Pakistan could be facing a severe drought soon according to country experts, who have warned that the country will approach “absolute scarcity” levels of water by 2025.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) made the alarming forecast in a report, which claimed the country touched the “water stress line” in 1990 before crossing the “water scarcity line” in 2005, said an Independent report.
Pakistan has the world’s fourth highest rate of water use but is largely dependent on water from the Indus River basin. Rainfall in the country has been steadily declining, with some experts claiming this is down to climate change.
An estimated million people live in Karachi but very few have running water after the land has gradually dried up, forcing locals in some areas to queue for hours for supplies to be given to them.
Shamsul Mulk, former chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), said water policy is simply non-existent in Pakistan. Policymakers act like “absentee landlords” over water, he added.
“Because of this absentee landlordism, water has become the property of the landlords and the poor are deprived of their share.”
Experts say that population growth and urbanisation are the main reasons behind the crisis while some believe that the issue has been exacerbated by climate change and poor water management.