Water Crisis – A Drastic Impact of Global Warming

Global warming is greatly contributing to water crisis, which is disturbing rich and poor nations alike and approximately three billion individuals are living in limited water situations, that is more than 40 percent of the world’s population.

Global Warming brings up an increase in regular surface temperatures of globe. An intense scientific agreement upholds that it is happening principally because of the human consumption of fossil fuels, which discharges carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The gases trap warmness within the air, which can have a series of impacts on environments, incorporating rise in sea levels, extreme meteorological conditions, and famines that make lands more vulnerable to wildfires. Global warming is anticipated to be the reason of about 20% of the worldwide increase in water shortage this century. It is expected that it will alter rainfall configurations around the globe, melt mountain glaciers, and exacerbate the severity of floods and droughts. Global water usage increased six-fold in the last century – greater than twice the proportion of population growth. Water and inhabitants are unequally dispersed across the world and our present freshwater resources are facing substantial risk from overexploitation, contamination, and global warming. According to these trends, justifiable provision of sufficient water resources for farming, manufacturing and human use poses one of the extreme trials of this century.

Water crisis is disturbing rich and poor nations similarly and approximately three billion individuals live in limited water situations that are more than 40 percent of the world’s population. The indicators of general water deficiency are lots of deaths each year due to starvation and water related illnesses, political clash over limited water resources, extermination of freshwater species, and dilapidation of marine ecologies. Nearly half of all swamps have already been vanished and dams have completely changed the flow of approximately 60 percent of the world’s main watercourses. Asia is the world’s largest and the most populated continent in the world and water is a becoming threatening constraint in this region. Pakistan, an agro-based economy, has monsoon climate in most of its parts. Such type of weather is determined strongly on yearly glaciers melts and monsoon showers. There might be abundant rain throughout the wet spell and then a very lengthy dry period where crop production relies profoundly on irrigation water. Pakistan is among the most water-stressed states and per capita access to surface and groundwater sources is projected to continue to decrease in the eras ahead, because of urbanization and rapid population growth. As an harsh consequence of global warming , the yearly mean surface temperatures in Pakistan have been gradually rising during the previous century.

Though there is growing attentiveness about the climate change and increase in current water insufficiency in Pakistan, ambiguity rests about the amount to which this change may take place and its probable repercussions for various segments. Global warming is expected to influence water quality and the occurrence of water-borne ailments. Water quality considerations, comprising of acidity levels, nutrient and oxygen levels, are mostly sensitive to rising water temperatures, which stimulates the growth of numerous plank tonic kinds that are directly or indirectly harmful to human health. Therefore, rise water temperatures indicate an upsurge in water-borne bacteria and dangerous algal pollutants. It can also cause possible intensifications in vector-related illnesses such as malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever or yellow fever etc. Global warming becomes the reason for change in monsoon rainfall arrangements and other deviations in precipitation intensities that could cause more occurrences of heavy rainfall events and riskier happenings like inundations and famines that have a direct effect on water quality and water-related maladies. Flooding and heavy rainfalls, mainly in municipal regions, also lead to great quantities of pollutants to enter from industrialized and agrarian zones to rivers, further worsening water quality. Whereas, drought situations not only decrease water supply, they also damage water quality as toxins become more concentrated in water. Likewise, scarcities can force citizens to use unclean sources of water for drinking and other practices. Vegetables and crops, irrigated with wastewater, due to the inaccessibility of treated water become contaminated with pesticides and other pollutants.

Climate change is changing the water dynamics in Pakistan and if not attended properly, it may have catastrophic concerns, causing extensive insufficiency, clashes and harm to fiscal wellbeing. With new trials in trans-boundary water dialogues, comprehensibly much attention is focused towards Pakistan’s regional water disputes with India and Afghanistan. But transnational practice indicates that water scarceness can intensify internal pressures. According to the UN Peace Institute, data from Pakistan illustrates that water shortage, famines, overflows and local negligence can prompt strains locally and this can worsen intrastate water differences. Because of the inadequacy of water and global warming, there is an annual increase in desertification of land and the level of underground water is also reducing. Water management must be the highest priority for the country. Merely impugning former governments for the predicament won’t resolve anything. According to my research, climate change does not pose development challenges only, but it also presents development opportunities.

Initially to solve the water crisis, the provinces should abandon political playoffs and decide on establishing new water reservoirs. According to the water experts, the manner our population is growing a Tarbela-size water storage is required in every decade. Federal and provincial water commissions are also required to ensure well-organized water resource management at all levels along with national water policies. The Coun­cil of Common Interests (CCI) officially ratified the National Water Policy (NWP) with consent in April 2018.The policy authorizes the provinces to build their own strategies within a national agenda for sustainable development and administration of water resources. It acknowledges that water resource is a state obligation, but irrigation, farming, water supply, and other water-related sub-sectors are provincial issues. The policy also endorses that the national government perform an important role in simplifying protocols to guarantee effective and ecological utilization of ground water, industrial usages and waste water supervision.

The legislators in Pakistan need to fight against the water crisis because it intimidates to make the land dry over the next decade. Long, medium and short term plans need to be articulated in order to reserve water. In the short time span, we may formulate & implement water treatment schemes and inform the stakeholders in order to attain an optimum level of existing water utilization for domestic, industrial and sanitary usage. In the intervening time, tactics for the medium-term may consist of a comprehensive evaluation of the water agreements and constructing dams so that water is disseminated in an unbiased and a viable way. In the long time period, Pakistan can deliberate establishment of desalination plants to make more consumption of river and sea water possible. Many nations have taken up this plan to face water concerns. Actually the expenditures of founding such plants in the coastline zones of Pakistan would rely greatly on the kind of fuel that is utilized. Though, the paybacks of this ingenuity would be greater than the costs. And with the tactics of launching coal power plants under the CPEC, it would appear normal to instigate planning for building desalination plants rather than making ourselves prepared for a waterless future. Key significance must be provided to the treatment of industrial waste before it is permitted to discharge in channel. The environmental regulations and their application need be followed more earnestly and sensibly. The practices that involve use of untreated wastewater for irrigation of grounds should be instantly clogged as it is unsafe for the users of those vegetables and crops. Groundwater for drinking purposes must not be pumped near wastewater pipes.

Water from Monsoon rainfalls is one of the largest resources for water in the country because it also assists in cultivation of unfertile lands. By channelizing monsoon rainwater towards deserts like Tharparkar and Cholistan the region could be transformed. A huge amount of water is squandered annually and through appropriate utilizations it could aid in electricity generation too.  The academic circles, civil society and water research institutions have to collaborate in harmonization for the resolution of current water crisis confronted by Pakistan. Water demand can be monitored and regulated with the help of a series of programs that encourage efficient water usage, comprising of awareness campaigns, voluntary acquiescence, legitimate constraints on water consumption, controlling of water or the obligation of water conservation principles in technologies. Words on paper and in promises cannot change the situation; action is the only solution to the problem.

Global and local water challenges must be addressed as soon as possible. We need a new mode of thinking and we must shift our paradigm from old policies to sustainable policies. Smarter usage of innovative tools for obtaining, refining and dispensing water is necessary. It must be acknowledged at all levels that access to safe water and sanitation are fundamental human rights. We have to safe water for future generations and a sustainable future is possible if we move all individuals, communities, countries and global course of action in same direction of saving current water resources.

Published in Melange intl. Magazine in August 2018.

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