Like other parts of the world, water scarcity is also looming large in Pakistan as since 1951, the per capita water availability has been drastically shrunken from 5,600 cubic meters to the current level of 908 cubic meters.
The data of Population Census Organization Pakistan indicates that per capita water availability was 5,260 cubic meters in 1951, 4159 cubic meters in 1961, 2838 cubic meters in 1971, 2129 cubic meter in 1981, 1611 cubic meters in 1991, 1259 cubic meters in 2001 and 908 cubic meters in 2016. However, the population also witnessed sharp increase during the said period and it was recorded as 34 million in 1951, 43 million in1961, 63 million in 1971, 84 million in 1981, 111 million in 1991, 143 million in 2001 and 197 million in 2016, the data revealed.
Official sources told that around 29 million acre feet (MAF) water wasted every year in the country due to poor storage facilities and accumulation of silt in the main water reservoirs of Tarbela and Mangla. They were of the views that only rapid increase in the population was not the sole factor of decrease in per capita water but lack of water storage capacity and conservation were also adding to this issue.—APP