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Pakistan Facing Acute Water Paucity

The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have termed Pakistan as one of the most “water stressed” countries in the world, which is likely to face an acute water shortage over the next five years due to lack of water availability for irrigation, industry and human consumption.

Water supply in Pakistan fell from 5,000 cubic meters per capita to 1,000 cubic meters in 2010, and is likely to further reduce to 800 cubic meters per capita by 2020, WB’s reports states.

According to Falkenmark Water Stress Indicator, a country or region is said to experience “water stress” when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters per person per year. When water supplies drop below 1,000 cubic meters per person per year, the country faces “water scarcity”.

Being wary of the exigent situation, experts have stressed for inculcating a sense of civic responsibility among the masses to sensibly utilise water as the country has been declared one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Importance of water - a lifeline for the existence of every specie on earth - is yet to be taken seriously in Pakistan given the unscrupulous use of this essential commodity everywhere.

In Pakistan, water is excessively wasted at houses, offices, markets, factories. Fresh and drinking water is used for washing, gardening and other non-drinkable purposes. Besides wastage, burgeoning population, climate change, lack of water reservoirs, and manipulation of Jhelum and Chenab rivers by India are other key factors squeezing water availability in Pakistan. In Islamabad alone, upto 30 million gallons of water are wasted daily owing to shabby pipelines. This quantity is equivalent to the water stored in Simla Dam.