By Zaman Bajwa
Recent generation is facing a lot of challenges but the climate change and global warming is a real threat to humanity. Rising global temperature is causing mass level water shortage which could lead to food deficiency and mass migration. Many experts have warned that threat constituted by a warming climate; shrinking water supplies are the most serious. It is predicted that by 2025 some 2.8 billion people will be forced to live in ‘water scarce’ areas. The population in Africa, Middle East and Asia will be worst affected. Australia, America and Southern Europe will also suffer from this climate change.
Pakistan is an arid country, which heavily depends on annual glaciers melt and Monsoon rains. The rain fall average is less than 240 mm a year. About 180 billion cubic meter water of the system comes from India and is mostly derived from snow melt in the Himalayas. According to a World Bank report Pakistan became a water stressed country (1700 cubic meters per capita per year) around the year 2000.According to a government source, Pakistan crossed 1700 m3 in 1992 and became a water short country and then further declined to 1500 m3 in 2002. Water scarcity (1000 m3 per capita per year of renewable supply) is expected in about 2035.
The situation of water scarcity in Pakistan is becoming worse day by day because of Indian intentions to slow down the water of western rivers. India and Pakistan has signed Indus water treaty in 1960 to settle water dispute. It was a major breakthrough towards the settlements of common issues. Pakistan and India fought three Full scale wars and never backtracked from this treaty. Situation is changed now and recent government of India is threatening Pakistan to withdraw herself from this treaty.
Pakistan is observing this situation very closely and much concerned with Indian projects on the western rivers which could allow India either slow down or release water on large scale to flood Pakistan. India is building hundreds of dams on western rivers which are clear violation of Indus treaty.
There is no existence of Pakistan’s water policy. The water management system is very poor. From last four decades we have not built any new mega water storage and lot of politics is involved in this matter. Our governance and water distribution system is out dated and lot of water goes wasted during irrigation of crops.
The need of hour is to take some measures that will help to control the problem including a comprehensive strategy to tackle this issue before it gets completely out of hands. The government of Pakistan should be more vocal on the violations of Indus water treaty. Need to take this issue to the concerned International forum and must involve the mediator World Bank in this process. We must focus on building new dams so the wastage of water can be reduced. It’s a very serious issue and survival of our future generations is on stake.s We have to take action, before too late.