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  • Reply to: Five myths about water in Pakistan   1 day 15 hours ago

    Most of Pakistan's agricultural belt lies in the flood plains. Historically, the rivers overflowed and flooded the plain in the monsoon season. The people moved their temporary settlements to higher ground for the season. The floods were contained after construction of the two major dams and millions of people now live in permanent towns and villages. In the past fifty years silting has gradually decreased storage capacity of the reservoirs and likelihood of the floods has increased correspondingly. It has put increasing number of people now living permanently in the flood plain at grave risk unless a new dam is built to contain monsoon water for replacing lost reservoir capacity.

    Theoretical studies are fine in as far as they go but these are not a substitute for the reality on the ground. Aside from the threat posed by the return of floods, agriculture in Pakistan is already facing grave water shortage. In some areas where ground water is unfit for human and livestock consumption they rely on water from the canals for daily use. Farmers from a number of a number of places in South Punjab where the canals have remained dry for months farmers have already abandoned the land and migrated to other places.

    It is a dubious claim that overall water supply has not decreased. The British carried out a survey of the Indus and its tributaries lasting over many years in the 1830s. I have a copy of its findings. Among other things it clearly states that all of the rivers were navigable for most of their lengths throughout the year. In my own lifetime I cannot recall a time until recently when the river beds were completely dry as they are today for months on end. More importantly, the water table has dropped precipitously and the ground water is no longer fit for agriculture or human consumption which was never the case earlier.

    This is by no means an encouraging trend. The kind of tinkering that is often suggested is not going to change this reality. The water crisis is not developing in Pakistan, it is already here. The sooner we realise it and do something about it the better. Living in a make belief world is inviting disaster of unimaginable proportions and not a desirable option.

  • Reply to: Sri Lanka, you have a right to know!   2 days 8 hours ago
    Dear Christine, please credit the World Bank.
  • Reply to: Milk fortification in India: The journey so far   2 days 13 hours ago

    Yes. Supplementation with Vitamin A is highly required for the children in the villages

  • Reply to: Sri Lanka, you have a right to know!   6 days 4 hours ago

    May I use this image in a training at my University? How do I get permission? Great article btw. informative

  • Reply to: What were your favorite entries from the Sri Lanka environment photo contest?   1 week 6 hours ago

    Kasun De Silva: What is the location of the rice field picture in Sri Lanka ?
    Nice one