Overcoming water crisis

Published May 06, 2013 07:05am

ACCORDING to a report (April 28), a sit-in by farmers for water disrupted the main line rail traffic between Karachi and Lahore. The farmers were protesting against shortage of water in Badin district which is creating drought-like conditions, forcing farmers’ families to migrate from the area.

The Tarbela Dam was commissioned in 1975, 38 years ago, increasing canal supplies by 25 per cent. Total withdrawal in canals went up from 83 million acre feet to 103 maf. Of the 20 maf increase, Sindh got 7 maf, with which it was able to cultivate an additional 2.7million acres. This is verifiable data.

River flows do not increase by themselves, but population does. While there has been no increase in supplies over the last 38 years, the population has increased from 80 million to 190 million over the same period with no end in sight.

There has been a corresponding increase in the demand for irrigation water. But supply is unable to meet demand. The water that was sufficient to feed 80 million people cannot be sufficient to feed 190 million people.

The result is severe shortage of water all over the country which, left to itself, will only get worse instead of getting better.

There is a dire need to educate public opinion on this issue on which depends the survival of the country. Who will do it?

ENGR KHURSHID ANWER Lahore

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Comments (2) (Closed)


Riaz
May 07, 2013 06:54am
Engr. Khurshid did not mention about Mangla Dam. Why not ?
KCK
May 06, 2013 05:32pm
Land and water resources are limited by an act of nature. Population is increasing by the actions of people. The time is not far when population will catch up with the limits of land and water. When Ayub Khan was in power he promulgated population planning but did not go far as our Chinese neighbours did. Population planning is not a priority by our rulers. They are fighting for power no matter what. Taking population planning as an issue before people of Pakistan is like who will bell the cat. So let us wait until we can wait until we learn to live within our limited resources of land and water.