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ISLAMABAD: As the shortage of water in the country intensifies day by day and it is feared that by 2025, Pakistan will be among the most water scarce countries, people need to be made aware about how to use water, environmentalist Shahida Kausar Farooq said.

Ms Farooq, the chairperson of Subh-i-Nau, said the water shortage situation is alarming and people living in every part of the country are now facing the issue.

She said that it has been predicted that Pakistan would be among some of the most affected countries in the near future, and that people need to prepare to face this challenge.

The public needs to be educated through massive media campaigns about water being a limited resource that must be used carefully, she said.

“People are not aware of consequences of water shortage and they waste this blessing of nature. The government should have campaigns to give awareness to people for using water, for example when they wash their cars, they use pipes and an abundance of water gets wasted. They should be educated to use it wisely,” she said.

She added that people should be taught how to harvest rainwater, and rainwater harvesting systems should be a part of building by-laws.

Another issue in cities, she said, was that water lines are outdates and the water shortage and water wastage have been linked to leakages in water lines. She said the lines could be repaired, and small dams are necessary to save water coming from melting glaciers in the summer.

Ms Farooq said groundwater badly needs to recharge due to boring in people’s homes, despite a ban on the practice in the capital. The Capital Development Authority seems to be deliberately ignoring such incidents and allowing people to bore further into the ground for water.

She said water usage should be monitored and controlled through water meters, so that people understand the importance of the resource and pay for what they use.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2018