By: Aasma Tahir
The time we live in is the winter of the world. The whole world is facing a scarcity of water, as water is one of the basic necessities of life. Water decides the national integration and economic strength of any nation and due to its excessive usage nations’ economies are deteriorating. The human being, wildlife, and our environment all rely upon water and cannot survive due to its shortage. It determines the strength of any state, especially of those whose economies are agriculture-based. South Asian countries are the most water-stressed countries and water is becoming a political tool for them. The strategies to mitigate the dilemma of water shortage are the need of the hour. When there is no water there will be no plants, no wildlife and hereafter no human being. A man can live without shelter and material things but not without water. Its shortage brings malnutrition and food hunger. Today, the population of the world is increasing rapidly and so the need of water is also increasing. According to an estimate, in 2050 the water need will be 400 times higher, hence, the planning is needed to be implemented at the national and international level in order to survive the people from this panacea. The current state is showing that there can be a war on water in the future. India and Pakistan both are an agriculture-based economies and both are on the list of the most water-stressed countries which is creating regional and global chaos and disharmony. Cordial relations, tolerance, peace strategies, awareness to protect water and control the surge of the population are the core elements to safe humanity from the curse of water shortage.
The water crisis is an intensive issue for mankind. Since we know that 70% of Pakistan’s export is based on agriculture, therefore, water is the basic need of agriculture. It is obvious there will be no wheat and crops and agriculture-based economy will suffer. The trade deficit will be heightened and the country will reply upon aid instead of trade. Such a state of declining economy endangers an image of a country at a global level and no nation can trust such a country. Same is the case with the Indian economy that’s why it is spoiling the system of equality regarding water and Pakistan’s economy is shrinking.
Today the world is shifting from traditional threats to non-traditional threats, therefore health is becoming more important. Excess of water is good for the sustainability of food as there will be less chance of mal-nutrition too. Our green life is mainly dependent on water and when there is lack of water, they will die. In the meanwhile, our world is passing through the peril of population explosion. Today, the population of the world is 7.8 billion and it will be 11 billion in 2100, hence the preservation of water is the only way to save our planet. Population stressed countries are Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh and they are the most water-stressed countries too. It is clear cut that the more the population is, the more the nation is water-stressed. Pakistan’s rank is four among the list of Water Wastage Countries. Almost 60% of water is being wasted in our country. The developed countries follow the tricks to secure water and have plans to recycle it. In our country, there is no recycling process. Somehow, in our mosques, the recycling system for water is established. People waste the most of water while washing the cars. The dilemma is that there is already no water in our dams and funds are less to construct them.
In the wake of the augmenting water crisis, World Bank has started its “Thirsty Energy Plan” while considering all the facts launched by United Nations. As we know that 2/3rd of the world population is deprived of water, therefore, the UN through its SDGs and MDGs is spreading the message of “Ensure Environment Sustainability” and “Clean Water and Sustainability”. The developed countries should raise funds to enhance the working of these goals. It is rightly said that water and blood cannot run together, so water should not be used as a political weapon. The quality of dams in Pakistan must be improved. The old-fashioned canal system needs to be advanced. Cordial relations among the most water-stressed countries should be developed to avoid the building of dams or artificial islands on others territories. Basically, it is not just collective effort but an individual effort. The water should not be wasted in the industries, mosques, factories, home tasks, car-washing etc. The trickling and sprinkling for water should be avoided. If we follow these plans every nation can strengthen its economy with water storage instead of diplomatic means.
The writer is a freelance columnist, poet, fiction writer, and translator. She can be reached at [email protected]