Pakistan's Water at Risk : Water and Health-Related Issues in Pakistan and Key Recommendations : A Special Report (2007)

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Water is an essential element for the survival of all life. Unfortunately, while Pakistan is blessed with surface and groundwater resources, with the passage of time rapid population growth, urbanization and unsustainable water consumption practices in the agricultural and industrial sectors have placed immense stress on the quality as well as quantity of water resources in the country. According to the Pakistan Strategic Country Environmental Assessment Report 2006 (SCEA 2006), per capita water availability in Pakistan has decreased from 5,000 in 1951 to 1100 cubic meter per annum. The increasing gap between water supply and demand has led to severe water shortage in almost all sectors. As per Ministry of Environment, Draft State of the Environment Report 2005 (SOE 2005), Pakistan stated a population growth rate of 1.9% in 2004. The projected figures for 2010 and 2025 have reached 173 million and 221 million respectively. These estimates suggest that the country will slip below the limit of 1000 cubic meters of water per capita per year from 2010 onwards. The situation could get worse in areas situated outside the Indus basin where the annual average is already below 1000m3 per head (SOE 2005). In Pakistan, water remains a critical resource for sustained well being of its citizens. The water shortages and increasing competition for multiple uses of water has adversely affected the quality of water, consequently, water pollution has become a serious problem in Pakistan. It is now established that most of the reported health problems are directly or indirectly related to polluted water. Pakistan is already one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, a situation which is going to degrade into outright water scarcity (WB). This special report presents the existing status of water quality and quantity in Pakistan and stablishes the linkages between water quality and its associated health effects. In conclusion, some urgent actions are recommended to improve the situation.
Language: English
Imprint: International Water Management Institute WWF-Pakistan 2007
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