Water is a critical material for the very survival of all living creatures and every country in the world bears the responsibility for treating it like the fossil fuels without realizing that uncontrolled and mindless over exploitation can imperil the survival of the planet. With only 3% of water being non-saline there is an urgent need to take measures to conserve water through individual and governmental levels. In spite of enormous amounts of money earmarked for water conservation measures, lack of commitment and lethargy come in the way of implementing many schemes designed for the purpose. The following report reflects the pitiable situation Pakistan is finding itself due to callousness and lack of vision on the part of the administration in that country, with a water crisis looming ahead:
The government has allocated Rs 5.1 billion for improving water resources but failed to implement policies and utilised only Rs 672 million, reveals a report on Human Development in South Asia 2010/2011: Food Security in South Asia published released by Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Center (MHHDC).The report warns that if current trend continues, water scarcity in Pakistan by 2020 would reach a level where it could disrupt economic activity and hamper health and well being of people. Realising the gravity of water scarcity which is threat to the country's future of agriculture, the report recommends that agricultural research should develop water-saving technologies and design proper lining of water courses to curtail wastage of water in channels and canals.The report suggested that farmers associated with livestock, dairy and fishery and investments for development purposes like water conservation and infrastructure development should be included in the credit schemes. Despite immense contribution of agriculture to GDP, the sector merely receives 5.1 percent of the total institutional credit.In order to improve food security and reduce poverty in the country, Pakistan needs to develop a pro-poor growth strategy and ensure social safety nets for the poor.
Of course Pakistan has the "august" company of many other developing countries including India which have the same track record. The million dollar question is when are they going to wake up from their deep slumber? It is sad to read about these developments and more details can be accessed from the web site cited above.