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Plunge in per capita water availability raises concerns across Pakistan

ANI | Updated: Nov 30, 2022 01:53 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], November 30 (ANI): Pakistan is in dire need to alter its water management policy as the per capita water availability has dropped down from 5650 cubic meters to 900 cubic meters per annum in the South Asian country, according to the the Express Tribune.
Speaking at a Pakistan Air Force Air War Delegation at the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) house in Lahore retired Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani had shown grave concerns regarding the water mismanagement in the country. Pakistan can only store 10 per cent of the water that flows in its rivers. It is much lesser than the world average of 40 per cent, The Express Tribune reported quoting Ghani.
The carry-over capacity of the country is just 30 days compared to 170 days for India, 700 days for Egypt and 900 days for the US. The carry-over water storage capacity will have to be increased from 30 days to 120 days. Likewise, the low-cost hydel electricity, which stands at 9406 MW at present, also needs to be improved from the existing 28 per cent to at least 50 per cent in the national grid" And, according to The Express Tribune.

This delegation comprised of dignitaries from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe along with Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui and other officers from Pakistan's defence institutions.
According to the Express Tribune, he said "The water situation in Pakistan can only be improved by constructing more dams, conserving water, adopting modern irrigation techniques and minimising water evaporation losses."
These grave concerns are even more alarming when the whole country is still recovering from the destruction that happened in the floods of 2022. In these floods the estimated deaths were around 1508 people, 33 million people were affected, 12758 people were injured, 1817550 houses were destroyed, 12718 kms of roads were damaged and 927543 deaths of livestock were reported, according to a report by Aljazeera.
This is not the first time that the country is facing water issues, previously there were dues against Sindh at Rs 1.211bn while Rs 541.525 million was payable by Balochistan. Further the faulty water management system with large-scale abstraction without management and sufficient recharge in Pakistan has resulted in frequent natural disasters like floods and drought. And Sindh's all three barrages, Guddu and Sukkur barrage in upper Sindh and Kotri Barrage downstream witnessed a 61 per cent water shortage in Indus water. (ANI)