The report published in The Nation the other day is alarming that underground water is running out quickly as per capita availability of water drops to 990 cubic metres in 2016 as compared to 5,650 cubic metres in 1947. India has 1,600 cubic metres of water per person per year while major European countries have up to twice as much ranging from 2,300 cubic metres in Germany to 3,000 cubic metres in France.

The shortage of underground water in Pakistan is due to our neighbouring country India that has subsidised thousands of tube wells for agricultural purposes.

The situation is critical for both countries, the Indus Water Treaty only pertained to surface water and there has been limited consideration of trans-boundary aquifers in international law and only a limited number of agreements on trans-boundary aquifers exist.

Both countries should take suggestions from the UN convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Water Courses. Both countries should cooperate with each other and resolve the situation for joint assessment and management of trans-boundary water, especially to tap aquifer systems for mutual benefits.

The government of Pakistan should build water reservoirs in different places so that somehow we could control the situation.

KOMAIL ZAIDI,

Lahore, August 11.