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Wilkimages - Water Shortage in Pakistan

Upcoming Water Shortage Crisis in Pakistan

Climate Change is real. Since 2015, concerns regarding the climate are rapidly growing. The window to take severe measures before it is too late is narrowing with every passing day. The region of South Asia, primarily comprising Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh, has been declared one of the most vulnerable.  Unfortunately, changing weather is likely to be the hardest in the nations, as mentioned earlier.

Pakistan is especially facing dropping water reserves in two of its largest dams responsible for supplying clean water to the masses living in urban and rural areas. Over the past five years, unprecedented temperatures have become a new normal during the summer season. Every passing year records simmering heat than the preceding one. The duration of deadly heatwaves is also increasing, compelling people to stay indoors.

In the wake of rising global temperatures, Pakistan’s imminent danger is its rapidly melting glaciers in the northern areas. These glaciers are crucial as they supply fresh water to all the country’s major rivers. River Indus is the largest among all the rivers. It is vital for the whole country because it flows from the northernmost areas to the southernmost. It is used by the farmers to harvest the crops. The masses also use it for other agricultural activities.

Ironically, only two large dams have been built in Pakistan. However, after facing three Martial Laws and incompetent civilian governments for 70 years, the country is yet to build more dams for water reservations.

During this period, several active movements have emphasized the importance of building more dams. Unfortunately, they became politicized for personal gains and created a rift between major political parties representing the parliament.

Research conducted in the early 1990s issued a stern warning about the depletion of precious water resources. It raised concerns that if more dams, large and small, are not constructed for water storage, the country could face an acute water shortage by 2025. Sadly, the matter remained unheeded for the same political reasons.

At present, different places in Pakistan are already experiencing the disastrous effects of global warming. The Thar region in Sindh province is facing severe drought, with infants and young children dying prematurely due to malnutrition.

It is not just humans suffering in this region, but also wildlife as peacocks are rapidly declining. River Indus is running dry with every passing year. Rains have stopped, worsening the impact with people getting deprived of fresh water to quench their thirst. Their cattle are also dying because the land is no longer fertile to grow fodder for the animals.

Given these circumstances, the only viable solution to stop the ongoing crisis from worsening further is to build lots of dams in different regions of the country to store and reserve rain and glacial water.

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