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Water Crises in Pakistan

Note: Please modify the same outline and data if an essay comes on Dam issue or the water
scarcity issue etc.

Prologue – A sneak peek into the contents


 Thesis – presenting the case – looming existential threat of water scarcity national ignorance
and callousness, implications and ramifications, the way out. (neechay first paragraph, ratta
maar lo)
 Background of the Topic – gauging the dynamics of the issue
o Is a Single Dam Enough to combater Water Crises? (iss main likhna k dams pe bari
baat ho rahi hai, PM and CJ ne fund bhi bana dia lekin kya hum itnay pese ikathay
kar paengay, 14,000 Billion chahiye aur abhi tak 10 billion bhi nahi hua, to kya hum
bara dam bana saktay hain? Kya hamaray paas pese aur time hai? Ya koi aur
solutions sochnay parengay?)
o Pakistan at Water Stress Line (neechay data dia hua hai)
o Main Sources that feed the Indus River System
o The Situation of Ground Water
o The Guidelines of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) – 1960
 Main Issues of Water Scarcity
o Only two large dams – Tarbela and Mangla (un main bhi silting ka issue hai, bar bar
raising kar lete hain aur unki capacsity kam hoti ja rahi hai, baqi mulkon main bhy
zada dams hain, China aur India ki misaal dena, net se dekh lena k un kay kitnay
baray dams hain, unka zaroor mention karna)
o Population Explosion – the mother of many problems
o Agriculture Dilemma – the lifeline of economy but one of the pivotal factors of water
scarcity (iss main likhna k agriculture hamari economy k liye lifeline hai lekin paani
bhi sab se zada wahan jata hai jis main nht sara zaya hojata hai, neechay data hai,
ratt lo)
 Agriculture consumes 95% of Water
 Inefficient Water Management Practices
 Raising of Crops like Rice and Sugarcane
 Unscientific Irrigation Methods
 First-ever National Water Policy
 Raising Rice and Sugarcane – Bane or Boon?
 The Pakistan Economic Survey, 2017-2018 Reports
 Increase in production of Rice and Sugarcane (The High Water Need Crops)
 More such Crops; More water Consumption
 Policy Vs Reality (Suggestions to Curb the Scarcity)
 One Million Tube Wells
o Climate change – leading to dramatic decrease in rainfall (iss main likhna k sari dunia
main he climate change ht zda aa raha hai aur Pak main hum iska kuch nahi kar
rahay, barishain ab hoti he nahi aur hoti bhi hain to time pe nahi, iska bhi net se data
lelena)
 Deforestation
 Industrial pollution (land, water, air)
 Rapid urbanization
o Wastage of Water
 Agricultural waste (already discussed)
 Industrial waste – water loss as well as a major cause of water pollution
 Domestic waste – a national concern (iss main detail likhna k hamara rawaya
he aisa hai k jo cheez muft hai, daba k istamal karo, hum brush karnay main
itna pani zaya kardetay hain k 15 log naha lain, iss main Islamic perspective
bhi likhna k AAP (SAW) 750ml k bartan se wuzoo kartay thay aur hadees bhi
hai k agar tum darya k kinaray bbi ho to paani na zaya karo, lekin hum
musalman hotay huay bhi amal nahi kartay.

 Solutions to the problem – remedies on war footing are the key to survival and prosperity
o Construction of smaller water reservoirs (iss main likhna k hamaray north side pe
bht se aisi jagahen hain kk jahan bht saray chotay chotay dam ban saktay hain with
little budget, net pe search kar k 4,5 example zaroor yar kaelena aisi.. aur likhna k
baray dams to dunia main ab koi nahi banata, humay chotay dams pe focus karna
chahiye jo sastay bhi hain aur jaldi bhi ban jatay hain)
o Agricultural water management
 Strengthening Wapda, IRSA, etc.
 Introducing efficient irrigation systems at grass root levels (bht sa pani zaya
hojata hai, pani k ''khaal'' pakkay karnay chahoye, pani chori aur zyaan rokna
hogaa)
 Curbing the system loss of water in the canal system
 Educating the farmer
o Reducing industrial and domestic waste and installation of recycling mechanisms
 Urban water management
 Revising taxes and tariffs and better recovery

