HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsWater issue is a "ticking time bomb" — Fulbright Alumni Talks

Water issue is a “ticking time bomb” — Fulbright Alumni Talks


Lahore, July 10, 2021 (TDI) — In the latest series of the ongoing Fulbright Talks, Fullbright alumnus Sohaib Anwar, who works for the WWF water management, illuminates the failure of the water resource management that could lead to potential crises in Pakistan.
Nearly 200 million people are at risk of extreme water starvation if appropriate action is not taken now.

Water scarcity and contamination among weak management are the main reasons.

The misconception is that we are running out of water but due to the fact that water has been mismanaged and that no value has been given to water resources practically we can lose the current resources.
According to World Bank, only 35 countries are more water abundant than Pakistan, however, being highly population-dense is a part of the problem. Climate change makes it worse.
According to Sohaib, 1.2 percent of GDP is lost from flooding and climate change-related disasters. The elusive nature of the Climate Change phenomenon is that it creates uncertainty, for instance, little water availability turns into droughts and more water leads to floods in Pakistan, he adds.
Cape Town’s water situation as it nears “Day Zero” is a glaring example of what lack of water sustainability can turn into.
“What is our level of preparedness?” is the question we should be asking ourselves, says Sohaib.  Currently, 70 percent of the population does not have access to clean water. The current water availability is below the 1000 cubic meters level stress line. Another problem is our storage capacity, which is at 30 days.

Water intensive agriculture depletes the remaining water available in main cities. “Even at micro-communities, our water utility is highly inequitable. Our affluent communities are consuming 10 times the global average water use,” warns the expert.
A shift in paradigm is required along with major efforts to conserve the water resources in Pakistan. “We must recognize that water is not a free resource.

It has a price that we must all acknowledge.

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