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March 20, 2017

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‘Water scarcity big threat to Pakistan’

‘Water scarcity big threat to Pakistan’

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said water scarcity is emerging as a grave threat to the survival of the country but policymakers seem to be least bothered.

Pakistan is facing an acute water shortage and may hit masses, agriculture and industry soon, it said.

In the last few years, the defence budget has been significantly increased to combat terrorism ignoring the fact that water scarcity could be a bigger menace than terrorism, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

In a statement, he said that our country touched the "water stress line" in 1990 and crossed the "water scarcity line" in 2005 but it was not enough to draw attention of the policymakers.

It is alarming that our capacity to preserve water has shrunk over the years. “We haven't built new dams since the 1960s, and the capacity of existing ones to store water is decreasing,” he said.

Pakistan has the world's fourth highest rate of water use while its water intensity rate 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.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan is already the third most water-stressed country in the world. He said the government should immediately allocate additional funds to overcome water scarcity, try to bring all people on one page for the construction of mega dams and stop India from using water as
a weapon against Pakistan.

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