What are the reasons for this?
There are three major reasons. One is bad water management. Existing resources simply aren’t used very judiciously. Because people generally don’t have to pay for water, there is no incentive to use it sparingly. This is why farmers
flood their fields with irrigation water, and urban industries consume well more than they need. Also, water infrastructure is in bad shape, leading to leaky canals and dams.
The second reason for the crisis is population growth. As the population has risen rapidly, demand cannot be met. And the third, more recent, the reason is climate change. Himalayan glaciers, which feed much of Pakistan’s
water supply, are melting rapidly. This leaves much less water on the whole. Riverbeds are drying up across the country. Put together, you have immense demand, aggressive consumption, and inefficient use. The result is intense water stress.
Already affecting the lives of millions of Pakistanis?
Water is the life force of humanity, and so everyone suffers when it becomes so scarce. In a poor country like Pakistan, many cannot turn to bottled water as an alternative. Also, farmers – one of the top sources of
employment in Pakistan are running out of irrigation water and having their livelihoods imperiled. The issue of water pollution further worsens this problem for Pakistan. The sources for water pollution include the overuse of chemical fertilizers, the
dumping of industrial wastes into lakes and rivers, untreated sewage being dumped into the ocean, and contaminated pipelines being used to transport water. The contamination of fresh drinking water makes
it harder for people to find clean water supplies and increases the prevalence of waterborne diseases.
Consequently, most of the reported health problems in Pakistan are either a direct or indirect result of polluted water. The economic implications are clear, you can’t have a sustainable economy if it doesn’t have enough water to power it.
Pakistan runs on an agrarian economy which is deeply imperiled by water loss.
Pakistan needs to stop the blame game to cover up own inabilities
It is imperative that Pakistan makes water management a priority. Failure to do so would jeopardize the country’s national security. Pakistan’s leaders and stakeholders need to declare their intention
to tackle it. Simply blaming previous governments, or blaming India, for the crisis won’t solve anything. The vast majority of Pakistanis probably know that serious environmental damage caused by flooding and heavy rainfall is not caused by
India. Own government’s inability to foresee, prepare and manage is the reason for this looming threat.
does more to blame India than it does to construct any sort of domestic capability aimed at managing existing water supplies. India has built thousands of more dams than Pakistan. Politicians are treating a domestic crisis as a foreign policy problem.
Pakistan needs to focus on the effects that rapid urbanization, poor urban planning, high youth unemployment, the population bomb and
government corruption has on the country’s water problems. It seems that a readjustment of perspective might be a more useful than the blame game.
23 Feb 2019/Saturday Written