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?

Water Crisis in Pakistan

“Water is precious, use it wisely” says a notice placed in the bathroom of a five star hotel. There could not be a sounder piece of advice but it should be given not only to the guests of the five star hotels but also to the entire citizenry of Pakistan. Pakistan is rapidly moving to the situation when it will begin to be ranked among the countries that have severe shortages of fresh water. Wise use of this precious resource is one way of dealing with this crisis.

Man is a pre-eminently an animal good at gadgets. Man uses water much in the same way as other animals; he has to drink it constantly, washes in it frequently, and drowns in it occasionally – probably oftener than other terrestrial vertebrates. Without water, he dies as miserably as any other beast and with too much of it, as in floods, he is equally unable to cope. However, he excels other animals in that he has learned to utilize waterpower.
There are three basic uses of water in the modern civilization– agriculture, industry and human consumption. Using water wisely in these three uses is one way of saving the country from economic and social disaster.

Water is one of the most important natural resource and the major driving force for the economy of Pakistan. Only a few decades ago, Pakistan was considered to have abundance of good quality water. Now, however, in many other area of the world, population growth, economic development, rapid urbanization and industrialization, are applying continuous pressure on the already limited water resources of Pakistan.

Pakistan is now towards a serious shortage of water. In 1951, per capita surface water availability for irrigation was estimated at 5650 cubic metres; this declined sharply to only 1350 cubic metres per head in 2002. The minimum amount that should be available is 1000 cubic metres. 2012, Pakistan will have reached the stage of “acute water shortage”.


• Pakistan has exhausted its current water capability and needs to take immediate measure to sustain its water-driven economy.
• Pakistan only stores 30 days of river water. India stores 120 to 220 days, Colorado River in the US stores 900 days.
• Pakistan’s per capita water storage is just 150 cubic meters while that of China is 2200, Australia 5000 and the US is 5000.
Pakistan’s economy can only be propelled into future only through building new water projects and canals.


President Musharraf said, “Water and energy are matters of life and death for us. We have to build all dams. We have lagged far behind and have to work at a fast pace to catch up with the rest of the world.”

We are facing an existing water shortage by 9 million-acre feet and by 2020 this short fall will be up to 20 maf. Constructing two to three dams is inevitable for us by the year 2020. By building mega water reservoirs our canals will become perennial and no longer be seasonal. New reservoirs will generate 10000 mw of power, which would certainly bring down the rate of electricity. One dam will bring an additional 2 maf of water to Sindh, two dams will fetch 4 maf and another dam will bring water equal to storage capacity of Mangla Dam.

Apart from Diamer-Bhasha and Kalabagh, the water vision envisages construction of Akori, Munda and Kuram Tungi Dams by the year 2016.


Tariq Hameed, Chairman Wapda says,“Pakistan is fortunate that nature has bestowed it with abundant water reservoirs. It is now up to us to harness these resources for the economic development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.”

1) Presently, out of total cultivable land of 77.1 million acres, we are only cultivating 54.5 million acres because of shortage of water.
2) With the increase in population, Pakistan will have a shortfall of 11 million tons of major food grains by 2010 and 16 million tons by 2020. This food grain deficit will increase to 28 million tons by 2025.
3) High power tariff burdening consumers can be reduced by correcting hydel-thermal generation ratio of 30-70, which used to be the opposite in 1970.
4) Only 14 % of Pakistan’s total hydropower potential of 50,000 mw being tapped at present.
5) Average hydel generation unit cost for new projects is Rs. 1.00/KWH against Rs. 7.00/KWH for new oil based thermal generation.
6) Pakistan’s electricity demand and increasing by 7 % per annum.
7) Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy; 23.3 % of GDP.
8) 64 % Pakistanis depend on agriculture.
9) 60-70 % of exports depend on it.

10) Pakistan today is among one of the world’s fastest growing populations now estimated at over 150 million. Due to the lack of large river regulation capability through sizable storages, the country is facing serious shortages in food grains. Given the present trend, Pakistan could soon become one of the food deficit countries in the near future. Therefore, there is a dire need to build storages for augmenting agriculture production. Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma reservoirs have already lost about 5 maf due to sedimentation. It is estimated that by the year 2012, this loss would increase to the original combined capacity of Mangla and Chashma reservoirs.

11) Industrial expansion and growth essential for economic development and prosperity.
12) It will provide the better clean environment for the human beings.
13) Reduction in barren lands.
14) To control flooding and manage rivers.
15) The completion by India of Wuller, Buglihar and Krishenganga, Uri-11 Pakaldul and Burser projects on the western rivers of Indus, Jehlum and Chenab to which Pakistan has the exclusive right according to the 1960 Indus Basin Water Treaty, will also create serious water shortage.

1) Hydropower Generation

High power tariff, which is a burden on consumer, can be reduced by correcting hydel thermal generation ratio of 30-70, which used to be the opposite in 1970. Only 40% of Pakistan’s total hydro power potential of 50000MW is being tapped at present. Average hydel generation cost for new projects is Rs 1.007/Kwh as against Rs 7/Kwh for new oil base thermal generation. Pakistan’s electricity demands are increasing by 7% per annum.

Saving import of fuel for thermal power plants reduce cost of electrically i.e. Rs1/Kwh. Electrification of industries of towns and villages. Reduces cost of electricity help manufacturers.

2) Agriculture
Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. 23.3% of GDP, 64% Pakistanis depend directly on agriculture. 60-70% exports depend on it. Water is a life line for agriculture. Average rainfall of Pakistan is below Avg. Thus, water storage is needed for agriculture as it is a precious resource and we should not waste a drop of it.

Out of Pakistan total geographical area only 17.1Macre is suitable for agriculture. A total of 44.4Macres of agriculture land is irrigated besides only 10Macres Barani land under cultivation. If water is available the remaining 22.6Macres of land(29% of total suitable area for agriculture) can turn productive if no additional water is tapped. It means that 1/3 of agriculture potential will remain untapped.

3) Industry
4) Drinking Water And Sanitation

Pakistan’s population is increasing by over 2% per year requiring availability of more clean drinking water. Cities, towns, Villages expanding requiring more water for sanitation purposes.
Implementation of clean drinking water schemes possible with availability of more water.

5) Environment

Better clean environment for humans. Reduction in barren land. Controlled rivers and canals.
More land area under cultivation, greenery and habitation to improve better water management and cleanliness. More forests and eco system preservation and flood control.



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