Water Crisis in Pakistan

August 3, 2015 Comments Off on Water Crisis in Pakistan
Water Crisis in Pakistan

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Essay: Water Crisis in Pakistan

God has blessed Pakistan with abandoned water resources, with water flowing down the Himalayas and Karakorum heights, from the world’s largest glaciers, a free and unique bounty of nature for this land of alluvial plains. As a result of this natural resource, today we have the worlds marvelous and the largest irrigation system that irrigates over 16 million hectors of land, out of 34 million hectors of cultivable land available. But unfortunately as we all know that now a days our country 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 mis-management of water resources.
Water reservoirs / capacities:-
Pakistan is having three basic reservoirs, namely mangla dam reservoir, Terbela dam reservoir and Chashma barrage reservoir. more small reservoirs like Warsak, Baran dam hub, Khanpur, Tanda, Rawal, Simly, Bakht khan Hamal lake, Mancher lake, Kinjhar lake and Chotiari lake Arealso included as small storage.
Gross capacity of 11.62 maf and a live storage capacity of 9.68 maf in terbela dam which has now reduce to 7.295 due to silting, in mangla dam presently storage capacity is 4.636 maf water actual capacity was 5.41 and chasma barrage capacity is also reduce from 0.717 to 0.435 maf.
In Pakistan we utilize the water available to us for different purposes. The basic utilization is for irrigation and then used for power generation, drinking and also provided to some Industries.
Impact on economy / society
As I said earlier 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 as well as socially. According to the estimates of federal government, the agriculture sector would suffer a loss of about Rs. 90 billion because of drought.
a) Less water means less agricultural yields and to fulfill the food requirements of the nation, we will be dependent on other countries.
(b) 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.
(c) Orchards of Pakistan bring home a healthy amount of foreign exchange, which can be affected due water shortage.
(d) Due to less production of main crops, which are wheat, cotton, sugar cane and rice, the Industries related to them will suffer adversely.
(e) Then due to drought and more dependency on ground water for irrigation, the water table will go down, and this will cause water constrains to the population.
(f) Less agricultural outputs will compel people to head towards urban areas for jobs, which will increase the unemployment further.
(g) The distribution of water is controlled from the center by irsa (Indus river system authority) as per 1991 agreement between the provinces. Now the shortage of water will cause disputes between the provinces, which may cause harm to the national integrity.
The national water strategy must be based upon two essential elements covering
• Water developments
• Water management
The water development strategy is largely based upon construction of new storage reservoirs where as the water management strategy will help in reducing the present losses
Water development
In this construction of following dams should start immediately:-
(a) Chasha dam
(b) Kalabagh dam
(c) Thal reservoir
(d) Raised Mangla dam
(e) Mirani dam
(f) Gomalzam dam
From these projects we shall be able to store additional 20maf of water.
Water management
1. Presently the losses occur due to seepage, infiltration and leakages etc. seepage results in water logging and these losses can be reduced or eliminated by lining the canals.
2. In addition, people should be educated to conserve water by cooperation.
3. Further more government should make laws on water conservation.
4. Use modern irrigation techniques, that are trickling, sprinkling etc.
5. Presently irrigation department has failed to stop the illegal theft and extraction; thus irrigation distribution system needs to be privatized through water user associations.
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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