Pakistan Has Only a Month’s Worth of Water Left

Feb 5th, 2014 | By | Category: Pakistan, Water

04-pakistan-flag-600In a shocking report, it has emerged that Pakistan is left with “one month of water supply” on hand. According to a 2013 report from the Asian Development Bank, 80 percent of Pakistan’s agriculture relies on irrigation from the overstressed water system. Pakistan’s average temperature is likely to increase around 3 degrees Celsius within the next 50 years, that’s why people, especially in rural areas, have already started migrating out of the country for these reasons.

Another worrisome news is for those whose major source of income comes from timber industry, because deforestation is a major problem. The report says that Pakistan manages to retain only two and five percent of its tree cover. With high population, timber mafia and flooding due to deforestation, Pakistan has lot of major challenges before combating the climate change woes. In December last year, the World Bank gave Pakistan nearly $4 million to study deforestation and how to address it.

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2 Comments to “Pakistan Has Only a Month’s Worth of Water Left”

  1. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg says:

    My thesis: Human impact on precipitation is associated both with 1) global warming resulting from anthropogenic greenhouse gases that necessarily includes water vapour; and 2) ecological changes brought about by excessive deforestation that has caused expansion of the heat zonewhich drives the monsoon engine.

    The direct and indirect impacts, I reiterate, are all human interventions that are the cause and effect of both global warming and ecological changes.

    By reducing the flow downstream those governing the affairs of the country have caused the death of the Indus delta. But this is not all; the New Theory on Climate Change, [http://www.downtoearth.org.in/comment/reply/38648/6190; http://www.downtoearth.org.in/comment/reply/38648/6454%5D, has shown that no flow has increased the salinity of the sea all along the coastal zone. The hypersalinity is responsible for lowering the specific heat capacity of seawater from 4.186 to 3.88; the difference though slight suggests that the seawater in the coastal zone will vaporize faster than at the open seas. The high temperatures of the heat zone that is now spread over the arid zone of Balochistan-Sindh-Southern Punjab (that drives the monsoon engine) is considered sufficient to raise the temperature of the Arabian Sea by 1oC to 1.5oC as also reported by the IMD. The ultimate result of degradation caused by anthropogenic activity, in this case by the irrigation network and rampant deforestation, is that there will be more vapour over the seas and hence in the troposphere, which when saturated by excessive water vapour will induce heavy precipitation in the form of excessive rainfall and snowfall. The impact of excessive vapour is cause for the abnormalities observed as heavy rainfall and equally heavy snowfall.

    Construction of dams over the Himalayas has already resulted in deforestation of the Himalayas and substantial reduction in its forest area. According to Dr. Reddy, the IMD had in the 1970s, indicated that there would be reduction in rainfall with deforestation in Simla forest area of the Himalayas.

    According to estimates by Conservation Biology in December 2012, 90 per cent of valleys and 25 per cent of dense forests in the Indian Himalayas would be affected, while over 54,117 hectares of forests would get submerged, and 114,361 hectares would be damaged by dam-related activities, totaling about 170,000 hectares.

    In Pakistan there has been a gross impoverishment of resources. We started as a water rich country but now we are a water starved country. We have dammed the rivers and left the delta to die. Yes the delta is there no more; the sea has intruded way inland about 150 km. This is not all we have used tubewells to extract whatever quantity of water is available underground.

    But water resource is not the only one that has been impoverished, the natural gas, the oil reserves have been overexploited and now we are faced with 8-hours load-shedding. That has led to impoverishment of forest resources. We have cut down the trees by their roots

    It may be too early to say and may sound absurd, but the observation: “Dam the Rivers – Damn the Land – damn the forest – Seas & damn all the resources” indicates that in the not too distant future the process of desertification will engulf the whole country.

    Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
    Former Director General PCSIR
    Karachi, Pakistan
    arshadalibeg@gmail.com

  2. My thesis: Human impact on precipitation is associated both with 1) global warming resulting from anthropogenic greenhouse gases that necessarily includes water vapour; and 2) ecological changes brought about by excessive deforestation that has caused expansion of the heat zonewhich drives the monsoon engine.

    The direct and indirect impacts, I reiterate, are all human interventions that are the cause and effect of both global warming and ecological changes.

    By reducing the flow downstream those governing the affairs of the country have caused the death of the Indus delta. But this is not all; the New Theory on Climate Change, [http://www.downtoearth.org.in/comment/reply/38648/6190; http://www.downtoearth.org.in/comment/reply/38648/6454, has shown that no flow has increased the salinity of the sea all along the coastal zone. The hypersalinity is responsible for lowering the specific heat capacity of seawater from 4.186 to 3.88; the difference though slight suggests that the seawater in the coastal zone will vaporize faster than at the open seas. The high temperatures of the heat zone that is now spread over the arid zone of Balochistan-Sindh-Southern Punjab (that drives the monsoon engine) is considered sufficient to raise the temperature of the Arabian Sea by 1oC to 1.5oC as also reported by the IMD. The ultimate result of degradation caused by anthropogenic activity, in this case by the irrigation network and rampant deforestation, is that there will be more vapour over the seas and hence in the troposphere, which when saturated by excessive water vapour will induce heavy precipitation in the form of excessive rainfall and snowfall. The impact of excessive vapour is cause for the abnormalities observed as heavy rainfall and equally heavy snowfall.

    Construction of dams over the Himalayas has already resulted in deforestation of the Himalayas and substantial reduction in its forest area. According to Dr. Reddy, the IMD had in the 1970s, indicated that there would be reduction in rainfall with deforestation in Simla forest area of the Himalayas.

    According to estimates by Conservation Biology in December 2012, 90 per cent of valleys and 25 per cent of dense forests in the Indian Himalayas would be affected, while over 54,117 hectares of forests would get submerged, and 114,361 hectares would be damaged by dam-related activities, totaling about 170,000 hectares.

    In Pakistan there has been a gross impoverishment of resources. We started as a water rich country but now we are a water starved country. We have dammed the rivers and left the delta to die. Yes the delta is there no more; the sea has intruded way inland about 150 km. This is not all we have used tubewells to extract whatever quantity of water is available underground.

    But water resource is not the only one that has been impoverished, the natural gas, the oil reserves have been overexploited and now we are faced with 8-hours load-shedding. That has led to impoverishment of forest resources. We have cut down the trees by their roots

    It may be too early to say and may sound absurd, but the observation: “Dam the Rivers – Damn the Land – damn the forest – Seas & damn all the resources” indicates that in the not too distant future the process of desertification will engulf the whole country.

    Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
    Former Director General PCSIR
    Karachi, Pakistan
    arshadalibeg@gmail.com

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