Karachi the mega city of Pakistan, holding a population of 2 crore or definitely more, is simply falling short of water supply.Where people are already paying huge bills, paying high rents, and are working so hard just to fulfill their basic necessities, they are bombarded with yet another disaster and that’s WATER CRISIS!
Karachi requires a 1000 million gallons per day but unfortunately the poor, inefficient system is only able to supply half or maybe less of that amount to Karachi.If you are a resident of Defence, then tanker mafia is not something new however nowadays people in Defence are also suffering from water crisis along with the rest of Karachiites.
Before I get into the detail of water crisis and what we can do about it, first lets understand the source of water in Karachi.
Keenjhar lake is an artificial lake which was built after two natural lakes, Sunehri Lake and Kalri Lake, in Thatta district of Sindh were joined and then linked to the Indus river.The main purpose of Keenjhar lake was to supply water to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in Karachi as well as to irrigate 352,000 acres of land in Thatta.Both of which have decreased drastically in the past two years due to poor maintenance of water supply, theft, rainfall shortage.
Hub Dam was constructed in 1982 and since then the water level has decreased significantly. Less rainfall each year accounts for the rapid decrease and scientist term the level of water which is at present as “dead level.
We know that water being supplied to a city is not only for domestic purpose, it’s also needed for industrial and agriculture purpose and these sectors require much larger quantities of water. Some canals like Keenjhar Gujjo and others take water from Keenjhar lake and supply it to Karachi. Many fish farms are seen along these canals and many farmers use water from the canal to irrigate their fields. Farmers have installed illegal diesel engines to suck out water from canals to irrigate their fields. Tankers pump out huge amounts of water leaving very less water in the supply chain, thus compelling the residents to buy water from them only. Water pilferage accounts for 25% of water shortage in the city. Besides water pilferage, the other factor behind Karachi’s water crisis is the poor maintenance of water pumping stations and extremely worn out water pipeline network. Water theft in Karachi is not just a simple theft its a large scale water mafia organization and it can only be controlled when there’s strict criminal prosecution, which seems a a pretty unrealistic dream up till now.