Imagine waking up to find that there is no water available in your city or district of residence. Worse than a nightmare, this idea could turn out to be a reality for Pakistan. In light of the government’s current passive and ignorant attitude towards the water crisis, the notion of Pakistan running out of water is not too far-fetched.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has recently warned that the country will approach absolute water scarcity by 2025.
According to a report available with The Express Tribune, Pakistan touched the ‘water stress line’ in 1990 and crossed the ‘water scarcity line’ in 2005. If this situation continues, chances are that the country will face an acute water shortage or drought-like situation in the near future.
In Pakistan, there are many places where there is a drought-like situation, such as Baluchistan and Sindh. According to experts, this situation is worsening instead of improving.
But it seems that the government is not concerned about dealing with this emergency-like scenario. It is more concerned about its image, or the Panama-gate scandal, or TORs, among many such related issues.
The opposition political parties are always ready to take to the streets to stage protests against government policies. However, these parties do not bother to highlight such life-threatening realities. Perhaps because they feel that these inconvenient truths may not serve their self-interests or their aspirations to power. Perhaps they don’t care about the poor.
On the other hand, organisations like the PCRWR, which is responsible for dealing with the water crisis, do not have enough finances to even carry out a proper research on the best possible way to cope with a water shortage.
Meanwhile, considering the gravity of the situation, the PCRWR recently asked the government to create an endowment fund within the PCRWR for the purpose of research and development activities, but so far there has been no response from the government.
The issue has been highlighted repeatedly on various forums, but there is no indication that the government has taken up the issue on a priority basis to cope with the upcoming emergency-like situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2016.