Water Crisis in Pakistan, its Impact on the Economy and Potential Solutions.
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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.
It also contributes 65% of our export earnings. The adverse effect of water shortage on agriculture would have a spiraling effect on the prevailing level of poverty. Food Security Less water means less agricultural yields and to fulfill the food requirements of the nation we will be dependent to other countries. Import of food commodities from other countries will result in more expenditure. Livestock Problems Raising livestock is the main source of livelihood of rural areas. It is also an important economic activity, which contributes 9.7% of GDP, will be affected due to shortage of water. Decrease in Orchards Export Orchards of Pakistan bring home a healthy amount of foreign exchange, which can be affected due to water shortage. Effect on Related Industry Due to less production of main crops, which are Wheat, Cotton, Sugar-Cane and Rice, the industries related to them will suffer adversely. Water Constraints for Population Due to drought and more dependency on ground water for irrigation, the water table will go down, and this will cause water constraints to the population. Unemployment Less agricultural outputs will compel people to head towards urban areas for jobs, which will increase the unemployment further. Dispute among Provinces The distribution of water is controlled from the centre by IRSA (Indus River System Authority)
Water Development In this construction of following dams should start immediately; * Kalabagh Dam * Thal Reservoir * Raised Mangla Dam * Mirani Dam * Gomalzam Dam * Chashma Dam Water Management Managing water resource is the need of the time, and we in Pakistan already short of water, must chalk out a strategy. Following is recommended in this regard; * By lining the canals we can reduce the losses that occur due to seepage, infiltration and leakage * People should be educated to conserve water by cooperation. * Govt. should make laws on water conservation as made by western countries. * Efforts to convert the present rotation based irrigation system to demand oriented system. * Modern irrigation techniques such as trickling and sprinkling should be applied. Conclusion Today our country is facing acute water shortage. Therefore, building of more reservoirs and an effective management strategy are the needs of the time. Also implementation of the recommendations will enable the country to meet the challenges, and achieve the objectives of integrated, efficient, environmentally and financially sustainable development and management of limited water resources. At the same time it will enable us to utilize every drop of our water for our bright future.
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