Water scarcity could topple all economic efforts in near future

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ISLAMABAD: To ensure overcoming water shortage and achieving sustainable economic growth, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Saturday called upon the government to focus on the urgent construction of water reservoirs in the country.
“Being an agriculture economy, Pakistan is heavily dependent on water resources, but according to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan is third amongst the countries facing rising water shortage, which should be a cause of concern for policymakers,” ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said in a statement issued here.He said the rising water crisis could jeopardise the economic future of the country. He said in 1951, the per capita water availability in Pakistan was 5,260 cubic meter that had come down to 940 cubic meter in 2015.

“If no urgent measures are taken for water reservoirs, per capita water availability would further reduce to 860 cubic meter by 2025 in Pakistan which is alarming,” he warned.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said according to a Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) report, due to lack of water reservoirs, Pakistan has been wasting water worth Rs25 billion every year.

He said Pakistani rivers were receiving an average annual inflow of 145 million acre-feet of water out of which only 14 million acre-feet was preserved, while the rest was going waste.

He said during the last 70 years, only two major dams were built in Pakistan, which showed that our successive governments paid no attention to build water reserves in the country.

He said China had built over 87,000 dams while India had built around 3,200 dams, but Pakistan had built only 150 dams of 15-meter height which were insufficient to store water of required quantity.

He said the underground water tables were rapidly going down in Pakistan and if water reserves were not built on an urgent basis, the economic growth of the country would badly suffer.

He said the government was spending just seven per cent of development funds on water sector which was insufficient and stressed that at least 20 per cent of development funds should be spent on water sector to improve water security.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed said the Council of Common Interest (CCI) in its last meeting had agreed to adopt the National Water Policy, and urged the federal and provincial governments to take urgent measures to achieve the targets set in the said policy for building water reserves and curbing wastage of water so that the country could achieve water security and ensure sustainable economic growth.

3 COMMENTS

  1. When people and govt is concerned they take small as well as big and serious actions۔ in Japan the wash basin is above the flush tank. Showers with atomisers take only 18./. Of water . The waste at car service station is huge Build dams but also impose some rules and restrictions

  2. Pakistan crossed the water shortage in 2005. In the event that anything, that ought to have been the notice require those in control to act. Truly oblivious, we let it fail to be noticed and now we confront a grim future.

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