February 15, 2017
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said all the development initiatives will prove useless if we have no water to support life.
Population growth, rapid urbanisation, climate change and poor water management is taking toll on water resources and they country may run dry by 2025 if the authorities do not take immediate action, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan which was once declared ‘water happy’ country by the World Bank touched the ‘water stress line’ in 1990 and crossed the ‘water scarcity line’ in 2005.
Despite repeated warnings the successive government have not realised the gravity of the problem which continued to reduce per capita water availability in Pakistan, he added.
The business leader said that the issue of water scarcity is yet to be appreciated therefore Pakistan is to face drought-like situation in the near future.
We are inching towards a disaster as our ability to save water has contracted over the years and we haven’t built new dams since the 1960s, he said, adding that the World Bank had advised Pakistan to build a dam like Tarbela in every decade which was never taken seriously.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has become the third most water-stressed country in the world with per capita annual water availability is 1,017 cubic meters which was 1,500 cubic metres in 2009.
The deteriorating situation will hit population, agriculture and industry and could lead to deep political turmoil if nothing is done, he waned.
The Former Minister said that industries across the Pakistan are feeling pinch of shortage of water but situation in Karachi is worth mentioning where almost all the industrialists are facing shortage of water and forced to buy it at high cost.