Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said our fertile lands are turning to the desert threatening survival of the populous country.

The water scarcity is taking a toll on agriculture, industry and the masses but policymakers have not realised the gravity of the situation, it said.

Everything is under threat as the country is becoming a desert with a rapid pace which will destroy all the developmental initiatives, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that migration, climate change, failure to manage water and Indian conspiracies have made Pakistan a water deficient country.

Once Pakistan was a water happy country but now per capita availability of water is well below 1000 cubic meter but satisfactory steps were not taken to combat the threat.

The country has been facing a magnitude of problems but water scarcity has become one of the biggest issues which need immediate attention, he said.

Murtaza Mughal said that nation should think ahead of Kalabagh dam and press the government to construct small dams on a war footing to save masses, agriculture and industrial sector.

He said that the shortage of water is causing an adverse effect on the economy of the country, it has badly affected the agricultural sector.

The direct impact of water crisis has reduced crops, forest productivity and water level and it has increased livestock, wildlife and human being mortality rate.

The need of the hour is to focus on water development and water management to improve the situation of water scarcity.