Pakistan Observer: With the country slowly slipping down the scarcity bench mark, Pakistan will be facing severe water crisis in coming years. The alarm bells are ringing and in most of urban areas, the residents complain of water shortage, especially in summers.
This situation will gradually extend to our agriculture sector – the backbone of economy threatening of reduced agricultural produce and food shortage. Statistics available with the Ministry of Climate Change, the United Nations and some other related government departments reveal that imprudent use of water resources had resulted in multiple challenges for the nation.
Water availability, which stood at 5300 meter cube per person per year in 1950, declined to almost 1000 meter cube per capita in 2011 – just touching the globally set water scarcity level. The experts believe that water availability level will further go down in coming years due to massive wastage and rising population.
It has also been predicted that average agriculture produce will decrease in Pakistan by one fourth till 2050 due to water shortage and these estimates have predicted increased poverty and hunger in Pakistan. The experts have pleaded that over pumping was depleting the ground water resource while 5000 million gallon used and untreated waste water is discharged into rivers and lakes polluting the very source meant for recharging the ground water. Water borne diseases cause the death of 250,000 children every year and overall cost for mismanagement of water resource and treating water and sanitation related diseases has been estimated at Rs 114 billion annually.
Pollution and misuse are two major factors eating up our clean water resource fast; and our houses, agriculture and industry continuously contaminate our valuable water resource. It is astonishing that out of 200 liter water used per person per day, only 10 percent is consumed properly. The statistics gathered by different organizations about drinking quality water waste per day in Pakistan state that Pakistanis daily use 3400 million gallon water for flushing their toilets, use 2500 million gallon to take shower and 85 million gallon to brush their teeth. Moreover, 7000 million gallon water is used everyday across Pakistan to wash the cars and vehicles.
This is obviously an alarming trend and careless too as being a bit careful and showing responsibility to our present and coming generations, Pakistanis can save sufficient water for socio-economic prosperity and food security. Water experts have pleaded that by prudently using water resource in car wash, toilets and other in-house activities and discharging treated water into streams and rivers, can help save 10000 gallon water out of over mentioned 13000 gallons used daily.
According to the United Nations, Pakistan is now gradually slipping down the scarcity level and is among those countries, which will face water crisis in coming years. This situation will further aggravate with the impact of climate change to which Pakistan is again among the most vulnerable countries. In this scenario, it is imperative to conserve our water resources, promote prudent practices, build more water reservoirs and exploit modern technology and use biological methods to explore new resources of water.
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