o Climate change reversal - conservation of forests and reforestation to increase


annual rainfall
o Population control measures
o Change in attitude and lifestyle (humay Musalman aur achay insaan ka muzahora
karna chahiye aur paani ki har haal main jitna ho sakay bachat karni hogi)
 Concluding Remarks – Conservation and better management of existing water availability
and exploration of avenues to enhance the capacity is the key not only to counter the
existential threat of water scarcity but also to the ensuing progress and prosperity of the
nation
Thousands have lived without love but no one without water – W.H.Auden (English-American
Poet)

According to the established scientific beliefs, the Big Bang was the precursor to the creation of this
universe nearly 14 billion years ago, the solar system came into being from the dust and rock nearly
4 billion years ago and so did the crown jewel of the Solar System, our dear mother Earth. But how
did we get here? How did life initiate? Thanks to the liquid we now recognize as ''water'', the very
basis of all forms of life on the planet. It was not only the incepting factor of life, it became the basic
necessity of life. Today, we can't imagine our lives without water. From our agriculture to industry,
from domestic use to commercial use, from personal hygiene to quenching our thirsts, water is the
single most important factor for life to thrive and prosper. But! Let us pause for a moment and think:
what are we doing with it? In the dear homeland Pakistan, 44% population today does not have
access to clean drinking water (the Daily Observer), our reservoirs are shrinking, the rainfall is getting
scanty day by day, the rivers have dried up, the imminent threat is right ahead of us with its jaws
wide open and we, as if it's a fool's paradise, are heading straight into it. By 2025, we might not have
enough water to bathe or drink in many areas of the country, let alone the commercial or industrial
use. The gravity of the situation is such that it has posed an existential threat to the nation itself and
we are destined to meet the disaster if steps in the right direction are not taken on war footings. It is
high time that we realize the complexity and urgency of the matter and take radical measures in a
bid to turn the tables and save ourselves and the next generations from dying of hunger and thirst
and thereafter, hopefully lead the nation on a path of progress and prosperity.

The year 2025 has been marked as the year when Pakistan — if it doesn’t mend its ways soon — will
turn from a “water-stressed” country to a “water-scarce” country. Warnings about water running
out have been issued separately by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the
Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR). And as the alarm bells began to ring, the
chief justice of Pakistan launched a campaign to build the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam. In his
inaugural speech, Prime Minister Imran Khan, too, has announced his backing for the plan.

Whether a single dam is a panacea to all of Pakistan’s water woes is, of course, questionable.
Consider the facts: per capita surface water availability of 5,260 cubic meters per year in 1951
turned into around 1,000 cubic meters in 2016. This is likely to further drop to about 860 cubic
meters by 2025. The PCRWR describe that Pakistan reached the “water stress line” in 1990 and
crossed the “water scarcity line” in 2005.

The Indus river system receives an annual influx of about 134.8 million acre-feet (MAF) of water. The
mean annual rainfall ranges from less than 100 millimeters to over 750 millimeters. Surface water
comprises glacial melt up to 41 percent, snowmelt up to 22 percent and rainfall 27 percent.

In terms of groundwater, Pakistan is currently extracting 50 MAF from underground aquifers — this
has already crossed the sustainable limit of safe yield.

The 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) enabled Pakistan to enhance water availability at canal
headworks to about 104 MAF through the construction of dams. However, this has decreased due to
increased siltation.

Pakistan’s water woes can largely be bifurcated into issues of quality and quantity. The water coming
into our systems over the past decades hasn’t changed much. But demand has soared due to an
exponential rise in population. Existing reservoirs’ storage capacity cannot sustain this population
boom while its capacity has also been reduced over the years.

