Pakistan, the 220 million South Asian nation is home to 7,253 glaciers with more ice than any other country on Earth outside the polar regions.
Pakistan May Face Absolute Scarcity of Fresh Water Sources by 2040:
The per capital availability of fresh water in Pakistan has fallen below. That’s why these areas are facing a Scarcity of Fresh Water.
Pakistan may face absolute water scarcity by 2040. Indus water system from northern regions decreases by 22% compared to last year.
Now there is an additional dimension to the flood problem:
Muhammad Khalid Idrees Rana, director of operations at the Indus River System Authority, told:
“The drop in temperature in the northern areas, especially Skardu, has resulted in a significant reduction in water inflows in our rivers, and this is obviously worrisome for all of us.”
A study published last year in the journal Science Advances said climate change was “eating Himalayan glaciers at a dramatic rate.”
By 2018, more than 3,000 of these lakes had been built, of which 33 were considered dangerous and more than 7 million people were at downward risk, according to the UNDP.
As glacier ice melts, it can accumulate in large snowy lakes, which are prone to eruptions from the edges and cause deadly flooding downwards.
A senior government official warned that:
“Slow melting of glaciers and ice in northern Pakistan due to low temperatures is significantly depleting the country’s reservoirs, which could insecurity food and energy.”
For the people of Orangi metallic clanging is the sound of water flowing.
Twenty million people living in the western district of Karachi Pakistan depend on these daily water deliveries.
The families collect water to use for washing clothes sanitation bathing cooking and cleaning even the tap water which they use for drinking has to be delivered.
One of Karachi residents said:
I am 47 years old there has been no water in this area for the last 40 years we get water either through tankers or we get some water from this charity.
“I have never seen drinking water supplied by the government flowing from this tab this is the water we either buy from a tanker or we get it from the charity we store and use it.”
Charities do not deliver regular leave so many people receive tanker deliveries directly to their homes. The financial burden is one most residents could do without.
3rd resident said:
“We have to buy three tankers every month one tanker costs us around 2000 rupees that means three tankers cost us six thousand per month. It is really a burden on my income.”
Pakistan’s Hub dam the largest in the country south is one of Karachi’s main sources of water.
Torrential rains flooded Karachi last year and filled the depleted reservoir but there still isn’t enough.
Asadullah Khan (Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Director said:
“We have half the amount of water we need so you will see the shortage of water everywhere and there are certain areas with acute shortages like district west this is because of the rapid population growth in the district west.”
Locals say that overpopulation poor infrastructure and mismanagement all contribute to the shortages the UN says that if the problems are not addressed Pakistan could run completely dry by 2040.
Experts say 60% of Pakistan’s water is currently lost due to the lack of dams in the country.
Officials say river flows in the country, which relies heavily on snowmelt (41 per cent), ice melt (22 per cent) and rain (27 per cent), are prone to slow snow melt.
Pakistan’s water storage capacity is now only for 33 days, which experts say should be extended to at least 100 days to ensure the most urgent water supply for agriculture, industry and other purposes.
Pakistan will continue to face water scarcity problems until it builds more reserves to collect about 17 million acre-feet of water coming from the Kabul River every year.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources:
“Climate change has been severely impacting our water inflows from glaciers,” he said. “If the current temperature prolongs for another seven to eight days, we may have to cut the water share of provinces.”