Recently IMF placed Pakistan at “third” position in those countries which are facing water shortage. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and United Nations also warned if the government does not take action, the country will be run out of water by 2025. The water crisis are already impacting on the public health.
According to the researchers, in the next 30 years, climate change is likely to increase water demand between 5 to 15 percent in Pakistan.
More than 80 percent of water supplied is considered unsafe and contains waterborne diseases and poor water management is estimated in a loss of up to 1.44 percent of GDP.
In Pakistan almost 95 percent water is used for agriculture, with 60 percent of its population directly involved in agriculture and livestock. Despite having the world’s largest glaciers, Pakistan is among the world’s 36 most water-stressed countries. As the population rapidly increases, water demand is projected to far outstrip supply. As this happens—coupled with strained relations with the country’s neighbors over transboundary water resources—the water crisis is posing a threat to the country’s future security, stability, and sustainability. Immediate coordination, planning and implementation required to avert disaster.
Experts state that the current situation is because of the urbanization and the increase in the population.
Pakistan needs to take some sustainable steps to improve the current situation. The smarter and minimum water use practices needs to apply.
The focus about the future reforms however should be on improving efficient utilization of water especially in the agriculture sector which continues to be the largest consumer of water while escaping taxation (or lightly taxed at the provincial level). Besides pricing incentives, maintaining infrastructure and innovation have an important role to play in water management and conservation.
Direct seeding drip irrigation should be encouraged and emphasized which increase the efficiency of water usage in agriculture sector. Innovative methods in water conservation, recycling, wastewater management, water treatment, and rain water harvesting should become realities in cities and towns.
Various stake holders should get engage at the local level in water management and the capacity building training should be given to the institution. The campaigns which focused on awareness and behavioral change should represent an important part of the water policy of government.
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