Meanwhile, the water reaching the end user has also decreased due to further losses along the way.
Our water management practices are highly inefficient — one illustration is how freshwater is used
for irrigation purposes. The kind of crops we grow — rice and sugarcane, for example — and the way
we irrigate them isn’t sustainable, either.

Because many people’s livelihoods are tied to growing more rice and more sugarcane, these crops
will remain popular. Without any education or awareness about how not to waste water or how to
utilize efficient irrigation methods, the wastage will continue.

While doomsday is just seven years away, it took over 70 years for Pakistan to draw up its first-ever
National Water Policy (NWP), approved in April this year. The policy is still riddled with some
significant gaps but at least, it lays out a few principles that ought to be adhered to. But in some
ways, it is merely a compilation of suggestions.

The Pakistan Economic Survey, 2017-2018 (prepared by the Ministry of Finance) details the state of
the economy over the past year. It announces that the agriculture sector recorded a “remarkable”
growth of 3.81 percent (as opposed to its targeted growth of 3.5 percent). The high water-need
crops of rice (8.65 percent growth) and sugarcane (7.45 percent) both surpassed their respective
production targets for 2017-18.

Prosperity brought by high water-need crops has meant that more farmers have preferred planting
more rice and sugarcane.

The Pakistan Economic Survey, 2017-2018 notes that while the rice was sown over 2,724 thousand
hectares last year, it rose to 2,899 thousand hectares this year. “[H]igher domestic prices and
availability of inputs on subsidized rates, good advisory along with an increase in export,” according
to the survey, contributed to more land being used to grow rice. This 6.4 percent increase ultimately
yielded a production high of 7,442 thousand tonnes. Last year, 6,849 thousand tonnes of rice were
produced in Pakistan.

The survey also shows that sugarcane was cultivated on an area of 1,313 thousand hectares, an
increase on last year’s area of 1,218 thousand hectares. “[G]ood economic return encouraged the
growers to bring more area under cultivation and [so did] comparatively timely payments from sugar
mills last year,” explains the survey. This 7.8 percent rise in acreage translated into a 7.4 percent hike
in production: from 75.482 million tonnes to 81.102 million tonnes.
There is a flip side, however. More water is utilized in growing these water-intensive crops. For
instance, sugarcane requires 1,500-2,500mm of rainfall (or water from other sources) to complete
the growth cycle. In other words, to produce a kilo of sugarcane, between 1,500 and 3,000 liters of
water are utilized. Similarly, at 0.45 kilograms per cubic meter, Pakistan’s rice water productivity is
55 percent lower than the average water productivity of one kilogram per cubic meter for rice in
Asian countries.

Because many people’s livelihoods are tied to growing more rice and more sugarcane, these crops
will remain popular. Without any education or awareness about how not to waste water or how to
utilize efficient irrigation methods, the wastage will continue.

It follows, therefore, that a country tethering on the edge of water scarcity ought to de-incentivize
the growing of water-intensive crops. In practice, this means convincing the farmers that they will
not be hit by a financial loss were they to switch to other crops.

The NWP acknowledges that irrigated agriculture is the backbone of the economy and consumes
around 95 percent of the water resources.

Furthermore, around one million tube wells in the country pump about 55 MAF of underground
water for irrigation, which is 20 percent more than what’s available from canals — signaling how
highly water-intensive the agriculture sector is. This is all unsustainable.

On the other hand, while there is great water wastage in the rural sector, providing potable water to
the cities has become a challenge. One of the more achievable targets set by the NWP is the access
to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for all.

Towards that end, the policy has also urged the promotion of greater urban water management and
revision of urban water tariffs. It also encourages enhancing recovery and reducing system losses,
treatment of industrial effluents and provision of the sustainable supply of water for everyone.

But it is still the agricultural sector whose water utilization needs to be under the microscope. Till
now, the policy seems divorced from the financial compulsions of those whose livelihoods are
associated with the agricultural sector.

Dr. Pervaiz Amir, director of the Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP) believes that policies are
designed and implemented for the people and the civil society should have been engaged in debates
and discussions towards this end.

