Adnan Falak in his column ‘A future without water’ in The Nation of Feb 12, has drawn a picture of Pakistan as a country without water, the Himalayan glaciers having melted, people are facing power and water shortage line up for hours to purchase imported flour, rice, vegetables and water. He basis this on the Asian Development Outlook which says Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, not far from being classified as ‘water scarce’, with less than 1000 cubic meters available per person per year, and a storage capacity dangerously low at 30 days.

He continues, with the population of our country soaring to 256 million by 2030 and doubling by 2050, we would be experiencing enormous water stress in the coming years. The first casualty of this impending water scarcity will be our agriculture sector. Across Pakistan, hundreds of cities and thousands of small towns are driven by agricultural activity any disruption in agriculture would have deadly implications for our economic viability and national security.

In the end he has stressed better management of our water resources.

I wish he had noticed that the copious flow of tributaries of the Indus, namely Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Khuram, Siren, Haro and Soan are not being stored to provide millions of acre feet (maf) of water for irrigation and thousands of megawatts of power. Can the country afford this neglect and still hope for a better future.


Lahore, February 15.