Water crisis in Pakistan and its impact on economy.


Ali Raza Abbasi
Pakistan is one of the 30 countries of the world,facing an acute water deficiency, which is likely to aggravate during the forth coming decades. More than 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 temperature. Coupled with uneven rain 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 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 doesn’t 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 mismanagement of water resourcesLow rainfall/snowfall:Pakistan has entered in to third lean period of precipitation. There had been no incidence of floods since last three years and dry spell is gradually at increase.Reduction in shortage capacity:live shortage in the available reservoirs is depleting due to silting up. The existing shortage reservoirs available at tarbela, mangla, and chashma are loosing storage capacities at a rapid rate. The shortage 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 period of October-June each year. 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. According to the estimates of federal government,the agriculture sector would suffer a loss of about RS:90 billion because of draught.Since agriculture has remained a major source of shouldering the already crippled economy, it has a vital role to play particularly in terms of food security and employment of the ever burgeoning population of the country. It contributes around 35% of the GNP and employees about 44% of labour force. It also contribute 65%of our export earnings. The adverse effect on the prevailing level of poverty.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.