“Balochistan has already prepared its water policy whereas Punjab and Sindh are working on theirs,”
explains Dr. Amir. “It is very important that the provincial policies are congruent and must not be in
conflict with the national water policy of Pakistan.”

For him, the federal water ministry is weak and there is an urgent need to strengthen the Water and
Power Development Authority (Wapda).
“Instead of reviving old horses, a better option is to establish a new institution which has a diverse
set of experts, not just engineers,” he adds.

The PWP chief points out that the policy fails to explain the most important question of where the
resources will come from. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one option; the Chinese
are already operating a plant to provide potable water to their engineers working in water-scarce
Gwadar. But will such measures have broader utility?

“Through CPEC, investments are going to increase,” continues Dr. Amir, “and the question about
how CPEC is going to integrate with water demands immediate attention. We should know the
supply and demand side.”

Tahir Rasheed, CEO of the South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC), also laments the absence of
stakeholder consultations in all provinces, including Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. He sees the need
for the water policy to be linked with national, regional and international commitments such as
Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Integrated watershed management should be promoted,” says Rasheed, “including ecological


conservation practices in uphill watersheds, by exploring the possibility of joint watershed
management of trans-boundary catchment areas with neighboring. The policy is also silent on
reactivating centuries-old traditional wisdom of water management and use of tools such as Rodh
Koi system, Sailaba, Karez systems, etc. It should also address the trans-boundary water pollution
aspect, on which even the Indus Waters Treaty is silent.”

Dr. Tariq Banuri, the founding executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI),
a senior climate expert and currently heading the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as its
chairman, agrees that Pakistan is wasting its water resources due to inefficient consumption
patterns and negligible recycling.

When asked if the water policy will help address the indiscriminate wastage of this precious
resource, he said: “Our systems are inefficient. The National Water Policy does spell a range of issues
with respect to water but it doesn’t have details that can help to operationalize it. Its strategic and
operational steps are not devised as yet. The environmental aspect of water in sustaining the
environment has not been recognized in the policy either.”

Banuri explains that population growth has played a major role in decreasing the available amount
of water per person and clearly shows that the lower riparian will not be able to receive their due
share.

“The existing water system is actually on the first-come-first-serve basis and this is not useful,” he
says. “The water policy does recognize it but its details have not been worked out as yet.”

Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO of the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD)-Pakistan and a
senior water expert, termed water a provincial matter and urged the need for a national-level
framework that acts as a guiding tool for provinces.
“The water policy is an enabling document,” comments Sheikh, “which will lead to the establishment
of national level water institutions, and unless the institutions are endowed and empowered, we
won’t be able to achieve desirable results.”

Ali urged the federal government to earnestly address the reservations of the provinces concerning
the water policy and also informed that the policy framework will make an overdue start.

“The policy will require sectoral plans and unless they are developed for key departments, things
won’t go very far. First of all, there should be an overall implementation plan and then sectoral
implementation plans should be developed for agriculture, climate, energy and other sectors,” sums
up Ali.

While experts have termed the policy a step in the right direction, they have also recommended
some measures that will make it further inclusive and bridge possible gaps. Now that the policy has
been approved, the government must work aggressively to implement it in letter and in spirit if it is
serious to address the water crisis that the entire nation is grappling with.

Quotations to be used:

“In this century wars will not be fought over oil, as in the past, but over water.''

Clive Cussler – Blue Gold

Blue Gold is the second book in the NUMA Files series of books co-written by author Clive Cussler
and Paul Kemprecos, and was published in 2000. The main characters of this series are Kurt Austin
and his sidekick Joe Zavala. Blue Gold is about attempting to control the world's water at any cost

A river does not just carry water, it carries life.

Amit Kalantri – Indian writer

Net se aur bhi quotes lelena.. oopar wala essay ratt lo aur jo maine outline main detail likhi hai usay
bhi explain karna chay se.. data and quotes are a must.. ALL the best.