STAFF REPORT IBD: With the country slowly slipping down the scarcity benchmark, it will be facing a severe water crisis in coming years, which will also harm the agriculture sector.

According to available statistics, the water availability, which stood at 5,300 cubic metres per person per year in 1950, dropped to almost 1,000 cubic metres in 2011, touching the globally set water scarcity level.

Experts fear that water availability will further go down in coming years due to massive wastage and growing population. They point out that over-pumping is depleting the ground water resource while 5,000 million gallons of used and untreated waste water is discharged into rivers and lakes, polluting the source for recharging the ground water.

The sources in the Climate Change Ministry said the impact of fast changing climate situation has started showing its dire consequences and the authorities have been informed about the looming water crisis resulting in little likelihood of the countrys reservoirs being filled to capacity and generating extreme irrigation water shortages particularly for the winter crops.

When contacted, Federal Advisor on Climate Change Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry said that the present water levels in the reservoirs are the lowest in the last many years, an alarming situation resulting from abnormally low temperatures.

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