Researchers have marked the year 2025 as the year when Pakistan, if it doesn’t mend its ways, will turn from a ‘water-stressed’ country into a ‘water-scarce’ country....
Researchers have marked the year 2025 as the year when Pakistan, if it doesn’t mend its ways, will turn from a ‘water-stressed’ country into a ‘water-scarce’ country. Our water management practices are highly inefficient. The doomsday is just five years away, but none of us is doing anything to avert the danger written on the wall. In this regard, the Rawalpindi Development Authority’s (RDA) decision to recycle rain and ablution water is highly commendable. As per this decision, the rainwater collected will be used for ablution and in wash rooms, while the ablution water will be used for watering plants and grass in parks. For the time being, this recycling project is limited to three mosques, but, hopefully, it will be extended to other big mosques as well. In our country, the excessive waste of water is not limited to a few places. We, as a nation, are in the habit of squandering water everywhere. Pakistan receives around 145 million-acre feet (MAF) of water every year from rainfall and glacial melt. But only 14 MAF is saved and the rest is wasted. This is because we don’t have enough dams and reservoirs to save it. Pakistan has the world’s fourth-highest rate of water use. Because of this high rate, we are approaching the scarcity threshold for water. What is even more disturbing is that country’s groundwater is being rapidly depleted.
Currently, Pakistan is extracting 50 MAF from underground aquifers, this has already crossed the sustainable limit of safe yield. A survey conducted by some international organisations indicate that Pakistan is wasting 30 million acre-foot or ten trillion gallons of water per annum. These alarming realities have converted Pakistan into a severely water-stressed country. All civic and municipal authorities, housing societies and everyone concerned should take steps to ensure that everyone is using water wisely.
Engr M Hafeez ur Rahman