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SUBJECT : Pakistan Studies for grades 10 and 11.

BASIC:
SUBSTANSIVE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER: The content of Right to water should be defined as access water in adequate quality and sufficient quantity to meet basic needs. All three aspects are closely tied to sustainable development and management of physical environment. These are: • Accessibility: water must be : within safe physical reach of all affordable to all accessible to all in law and in fact Adequate quality: water must be safe for domestic and personal use Quantity: water supply must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic reasons.

ISSUE: WATER SHORTAGE IN PAKISTAN:
The annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan, 2003-2004 stated that “ the Per capita water availability is declining in Pakistan over the time due to the

combined impact of rising population, falling water flows and erosion in the storage capacity. The per capita water availability has declined low from 2002.6 cubic meters in 1950-51 to 1136.5 cubic meters in 2003-04.” To over come such problems, plans have been decided upon since the time of partition whereas they still have not been executed. Another step towards the aim to curb water shortage is being taken as discussed in the article below:

Article one:

ENVIRONMENT-PAKISTAN: Drip Irrigation - Answer to Water Shortages
By Irfan Ahmed Chaudhury
ISLAMABAD, Aug 9 2007 (IPS) - Faced with acute water shortages, the Pakistan government has launched a 1.3 billion US dollar subsidised drip irrigation programme that could help reduce wastage over the next five years. According to Pakistan’s latest economic survey released in June, agriculture continues to be the single largest sector of economy

providing livelihood to 66 percent of the country's population of 162.5 million people. Besides, it accounts for 20.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 43.4 percent of the total work force in the country. Under the subsidised drip irrigation programme agricultural land will steadily switch over to the new technique from the wasteful, traditional flood irrigation method dating back to the Indus valley civilisation. The decision to tap the potential came after the successful completion of a pilot project in Faisalabad district. Under the project, cotton crop was grown successfully over an area spanning seven acres by scientists at the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) located in the district. "We installed a model drip irrigation system here that was used to irrigate cotton and the experiment was highly successful. The cotton yield with drip irrigation ranged 1,520 kg to 1,680 kg per acre compared to 960 kg from the traditional flood irrigation method," says Wajid Ishaq, a junior scientist at NIAB. Ishaq says the federal government was so enthused by the results that it asked NIAB to develop a project proposal to spread drip irrigation in all the four provinces over an area of 1,000 acres. "We have prepared the proposal and submitted it with Planning Commission of Pakistan. Hopefully they will approve it and come out with a comprehensive plan," he adds. Agricultural experts say that drip irrigation is most suitable in countries like Pakistan where crop yield is low and irrigation water wastage is far more than acceptable limits. Ehsan Qazi, an agricultural scientist based in Lahore district, told IPS that in drip irrigation water and fertilisers are applied through special pipes at a uniform flow rate. "Water directly reaches the roots where it is most needed. There is little wastage of water due to evaporation or seepage as happens in case of traditional flood irrigation," he adds. Flood irrigation, often called surface irrigation, usually results in the flooding of cultivated land and is the oldest and most common method. Against this, in Qazi’s opinion, water saving by drip irrigation can be as high as 70 percent. Encouraged by the increased yield of cotton crop, NIAB is now using the same drip irrigation technique to grow onion, corn and summer fodder. There are plans to extend the system for orchards as well. Sajjad Siddiqui, spokesman for Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority, told IPS that the government is aware of difficulties and has an overall plan to overcome them. Rehabilitation of canal systems, improvement and lining of water courses, handing over of canals to local farmers and drip irrigation are all part of this plan, he says. As no major water storage project has been completed for the last 30 years, all these measures are necessary to stave of impending, acute water shortages. While the government is yet to draw up a complete an comprehensive plan, individual communities have begun taking their own small initiatives with the help of NGOs and international donors. According to federal minister for food and agriculture Sikandar Bosan, Pakistan has sought help from the Japanese government to double the efficiency in irrigation water use from the present 45 percent to 90 percent with the help of drip irrigation. Bosan said the government would ensure that at least 300,000 acres of land would be brought under drip irrigation this year with federal and provincial governments providing 80 percent subsidy on drip irrigation equipment. With support from the World Bank and other donors Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has already begun providing finance to small farmer communities in select water-deficient areas to install drip irrigation systems. "PPAF disburses funds to locals in collaboration with NGOs that have been working in particular areas for a certain period of time," said Ghulam Haider, communication executive with PPAF. Abbas says though the cost of installing drip irrigation system is high at Rs 70,000 (1,148 dollars) per acre, it is justified by the high yields. "In the deserts of Sindh we have rains after every 3 to 4 years. We would often run out of water but now, after adopting this method, we can save enough water to survive during the period without rains. We grow tomato, potato, maize, grapes, citrus, banana and fodder.’’ Despite successfully handling several drip irrigation projects, Abbas says there are limits to what small NGOs can do. "We can just set a few examples – the onus definitely is on the government to take the benefits of the technology to the masses across the country.’’ END OF ARTICLE ONE