Dams vital for Survival
The water crisis facing Pakistan will inundate every other crisis. The water statics are very alarming and scaring. The obsession with politics has blinded the media and society and few prefer to talk about water and health issues in their homes or screen.
The next war in the region one can predict will not be due to Kashmir or other territorial issues – acute water shortage in the region is bound to trigger a dangerous conflict. India has constructed dams in violation of international treaties depriving Pakistan of its share of water. The drought-like situation will wipe of local agriculture and is bound to create internal disharmony among the provinces if the issue is not tackled and dams built on a war footing.
Among countries facing acute water scarcity Pakistan according to the IMF ranks third on the list. Reports by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) also warns that Pakistan will hit absolute water scarcity by 2025.
Dams have to be constructed and the Chief Justice has rightly woken up the media and the government to initiate a dam building movement. Researchers predict that Pakistan is on its way to becoming the most water-stressed country in the region by the year 2040.
Environmentalists are scared that the water crises could pose a bigger threat to the country than the existing threat of terrorism.
According to PCRWR, Pakistan touched the “water stress line” in 1990 and crossed the “water scarcity line” in 2005. If this situation persists, Pakistan is likely to face an acute water shortage or a drought-like situation in the near future.
Pakistan has the world’s fourth-highest rate of water use. Its water intensity rate — the amount of water, in cubic meters, used per unit of GDP — is the world’s highest. This suggests that no country’s economy is more water-intensive than Pakistan’s.
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