been suffering from acute shortage of water due to tail-end but our inefficient & incapable rulers have not any solution of their problem, who came close to them and listen their voice.

While seeing the worst condition of these areas, Indus Consortium team of Badin intervened in these area of UC Kadhan, where the project team met with local people and formed the VDOs & LOs.

Since the start of September 2016, Indus Consortium team started to mobilize the local communities for taking self-initiative, so that they might be able to cope their grave issue of water shortage.

Therefore, after formation of Kadhan Alliance & establishment of Alliance Office, they started to work for the solution of water issue.

In this regard, on the plate form of Alliance that held rallies and raised the slogan of “Water, Water, Water but No Drop to cultivate our fertile lands.” They enforced government officials to take a prompt step for their help of bringing the timely water in their water canals, so that they might be able to cultivate their lands

Moreover, in this way, all Alliance members including many other villagers collected the amount of more than 2,00000 rupees on self-help basis for cleansing/disilting the water canal for the purpose of to cultivate their fertile lands.

Finally, their consistent effort brought positive results and consequences. Therefore, within few days they were provided irrigation water in their areas. Villagers of surrounding areas are very pleased.

Nevertheless, Indus Consortium team with their all zeal and zest is feel pleasure through standing by these deprived and marginalized communities of tail-end as well coastal belt communities. Consequently, many other communities from different areas of Badin came closer to the project staff for their help & support to intervene in their areas.

 

10 Things to Conserve Water

 The water crisis is no longer some distant specter of climate change that people can deny. Record high temperatures and low rainfalls have created the perfect storm for the state as farmer’s fields dry up and residential wells have dried up.

Faced with such devastating changes to our environment, it’s natural to wonder what you can do to save water and do your part in helping alleviate the water crisis.

Here are ten things you can do or change to conserve water:

  1. Turn off the tap: Did you know that over half of the water use in the average household takes place in the bathroom? When you’re shaving or brushing your teeth, turn the tap off when you aren’t using the water. This can add up to some big savings.
  2. Shower Smart: According to the EPA, showering accounts for 17% of indoor water use. We can all appreciate a long, hot shower, but it’s important to use water wisely as you do. A low-flow showerhead can save both water and the energy needed to heat the extra water. Just replacing the showerhead with a more eco-friendly option can amount to big savings!
  3. Dishwashers and Laundry: Dishwashers and clothes washers have definitely made life easier for us, but make sure you have a water-efficient model to ensure you’re using the least amount of water needed to complete the task. Also, make sure you only run this appliance when the machine is fully loaded. Washing just a few things isn’t very efficient, after all!
  4. The Great Outdoors: Landscaping can be tricky when there’s not a lot of water to go around. Choose native plants that are best adapted to your environment and its natural rainfall levels. If you do need to water your lawn, it’s best to water between 6 and 10 AM. More cities are imposing watering restrictions on when and how often people can water their lawns, so be sure to check if this is the case in your area.
  5. Fix a Leak: Each year in mid-March is Fix a Leak Week. A slowly dripping faucet may seem harmless enough, but it’s estimated that the average leak can waste about 10,000 gallons of water each year it goes unfixed. Check your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems to make sure they are sound.Environmental Protection Agency / via epa.gov
  6. Buy Less: Everything we produce takes some water to create, so make your purchases with mindfulness. When the option is available, choose recyclable options which allow the materials to be reused and therefore save water when the materials don’t have to be entirely replaced.
  7. Eat Less Animal Products: The production of meat, dairy, and eggs is especially demanding on our water supply. A typical hamburger alone takes about 630 gallons of water to produce!
  8. Compost: Food waste accounts for a large portion of the rubbish that makes it to landfills. Rather than throwing scraps and leftovers down the garbage disposal and using lots of water to flush the food away, you can make a more eco-friendly choice by choosing to compost organic material.These positive changes can help conserve water in your home and daily routine which in turn can save you some money and really help your community.

What Is Your Defination Of Water Shortage?

“What is your take on the global water shortage?” Many believed that people are not aware of the issue, or they think such a scenario wouldn’t affect them. After pondering on this question for a few minutes, I realized, this question will be on every mainstream media in the next 15 to 20 years.

In many lower-income countries where water access is a big problem, people are familiar with the idea of global water shortages. In Pakistan, it feels like the general public is more aware of global water shortages existing primarily in other countries and especially about the water shortage conditions surrounding them. There can be a shortage of water in a household, or in a community or at a larger level like in shape of drought. 

Let us first define global water shortage. If we ask any common man in Pakistan, water shortage is a lack of excess of safe potable water. There are 800,00 people globally who do not have access to water. Some people don’t have water because they can’t afford systems to convey and treat water or they live in locations where water is physically scarce. Some believe and it is a fact that globally water shortage is due to the effects of climate change, population growth, population growth, urban sprawl, human migration, pollution, lack of resources, competition, corruption and bad goverance. 

Climate change could result in longer periods of drought or intense flood events and people will experience water supply variability. Population growth and human migration, pollution from factories and homes, and competition among water users will further limit available water resources.

There are two areas of concern when thinking about a global water shortage from a North American perspective:

1) ensuring all people have equitable access to water supplies globally, and

2) ensuring that we  are learning conservation methods and preparing for times of water scarcity.

But when we turn on the tap, we don’t understand how using less water will help our community or how learning water conservation techniques could help our community. This might arise from a lack of understanding about local water policies, the energy used to treat water. 

People don’t realize how what they do is connected to the bigger picture. For example, using less water requires the municipality to treat less water which will use less energy which could mean less gas extracted for energy production. 

 What is your definition of a global water shortage?