Differing crisis are emerging around the globe and one of them is the supply of fresh water. Water, the most important aspect of life is now facing shortages and risks of drying up. Countries across the globe are at risk of coming against drought etc. and Pakistan isn’t spared either. Khawaja Asif, minister for Water and Power has warned Pakistan of a water crisis if the country doesn’t get a rain soon.
Khawaja Asif was speaking to Geo when he rang alarms across Pakistan. He said that water in Pakistan is in critical situation mainly due to lack of rain. To give an idea of the grave situation, he told that Tarbela Reservoir currently has water of 0.65-acre-feet and if we compare it with last year on this date it was 3.23-acre-feet. Does that ring a bell? There is more. Talking about Mangla Reservoir, he said that it has 0.68-acre-feet of water while last year at this time it was 3.26-acre-feet. The capacity is more than 7 acre-feet thus showing how dangerous the current situation is.
“The situation is critical. We are totally dependent on rain at the moment”
– Khawaja Asif
Further stressing the need of rain at this juncture, the minister said that until Pakistan gets rain, IRSA will not release any further water as it will be used by the provinces for crops. Pakistan has to choose between crops and electricity and it will be prioritizing the former.
Khawaja Asif said that there won’t be much crisis related to electricity due to low demand in the winter. There is only 1000 to 1200 megawatt Hydel generation in winter and even if that gets out of the system, the effect will be negligible. However, he stressed about the effect on crops that is the main concern for the government.
What to do?
About how the government is solving the recurring issue, he said the government is building a couple of reservoirs which should come into effect by the next year or so… One of them is the reservoir of Diamir Bhasha Dam.
Khawaja Asif also talked about how Pakistanis waste water in domestic/industrial/agricultural use due to thousands of years old irrigation techniques. He stressed about changing our ways and treating water as an important resource. He stated that the government will do something to make people feel the importance of water.
“Pakistan is the 6th most water stressed country in the world and we use water as if we have all the water of the world.”
How is Climate Change Affecting Pakistan?
Khawaja Asif further stated that Pakistan is the 6th most water-stressed country in the world. Also, Pakistan is being badly affected by the climate change and it’s the 8th most affected country because of climate change. On the other hand, he said that Pakistan is the 136th country in the list of those affecting the climate. Pakistani glaciers are melting, rains are affected, floods devastate everything if they occur. The mess is getting dangerous.
So what can be done?
This comes after the President Mamnoon Hussain appealed to the nation to pray for rain further signifying the reality of the grave situation. Apart from praying for rain, it’s high time Pakistanis start saving water for our own benefit. Also, we should be raising awareness about importance of protecting the climate.
Even our Prophet Mohammad SAWW didn’t allow us to waste water even if it’s in abundance. It’s high time we start doing what’s right for our future.