It is now an admitted fact that Pakistan may be going through one of its worst water conditions yet. The UN and Pakistan’s Met department have forecasted that Pakistan may be water scarce by 2025, and residents in Karachi receive fewer than 500 million gallons of water per day, well below 50 per cent of daily needs. This year, with unusually hot weather and stressful tussles with India over flow of rivers, the water conditions in the country have dropped with a worse rate than expected.

Fortunately, the water scarcity crisis has not escaped national attention and the government is taking action to combat water scarcity. A new national water policy being approved last week was a good beginning. Now, a session arranged by the Planning Commission for key players in the water policy is further aiding the effort to save water, and it has played its first part by aiming to have Pakistan adopt the UN Decade of Action 2018-2028 for conservation of water.

It is hoped that joining the UN Action Plan will help keep Pakistan’s water policies in check and will mitigate water shortage. The UN plan, and our national policy come aided with attention on a wide range of external issues, which include water pollution and the high range of diseases affiliated with water, a highly relevant problem in Pakistan due to the increase of malaria and hepatitis in Punjab and Sindh.

The session placed emphasis on solar desalination as a solution for water scarcity, especially in areas of Baluchistan. Desalination of seawater can bring enormous opportunities for Pakistan to meet growing agricultural and civil water requirements, and is a relief from dam-reliance solutions. While the cost of desalination would certainly run high, some of the cost can be off-set by relying on local manufacturers than imported.