Construction of dams is a must for Pakistan’s future generations. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has rightly said that there can be no compromise on this issue. Approximately water having economic values of $70 billion is being thrown into sea every year due to non-construction of water reservoirs. A water-starved country, which has insufficient foreign reserves can’t afford throwing water of such a high economic value every year into sea. Rainwater is wasted due to a lack of dams and work should be started on the dams so that water is available in the future when the demand increases. Study of Pakistan Counsel of Research on Water Resources of Pakistan says that rapid depletion of ground water is worsening the water crisis in Pakistan’s major cities, causing a drought-like situation. Such crisis needs to be taken on war footings; otherwise, a large section of Pakistan’s population, especially those living in big cities, will be facing severe shortage of water. Due to excessive pumping of underground water, the quality of underground water is being contaminated rapidly with heavy metals like copper, nickel and cobalt etc., which is the cause of spread of Hepatitis in Pakistan, especially in those living in big cities. Under the Indus Basin Treaty with India, water of only two rivers i.e. Jhelum and Chenab is available to Pakistan while the availability of water in the remaining three rivers i.e. Ravi, Sutlej and Bias is on the determination of India. The construction of dams and barrages by India over River Chenab and River Jhelum in violation of the Indus Basin Treaty exacerbated the problem of water shortage for Pakistan which is becoming more and more severe with the passage of time. The problem of water shortage in Pakistan has gained importance on account of lack of water storage capacity, and Pakistan has the 4th highest rate of water use in the world. It simply means that water intensity rate – the amount of water in cubic meters used per unit of GDP is the world highest and no country’s economy is more water intensive than that of Pakistan. The following remedial measures need to be taken to overcome this awful water shortage in Pakistan and must be taken at once, i.e. preparation of country’s water policy; construction of water reservoirs, formulation of national action plan for judicious use of available water, reduction in water losses through seepage, leaching and percolation by lining of canals, distributaries and water channels, control over pumping of underground water and over irrigation practices, increasing the water use efficiency of the crops by switching from conventional agricultural methods to modern ones, adopting water use efficient methods of irrigation like sprinkler, basin and drip irrigation.
Rapid depletion of ground water is worsening the water crisis in Pakistan’s major cities, causing a drought-like situation.