People warned against water crises in Islamabad, Rawalpindi

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Experts had also warned that a famine-like situation may arise in Pakistan due to the scarcity of water across the country if the issue is not resolved timely…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan’s Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has warned that people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad may face water crises in the coming weeks due to the 44 feet reduction in the water level of Khanpur Dam.

The water level in Khanpur Dam has dropped to 1938 feet against its capacity of 1982 feet, this is one of the major reservoirs of Pakistan that supplies water in these twin cities, The News International reported.

“The residents may face a complete stoppage of drinking water in the coming days,” WASA warned here on Wednesday.

WASA Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood has also said that authorities should undertake immediate actions to control the situation. He also said that water levels in the areas of Pirwadhai, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Hassu, Sadiqabad, and Shamsabad have fallen to a dangerous level, The News International reported.

“It is difficult to provide water through tube wells, we are dependent on Khanpur Dam water supply,” he added.

Meanwhile, authorities have deemed the low rainfall season as the major reason behind water scarcity in these two cities.

But in July, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary National Health Services, Nausheen Hamid had also informed that the country’s per capita water availability has declined by 400 per cent from 5,600 cubic meters in 1947 to around 1,038 cubic meters in 2021.

Experts had also warned that a famine-like situation may arise in Pakistan due to the scarcity of water across the country if the issue is not resolved timely, Geo News reported.

As per the report, water scarcity in the country has set alarm bells ringing after rivers have dried up due to low rainfall.

Experts warn that if new water reservoirs are not created and water wastage is not stopped, Pakistan will face a famine-like situation.

In the month of March, a Washington-based magazine, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) placed Pakistan at the third position in the list of countries facing acute water scarcity.

Stop water release into link canals’

Amid a severe dispute over the water crisis between Pakistan’s Indus River System Authority (IRSA) and Sindh government, another shortage of water has hit the farmlands of the province.

The latest controversy emerged after IRSA, which regulates water sources of the Indus River informed the Sindh irrigation department about the reductions made in water share for the upcoming dry spell, according to The Express Tribune.

People walk at a market in eastern Pakistan’s Rawalpindi

Following the crisis, Dawn reported that the Sindh government urged the Indus River System Authority on Saturday “not to transfer water from Indus river to Jhelum-Chenab system through Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals” as another shortage has already hit Sindh’s farmlands.

The provincial government has questioned the conservation (storage) of water by IRSA in dams for the upcoming Rabi season at the cost of standing crops.

It has advised IRSA “to compensate the water shortage Sindh has suffered by balancing water in coming ten dailies of late Kharif in a bid to recoup the damage caused to lower riparian and to avert a disaster which is in the offing”.

The government has requested the IRSA chairman to provide water “to Trimmu and Panjnad canals” from Mangla dam instead of transferring water from Indus. (ANI)

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