If not for these general elections-2018, then certainly, for General Elections 2022 political mantra would be provision clean and drinkable water amongst other issues. Why not now?
Pakistan has started facing water scarcity and non availability of clean water. Various reports have pointed out water shortages. For instance, according to World Bank reports Pakistan, already water stressed, would be water scarce by 2025. This finding was corroborated by few recent events; with the arrival of new crops season, water shortage has reached to the level of 40 percent less this year for agriculture.
Similarly, other reports suggested that Pakistan’s two main Dams: Mangla and Terbela, which are also considered as country’s Economic and Energy life lines, are facing reduced level of water. This is alarming situation. Furthermore, Pakistan’s Federal Capital Territory residents are finding it hard to have drinkable ground water and being exploited by tanker mafia.
There are many reasons for this conundrum. Ranging from unnecessary draining of ground water through tube wells, politics of infrastructure, old fashioned and unsophisticated methods of agriculture, wasting large amount of water through faulty road side showers, lack of proper check and Balance on usage of water, no conservation and management of water, and rainfall coupled with global warming.
These indicators and reports are thought provoking and equally alarming because if we continue to be ignorant, it would have severe repercussions on various fronts. For instance, it can hunt down our already staggering exports especially textiles because non availability water to agriculture sector. Moreover, country’s faltering energy sector will be further exacerbated as its production is heavily dependent on water.
Whether we like it or not, our defense, security installation could be highly vulnerable because of these nosedived exports and lack of uninterrupted power supply to our security installations respectively, which is worrisome.
Therefore, our incumbent government needs to wake up from the deep slumber of ignorance and incompetence; this issue requires immediate attention and concerted efforts at provincial Federal level. There are certainly short and long terms planning required. Short term includes implementation of emergency like situation, wherein, local government and civil servant at AC and DC level needs to be mobilized to make people aware, close road side faulty showers and warn tube wells operator against the miss use of water resources.
Furthermore, medium to long term plans include, the introduction of international standards usage meters, sophisticated methods of agriculture which consumes less amount of water, and most importantly, water management and its conservation through construction of Dams: Small and Large dams.
In the end, it is to mention that enough has been said and done about infrastructure politics i.e. metros and flyovers, by our political leadership. Now the time is ripe for taking concrete steps in coping with those issues which could have negative consequences if not dealt today. Therefore, our political leadership needs to make people sure, through this election campaign, that after coming into power, water crises would be its priority. Simply should be their election Mantra.