Saturday Sep 16, 2017
Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has made a grim forecast which states that the country could face mass droughts by the year 2025, according to the Independent.
Experts have warned that the country will approach the “absolute scarcity” level of water by 2025.
A government official, who requested to remain unnamed, said an urgent research is required to find a solution but the government doesn’t have enough funds to do so.
With rainfall steadily declining and the only source of water for the country being the Indus River basin in India, the world’s fourth highest water consumer is likely to be faced with a huge challenge in the near future.
Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, is home to an estimated two million people. A majority of the city’s residents do not have access to running water after the land has gradually dried up, forcing many residents to queue for hours for supplies to be given to them.
Former chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority in the country, Shamsul Mulk said water policy is ‘simply non-existent in Pakistan.’ Policymakers act like ‘absentee landlords’ over water, he said.
“Because of this absentee landlordism, water has become the property of the landlords and the poor are deprived of their share."
According to experts, a rapidly growing population and urbanization are the main reasons behind the crisis. Climate change and poor water management have exacerbated the issue.
Energy sector expert Irfan Choudhry said the authorities appear to lack the political will to tackle the problem.
“There are no proper water storage facilities in the country. Pakistan hasn't built new dams since the 1960s. What we see is political bickering over the issue. The authorities need to act now. We can store water for only 30 days, and it is worrisome,” Choudhry told local media.
Some politicians believe “massive corruption” in the water sector has worsened the issue, with some seeking to profiteer from the scarcity of a vital resource.
A recent report disclosed that 90 per cent of drinking water samples collected from Karachi are unfit for human consumption and a significant portion is tainted with human waste.
Human waste was found in 33pc of water samples collected from Karachi, according to the report.