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Growing Water Crisis Poses Existential Threat to Pakistan

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Pakistan has increasingly been suffering from cycles of severe droughts followed by massive floods in the last few years. This recurring pattern of shortage and excess of water gives us a preview of the growing challenge of climate change. This situation calls for a comprehensive water management effort to deal with a potentially existential threat to Pakistan.

Flood-Drought Cycles:

Pakistan Sinking Into Water Crisis

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VIENNA, Feb 10, 2011 (IPS) - Pakistan is still reeling from flooding that caused one of the world’s costliest natural disasters in 2010, with millions of people lacking shelter, infrastructure in ruins and donations falling short of appeals. But worse may come.

The United Nations’ disaster coordination agency announced on Jan. 24 that the Pakistan floods caused damages of at least 9.5 billion dollars - the world’s third costliest natural disaster in 2010 - and killed 1,985 people - the fourth deadliest in a year of cataclysmic events.

Sanitation, drinking water issues top priority, says Afridi

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Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi on Thursday said that development of a management information system (MIS) for water and sanitation sectors would contribute to better planning and decision-making on nationwide provision of safe drinking water and sanitation services.

He also said the MIS development along with the launch of a website on water and sanitation situation in Pakistan (WATSAN) by the ministry would help meet millennium development goals (MDGs).

Water crisis in Pakistan agriculture

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Water is an important component of life. Allah has created every moving (living) creature from water (Surah 24, An-Nur, Ayet 45). We need about 15 glasses of water daily and human body contains about 60% of water. Without food we can survive for nearly 80 days, but only a few days without water. Fresh water for human and agriculture use is only 0.008 % on the earth. A shortage of fresh water is probably going to be most serious resource problem the world will face after a few years from now.

Pakistan and water issue

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ACCORDING to a report (Dec 6), the government intends “to introduce new water operating rules, to give priority to use of additional storages for hydropower production over the historic principle of ‘water for agriculture’ and encourage low water-consuming provinces to sell their unutilised shares to needy provinces. Under this new approach, the two larger provinces could bring into their use the unutilised shares of the smaller provinces against a system of payment and compensation to be developed through political and technical negotiations.”

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