Water situation in pakistan Water crisis in pakistan A presentation By Mr Allah Dad Khan
Mr. Allah Dad Khan
There are two types of major resources of water in Pakistan, natural and
include rainfall, rivers, glaciers, ponds, lakes, streams, karez and wells etc.
consist of the surface water from rainfall and rivers, which is in excess of the
requirements for irrigation and other uses, is stored in dams and reservoirs.
The water from these dams and reservoirs is not only used for irrigation and
supplying water for daily consumption, but also used for hydroelectric
There are two major sources of rainfall in Pakistan i.e. the Monsoons
and the Western Disturbances. There is about 70 percent of the
annual Monsoon rainfall from July to September. Pakistan has both
arid and semi-arid zones. The entire Indus plain receives an average
seasonal rainfall of 212mm and 53mm in the Kharif and Rabi
seasons respectively. The rainfall varies as we move from the north
and northeast to the south of the country. It is only the canal
command areas in the NWFP and the northern-most canal
commands of the Punjab Province that receive some appreciable
amount of rainfall during the summer as wall as in the winter season.
There are more glaciers in Pakistan than any other land
except North and South Poles. The
glacier area of Pakistan is about 13,680 sq km and on the
average is 3 percent of mountainous region
of upper Indus Basin and accounts for most of the river
turnoff in summer. Pakistan has greatest mass
and collection of glassiers on the earth. In Karakoram
Range, the total length of glaciers is 160 km.
About 37 percent of the Karakoram area is under its
glacier, Himalayas has17 percent and European
Alps has 22 percent.
Pakistan has been blessed with a number of rivers which are
tributaries to the Indus. The five
main rivers which join Indus from eastern side are Jhelum, Chenab,
Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, beside three
minor rivers are the Haro, Soan and Siran. There are number of
small rivers which join the River Indus
from the west side, in which biggest river is Kabul and others are
Kunar, Punj, Kora. The Gomal
Kurram, Tai, Kohat Tank and several other small streams join the
Indus River from the right side.
Source: MTDF 2005-10
Reservoir Original Gross
by the Year
Stor age Loss
Terbela 11.62 (1974) 3.14 (27%) 3.95 (34%)
Chashma 0.87 (1971) 0.37 (43%) 0.48(55%)
Mangla 5.88 (1967) 1.18 (20%) 1.60 (27%)
Indus Basin River
The Indus river basin constitutes of the mountain basins Indus
plain, Karachi plains and desert areas of Sindh. Its source of water
is snowing, glacier melting and rainfalls.
Closed basin Kharan desert
It consists of areas of mountain basins of Quetta. Its main sources of
water are rainfall and nominal snow.
Makran coastal basin
Makran coastal basin constitutes of streams of Malir, Hub, Porali,
Hingol, and Kech. Its main source of water is rainfall.
Estimated groundwater resources
Source: National Water Policy, Vol. II, January 2002.
Punjab 43.2 52.8
Sindh 18.4 22.5
Balochistan 2.1 2.5
KPK 3.1 3.8
Total 66.8 81.6
Pakistan is having three basic reservoirs, namely mangla dam
reservoir, Terbela dam reservoir and Chashma barrage reservoir.
More small reservoirs like Warsak, Khanpur and Kinjhar lake Are
also included as small storage.
Out of 240.22 maf, 172.21 maf water is utilized for
Most of the rural and urban water is supplied from ground water
through tube wells and hand pumps. Net consumption is normally
about 2% of the total water available.
Water is also utilized in Industries basically for cooling
purposes and also in manufacturing processes. This
utility is less than 1%.
As we all know that now a days our country is facing
severe shortage of water. There are two main reasons, one
natural due to prolong drought---which is beyond the control
of a man, and the other due to the gross negligence in the
development and miss-management of water resources.
Less water means less agricultural yields and to fulfill
the food requirements of the nation, we will be
dependent on other countries.
Due to less production of main crops, which are wheat,
cotton, sugar cane and rice, the Industries related to
them will suffer adversely
Less agricultural outputs will compel people
to head towards urban areas for jobs, which
will increase the unemployment further.
The distribution of water is controlled from
the center by irsa (Indus river system
authority) as per 1991 agreement between
the provinces. Now the shortage of water will
cause disputes between the provinces,
which may cause harm to the national
Concern is growing in Pakistan that India is controlling
the water flow of rivers that flow from India into
Pakistan has raised objections to Indian water projects, but
a World Bank-appointed neutral expert rejected most of
the Pakistani objections.
Pakistani commentators, think that India is controlling the
river waters to strangulate Pakistani agriculture, which
could affect Pakistani exports and increase its dependency
on food imports.
The problems faced by the water sector in the country are many, acute and
serious. Therefore, building of more reservoirs and an effective management
strategy are the needs of time. Also implementation of the recommendations
will enable the country to meet the challenges, and achieve the objectives of
integrated, efficient, environmentally and financially sustainable development
and management of limited water resources. At the same time it will enable us
to utilize every drop of our water for our bright future.