ICCI expresses concern on depletion of water resources

KARACHI: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) expressed on Thursday grave concern over depletion of water resources, fearing that it could transform Pakistan into a desert.

According to a press release, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh said that water scarcity is emerging as the biggest threat to Pakistan, which would lay waste to our fertile lands and turn them into arid zones, compounding food security situation. He said that the glaciers are melting while the rivers are drying, leaving many to rely on groundwater, which has been reducing the water table.

“The government should immediately settle the disputes of dams, without which the future of Pakistan seem bleak, as demand and supply gap for water has reached alarming levels,” he added.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that climate change, decreasing glaciers and forests and well as water aggression by a neighbouring country has contributed in depletion of groundwater in almost all the parts of the country.

Mr. Sheikh said that different areas have witnessed reduction in water table, which has increased the cost of pumping water through tube wells, making life difficult for farmers. He said that scarcity of water is to hurt the entire agricultural chain, creating problems like unemployment, food security and closure of industries.

“Almost 145 million acre feet (MAF) water passes annually through the country, out of which only 14 MAF could be stored for one month, while international standard stood at 90 days of storage, the country’s population would be 250 million by 2025 and demand for water would be at 338 billion cubic metre while availability would be 236 BCM, creating many challenges.

He urged the government to stop water theft, introduce new verities of seed requiring less water, train farmers to use less water and make reservoirs to store floodwater, which would improve the water table.

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