The People of Pakistan want Dams and Water Recycling Plants constructed on priority!

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According to Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) water pumped from natural underground reservoirs in Pakistan is more than 60%. In the report PCRWR claimed that Pakistan touched the “water stress line” level in year 1990 and in 2005 crossed the “water scarcity line”.

Pakistan depends mostly on a single source which is the Indus system and its tributaries for most of its water needs. The availability of water in the Indus system depends mostly by the snow and glacier melt in the greater Himalayas. It is also highly seasonal with around 85% of annual river flows occurring between the period of June-September, which overlaps with the concentration of rainfall in the monsoon season.

With rain and snowfall declining in Pakistan, glaciers melting fast and reliance on a single source of Indus River Basin with its head works in India, experts are claiming that Pakistan is bound to face acute water crisis in coming years if proper steps are not taken to conserve and recycle water. Currently there is no mechanism in work in Pakistan to save the water from natural resources. If water is not conserved and used carefully in Pakistan, not only the availability of drinking water is to be drastically reduced but agricultural products will also take a hit.

According to a news article published by ‘The Independent’, Shamsul Mulk, former chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority in the country, said water policy is simply non-existent in Pakistan. Energy sector expert Irfan Choudhry said the authorities appear to lack the political will to tackle the problem (Cited from The Independent).

As per a news story published on ‘The Express Tribune’, the water of the Indus River is the best drinking water, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) but we have been destroying it, said Mehran University professor Dr Ahsan Siddiqui. As per LUMS Professor Dr Mehmood Ahmed Not even one sewerage water treatment plant is working in Sindh and as a result, polluted water is being dumped in canals, rivers and the sea, which is destroying the environment rapidly, he lamented. (Cited from The Express Tribune)

According to a recent Reuters report, India this year fast-tracked $15 billion worth of dam projects on its side of Kashmir, despite fears from Islamabad that the power stations will disrupt vital Indus water flows into Pakistan (Cited from Reuters).

Some of the facts mentioned in the recently published IMF report on ISSUES IN MANAGING WATER CHALLENGES AND POLICY INSTRUMENTS: REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES AND CASE STUDIES are as follows;

  • Despite having the world’s largest glaciers, Pakistan is facing the prospect of water scarcity.
  • Pakistan is among the world’s 36 most water-stressed countries, with its agricultural, domestic, and industry sectors scoring high on the World Resource Institute’s water stress index.
  • Per capita annual water availability has dropped, fundamentally due to population growth, from 5,600 cubic meters at independence to the current level of 1,017 cubic meters, and is projected to decline further under the current infrastructure and institutional conditions.
  •  Demand for water is on the rise, projected to reach 274 million acre-feet (MAF) by 2025, while supply is expected to remain stagnant at 191 MAF, resulting in a demand-supply gap of approximately 83 MAF.
  • Pakistan is exposed to extreme weather conditions, including severe episodes of floods and droughts that wreak significant damage on the country’s agricultural, livestock, and water infrastructure. Much of these costs have been attributed to lack of adequate storage capacity and control structures.
  • Total dam storage in Pakistan represents only 30 days of average demand, compared to 1,000 days for Egypt and 220 days for India.

It all comes down to this, as there hasn’t been much work done by the previous governments on the construction of huge water reservoirs, dams and water recycling plants because their priorities were not set right. Pakistan has not built any major water reservoir since Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam were built in the 1960's. We the people of Pakistan demand that the newly elected government of Pakistan should duly take notice of this issue looming over the whole country and take a paradigm shift in re-framing water management and policy in a national context that is focused on demand based measures that would promote conservation of water resources, construction of irrigation system, lakes, hydro-power projects and water recycling plants. Drastic measures need to be taken to address this crisis beforehand with measures not just limited to meetings and paperwork but properly implemented and executed.

This petition is to show public awareness of the water crisis and the will and demand of People of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The support and signings by the People of Pakistan for this petition will echo in all the right places and I being a Pakistani will not stop raising my voice on such a sensitive issue that is not only going to affect us but our coming generations as well. This petition and movement is not only for us but our future generations as well! Pakistan Zindabad!

 



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