Once Benjamin Franklin
said,”You will learn the worth of water when the well dries.”A new paper
paints a disturbing picture of a nearby future where people are fighting
over access to water. These post-apocalyptic-sounding "water wars" could
rise as a result of climate change and population growth and could become
real soon enough if we don't take steps to prevent them.
The study, which comes from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre
(JRC), says that the effects of climate change will be combined with an
ever-increasing number of people to trigger intense competition for
increasingly scarce resources. This can lead to regional instability and
Future water wars cannot be neglected.Approximately,Eighthundred million
people are lacking clean drinking water around the globe.
As droughts and crises multiply, academics have begun grappling with the
darker question of whether such shortages will push citizens - and even
countries - into hostile factions of water-rich and water-poor. By
mid-century, some of the world's most populous, troubled regions are
predicted to be dangerously water-scarce, including southern and central
Asia, the Middle East and northeast Africa.
Tensions are rising as shortages intensify, says Zeitoun, noting simmering
water conflicts along the Tigris and Brahmaputra, and intra-state conflicts
in China's Yellow Basin and the Basra region of Iraq. Two Pakistani
provinces, Punjab and Sindh - the last in line for the Indus water before it
reaches the sea - are routinely at odds over water. In Sindh, many fishers
and farmers reliant on the rapidly declining delta ECOSYSTEM have simply
given up and fled to cities - water refugees. In Darfur, where rainfall is
down 30 per cent over 40 years, evaporating water holes and disappearing
pasture helped push farmers and herders into civil war.
The Indus River is the primary source of freshwater for most of
Pakistan.Pakistan is one of the fastest-growing nations in the world. It had
a population of 210million now.The country is grappling with the same sorts
of growing pains that its neighbour, India, is experiencing. The year 2025
has been marked as the year when Pakistan — if it doesn’t mend its ways soon
— will turn from a “water-stressed” country to a “water-scarce” country.
Warnings about water running out have been issued separately by the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in
Water Resources (PCRWR). And as the alarm bells began to ring, the chief
justice of Pakistan launched a campaign to build the Diamer Bhasha and
Mohmand Dam. In his inaugural speech, Prime Minister Imran Khan, too, has
announced his backing for the plan.
But Pakistan has an extraordinary problem looming on the horizon: water
scarcity, which has devastated other countries in the sub-tropics in the
past decade, is now quite real. And a solution to the crisis is not entirely
within the country’s control.
An IPCC special report on climate change adaptation says that at least a
billion people in sub-tropical regions of the world like Pakistan, India,
Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia will face increasing water scarcity.
Glacier melting is responsible for roughly half of the water flowing in the
Indus, making the situation worse. The health of the Himalayas in the face
of the Earth’s changing climate is a real, and growing, concern.
“Given the rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the Indus
River… and growing tensions with upriver archenemy India about use of the
river’s tributaries, it’s unlikely that Pakistani food production will long
keep pace with the growing population,” Steven Solomon,Writer Of Water
comprising the epic struggle for wealth,power, and civilisation.He also told
that Middle East would be the first region to confront the issue and which
actually apparent as of now Yemen,wrote in The New York Times.
Just as we’ve seen in Yemen—where water riots ripped the country apart and
led to a civil war that has destabilized the country in the midst of
political chaos—wealthy, politically connected landowners in Pakistan have
also been accused of siphoning off far more than their fair share of
freshwater in upriver Punjab. There have been water riots over lack of water
and electricity in Karachi.
“The future looks grim,” Solomon concludes. “Eventually, flows of the Indus
are expected to decrease as global warming causes the Himalayan glaciers to
retreat, while monsoons will get more intense. Terrifyingly, Pakistan only
has the capacity to hold a 30-day reserve storage of water as a buffer
But experts believe that India’s efforts to dam up the Indus could
ultimately destroy Pakistan’s ability to feed its population.
If both countries collaborated on a series of giant, large-scale dams that
were built to rotate water use to different regions, tensions could be
reduced.More than 700 billion gallons of water are pulled from the Indus
River every year to grow this cotton.
“Pakistan’s entire economy is driven by the textile industry,” says Michael
Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars. “The problem with Pakistan’s economy is that most of the major
industries use a ton of water—textiles, sugar, wheat—and there’s a
tremendous amount of water that’s not only used, but wasted.”
Water crisis in Pakistan and overall the world has become adverse than never
before.All this should serve as a clarion call to our leaders who are busy
in power politics and political squabbling. If the incumbent leadership does
not build an adequate number of small and large dams, the country will face
recurrent drought and threatening floods in the future.Be it climate-change,limited
storage capacity,trans-boundary dispute or mismanagement of water;
governments entities ostensibly lack co-ordination To tackle issue of water
At the end, construction of reservoirs,using advanced telemetry, raising
height of existing dams to increase capacity,using advanced technologies
e.g. drip farming for water conservation,strengthening the role of UN with
constitutional and international law amendments,national way policy reviews
are a few ways to counter this emergency with practical futuristic approach.