Is Pakistan a water scarce or abundant country? The answer lies in the figures provided by the volume of water being fluxing into the country. Before the conclusion of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between Pakistan and India in Karachi by Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan, the average annual volume of water flowing into Pakistan was 170 million acre feet (MAF). The inflow of water came aggregately from six rivers, namely - Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Bias streaming from India. But, after the conclusion of the treaty, Pakistan, now, has to receive only 140 MAF volume of water on average because India infracts the terms of the treaty by exclusively using the entire water of the three eastern rivers and by unilaterally building dams in the eastern rivers without taking Pakistan into confidence and without getting its required approval. As a result, this reduces the stream of water being flowed into Pakistan. Currently, having lost about 30 MAF volume of water, our country receives only about 140 MAF of water, fluxing from the three western rivers, Jhelum, Chenab, and Indus. As the three eastern rivers enter the territory of Pakistan, we find the tight slack in these rivers. So, the question arises that after getting the water stream from these rivers, whether we are able to utilise and keep the available inflow of water? The total storage capacity of our installed barrages and canals is about 105 MAF. Hence, the figures reveal that we cannot store the ample availability of water; 35 MAF of water is gratuitously lost by us every year. The lost water makes its way into the Arabian Sea. 

We unnecessarily dispose about 25% of total available water into the Arabian Sea. That situation means that Pakistan urgently needs to construct dams and reservoirs. The controversial Kalabagh dam holds much of the wasted water seeking its way to the sea. Hence, like the Kalabagh dam, there is a need to construct dams in other feasible areas of Pakistan. The building of dams and reservoirs could not only stash away the water for generating hydro electricity but also store it for agricultural purposes. Besides, the construction of dams and reservoirs in elevated areas, the water stored there could benefit its population as water held in the raised dams and reservoirs is, in time of droughts, already in a position to provide the needed water to the people. Hence, being a water plentiful country, we must use all our available natural resources at their fullest in the best interest of the people and state. 

MUHAMMAD BILAL SARWAR, 

Daska, September 18.