Experts have expressed grave concern over water scarcity capacity being 10% of the annual river flow on average against the international standard storing rate of 40% with uncertainty originating from climate change related complications.
Experts named the insufficient storage capacity one of the major reasons behind an increase in extreme weather events like severe flooding and prolonged droughts. Such events had increased substantially in recent years, said experts in the inaugural session of international water conference on ‘climate change and disaster risk management for sustainable development and business’.
Pakistan has to increase storage capacity estimated to be 22 billion cubic meters by 2025 to meet the 165BCM that is required capacity and can minimize the risk of the water crisis.
“Figures of the new census reveal that our population growth rate has increased from 2 to 2.4%, creating big challenges of generating more resources to cater to the basic needs, including food and water,” said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, he further said that the entire water management system should be reviewed to fight threat of water scarcity.
The conference addressed the water sustainability challenges from the perspectives of access, equity, hazards, and policy reforms. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Chairman Muhammad Ashraf told the conference focused on critical issues and challenges faced by Pakistan. He added that situation would worsen in coming days if preventive measures were not taken well in time.
“With each passing day, climate change has become a reality that is worsening. Wet seasons are getting wettest and dry ones driest in Pakistan due to graver effect of climate change,” he said. Pakistan is the 7th most vulnerable country to climate change that is increasing the threat of water scarcity.
The speakers added that water was the key element for socio-economic development and sustainability it is not a problem only of science, engineering or economics but also establish on values, ethics and equal contribution of cultures.
They focused on that comprehensive and consensus-oriented national water policy was expected to seek after a powerful procedure while keeping in thought the environmental change representing a genuine risk to Pakistan’s and the global water supply system.