‘Increasing water scarcity, a grave treat’
ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Thursday expressed grave concern over depletion of water resources fearing that it can transform Pakistan into a desert.
ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh has said that water scarcity is emerging as biggest threat to Pakistan which will lay waste to our fertile lands turning them into arid zones compounding food security situation. He said that glaciers are melting while rivers are drying leaving many to rely on ground water which has been reducing the water table which is a grave threat.
Sheikh said that climate change, decreasing glaciers and forests as well as water aggression by a neighboring country has been depleting groundwater in almost all the parts of the country. He said that different areas have been witnessing reduction in water table which has increased the cost of pumping water through tube wells making life difficult for farmers. He also said that scarcity of water is to hurt entire agricultural chain creating problems like unemployment, food security and closure of industries.
Almost 145 million acre feet water passes annually through country of which only 14 million acre feet could be stored enough for one month while international standard stood at 90 days of storage. Country’s population would be 250 million by 2025 and demand for water would be at 338 billion cubic meters while availability would be 236 billion cubic meters creating many challenges.