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Water Crisis

Pakistan is one of the 30 countries of the world, facing an acute water deficiency, which is likely to aggravate during the forthcoming decades. More then 80% of Pakistan lies in the arid and semi-arid zones, characterized by highly erratic, unpredictable and low precipitation, excessive evapo-transpiration and high summer temperatures. Coupled with uneven river flow, the climatic vagrancy has placed Pakistan in a critical water supply environment. Presently Pakistan is going worst draught and water crisis of its history which is likely to persist for few years. To understand the magnitude of the water shortage and its impact on economy, some of the causes are listed below. In the years when rainfall is normal or above, the country generally does not face any water shortage, where as in below average rainfall period it does. This has happened just few weeks earlier. As said earlier that now-a-days Pakistan is facing severe shortage of water. There are two main reasons, one natural due to prolong drought which is beyond the control of a man, and the other due to the gross negligence in the development and the mis-management of water resources.

Causes of Water Crisis
Low Rainfall/Snow Fall Pakistan has entered into third lean period of precipitation. There had been no incidence of floods since last three last years and dry spell is gradually at increase. Reduction in storage Capacity Live storage in the available reservoirs is depleting due to silting up. The existing storage reservoirs available at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma are loosing storage capacities at a rapid rate. The storage capacities of these reservoirs shall continue restricting in the future years causing corresponding reduction in the available water resulting in serious shortage of canal water during the lean flow periods of October-June each year. Changing Crops Pattern Rice and Sugar-cane crops consume large quantity of water as compared to Cotton and other crops of KHARIF. Good price and mushroom of sugar mills without any master planning encouraged farmers to grow these crops even in the Arid Zone thus increasing the demand of water manifolds.

it has a vital role to play particularly in terms of food security and employment of the ever-burgeoning population of the country. which contributes 9. According to the estimates of the federal government.7% of GDP. It contributes around 35% of the GNP and employees about 44% of labor force. the agriculture sector would suffer a loss of about Rs. Livestock Problems Raising livestock is the main source of livelihood of rural areas. The Khanpur Dam constructed for urban water supply to twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi is becoming inadequate even before its supply could be started. . Urbanization/Industrialization Growing urban-industrial use of water is also a contributory factor. It also contributes 65% of our export earnings.Water Allowance Higher water allowance in certain districts is even creating drainage/salinity problems.90 billion because of draught. The adverse effect of water shortage on agriculture would have a spiraling effect on the prevailing level of poverty. population has increased in geometric proportions. In Sindh. allocation of water per 1000 acres of canal command area. will be affected due to shortage of water. Import of food commodities from other countries will result in more expenditure. It is also an important economic activity. Impact of Water Crisis on Economy As we all know that agriculture is our backbone and the water flowing in the channels to the crops is its blood line and if there is no or less water then we should be prepared for facing problems economically and socially. Since agriculture has remained a major source of shouldering the already crippled economy. termed water allowance is far greater than in Punjab. Food Security Less water means less agricultural yields and to fulfill the food requirements of the nation we will be dependent to other countries.

which are Wheat. the water table will go down. It is being affected on two accounts. o Reduced recharging owing to less surface flows. which may cause harm to the national integrity. Sugar-Cane and Rice. Unemployment Less agricultural outputs will compel people to head towards urban areas for jobs. the industries related to them will suffer adversely. which can be affected due to water shortage. which will increase the unemployment further. Effect on National Harmony The worst impact of water shortage is that it is creating bitter controversy among the provinces. The draw down phenomena is now being observed and water table has gone down. Effect on Related Industry Due to less production of main crops. Cotton. Water Constraints for Population Due to drought and more dependency on ground water for irrigation.Decrease in Orchards Export Orchards of Pakistan bring home a healthy amount of foreign exchange. which is affecting the national integration and creating disharmony between provinces. Ground Water Shortage of surface water has put tremendous pressure on ground water. Now the shortage of water will cause disputes between the provinces. and this will cause water constraints to the population. Dispute among Provinces The distribution of water is controlled from the centre by IRSA (Indus River System Authority) as per 1991 agreement between the provinces. . o Over drawl by the user to compensate shortage.

Suggestions and Recommendations The national water strategy must be based upon two essential elements covering. On the other hand the growth rate of agriculture is decreasing due to water shortage.Analysis of the Situation Pakistan is one of the poorest countries of the world. o Water Development o Water Management The water development strategy is largely based upon construction of new storage reservoirs. Our population has surpassed the 140 million mark by now and is still increasing at an alarming rate of about 3%. More land under cultivation will result in more demand of water for crops. we will need an estimated amount of 215 maf of land in year 2013 and additional 277 maf of land by year 2025. Further more its remedy is an urgent one. . where as on the other hand it is one of richest in its population increasing capabilities. we must bring additional lands under cultivation. which is definitely needs to be checked. it is the time to recognize our responsibilities and start taking steps in the right direction. In order to achieve required growth targets in agriculture. Our reluctance to treat water as economic good and inadequate recognition of the environmental concerns associated with current practices has led us to catastrophic situation. But present water shortage has been threatening the federal structure of the country. otherwise it could trigger water riots and finally lead to social catastrophe. where as the water management strategy will help in reducing the present losses. Since no additional water is available. To keep up the pace of agricultural growth comparable to population growth.

efficient. Conclusion Today our country is facing acute water shortage. must chalk out a strategy. Efforts to convert the present rotation based irrigation system to demand oriented system. environmentally and financially sustainable development and management of limited water resources. Modern irrigation techniques such as trickling and sprinkling should be applied. Also implementation of the recommendations will enable the country to meet the challenges.      By lining the canals we can reduce the losses that occur due to seepage. and achieve the objectives of integrated. building of more reservoirs and an effective management strategy are the needs of the time. infiltration and leakage People should be educated to conserve water by cooperation. Govt. Following is recommended in this regard. Therefore.Water Development In this construction of following dams should start immediately. At the same time it will enable us to utilize every drop of our water for our bright future. . should make laws on water conservation as made by western countries. and we in Pakistan already short of water.       Kalabagh Dam Thal Reservoir Raised Mangla Dam Mirani Dam Gomalzam Dam Chashma Dam Water Management Managing water resource is the need of the time.