Pakistan at the brink of acute water crisis – Water scarcity to hit every person, facet of economy: Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum

Islamabad, May 29, 2015 (PPI-OT): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said country is steadily heading towards the most serious water crisis due to decades of neglect.

Substantial funds should be allocated for development of water resources otherwise our agriculture, livestock and industry will be damaged beyond repair while country will become a desert, he said. Talking to business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said that India should stop constructing controversial dams to monopolise water resources which can endanger peace in the region.

Around ninety percent of water resources are being used for agriculture of which a sizeable quantity is lost due to primitive water distribution system, he said, adding that some 35 maf (million acre foot) water goes straight to the sea due to want of proper planning.

The veteran business leader said that the level of ground water is dropping in many parts of the country which should be taken seriously. He said that our farmers use 100 per cent more water than Indian farmers while the ratio is 200 per cent higher as compare to China and 300 per cent higher to developed nations.

The wastage of water by farmers is a threat to our agriculture covering 21 percent of the GDP and absorbing 45 percent of the labour, he remarked. Mian Zahid said that 50 years back per capita water availability in country was 5650 cubic metre which is now below 1100 cubic meter which has left impact on power generation and prices of many commodities.

He said that country will need 277 maf of water and 100 increase in water storage capacity by 2025 otherwise it will face a disaster. International experts has advised to make a dam matching size of Turbela every decade which was ignored by successive governments, he lamented.

He said that Pakistan has most of the glaciers, 23 percent masses face floods every year but water is getting scarce which is amazing. Pakistan will be left with no glacier, a great source of water, by 2035 as it is among eight weakest countries in terms of climate change. The PBIF chief called for immediate attention of policymakers lest the coming generations have no future.

For more information, contact:
Mian Zahid Hussain,
Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF)
Tel: +92-343-2226888
Tel: +92-300-8233364