ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to face absolute water scarcity by 2025, as the fresh water availability has dropped to less than 1000 cubic meter per capita.
This was stated by Khan Faraz, a water sector expert, while talking to Business Recorder.
Pakistan is among the water scarce countries. The country was once rich in fresh water, with more than 5,200 cubic meter fresh water available per capita at the time of independence. However, today the availability has dropped to less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita. The decline is alarming, and it is feared that there may be absolute water scarcity in the country by 2025, he added.
Faraz said that global atmospheric changes like the accumulation of greenhouse gases have resulted in increased global temperature. This is threatening biodiversity loss, disruption in biogeochemical cycles, food insecurity, water scarcity, migration and loss of forest cover. The growing global emissions have put a huge pressure on natural resources along with their capacity to deliver.
This has resulted in degradation of natural resources and increased pollution. Water scarcity is a great threat to human survival. Without water, human civilisation cannot survive for more than a few days. Still, water is often taken for granted and is an undervalued resource. Water availability per capita is a poor indicator of our water woes.
He further said that according to the United Nation’s Cultural Agency potentially alleviating demand for ever-scarcer water supplies across the world. In a report, cultural agency UNESCO has stated that about 99 percent of the liquid groundwater on earth is groundwater, although the resource is often poorly understood or under-valued. In the context of growing water scarcity in many parts of the world, the vast potential of groundwater and the need to manage it carefully can no longer be overlooked.
Making smarter use of the potential of still sparsely developed groundwater resources, and protecting them from pollution and overexploitation, is; therefore, essential to meet the fundamental needs of an ever-increasing global population and to address the global climate and energy crises.
According to UNESCO, groundwater currently constitutes about 50 percent of the water withdrawn for domestic use worldwide, and 25 percent of the volume used for irrigation, he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022