There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just break it to you as it is: Pakistan is expected to reach absolute water scarcity by 2025.
According to IMF, Pakistan ranks third amongst countries facing water shortages and a major reason behind this is the excessive use of water without any mechanism to save it. #SaveWaterforPak #SaveWater pic.twitter.com/nv2wVuNVRi
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) May 30, 2018
It’s 2018 right now. Matlab, in less than 10 years, there’s a good chance that the water we take for granted today will not reach us, to begin with.
Pakistan currently ranks third amongst countries facing water shortages, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report. And yeah while we technically have plenty of water sources, it takes plenty of resources to make the water drinkable. Insufficient water management practices, blatant water wastage, and a dwindling storage capacity are some of the main reasons we are running so low on usable water.
According to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman, Lt Gen Muzamil Hussain, Pakistan wastes water worth Rs25 billion every year.
Out of the 145 million acre-feet of water that Pakistan receives every year, only 14m acre-feet of water is preserved.
The Diamer-Bhasha Dam on Indus can store 8.5m acre feet of water, which can help in tackling #PakistanWaterCrisis. It also has a potential to produce 4500mw of clean & cheap electricity.
Unfortunately, the pace of work on the dam has been extremely slow. #BuildDiamerBhashaDam
— Pakistan Water Crisis (@PakWaterCrisis) June 3, 2018
An important reason behind this is the excessive use of water without any mechanism to save it.
There are far too many different ways this is going to worsen life, as we know it. The most obvious being ke drinking water and tap water will become EXTREMELY expensive. While this is a complex problem that needs lots of policies and experts to develop a sustainable solution but luckily there ARE lots of things we, as individuals, can (and should) do to save water in our own capacities.
1. Take shorter showers
An 8-minute shower uses at least 60 liters of hot water. Limit yourself to one bucket (an average bucket holds about 10 liters of water) per shower. I know, it sounds hard, but imagine if even a hundred of us started doing that.- we will save a whole lot of water.
Basically, no more of this:
2. Be a little stingy when you are washing things
Be it kapray, plates, or, even your car. If you use a washing machine, make sure to collect as many old clothes as possible in one spin. Also, washing machines use up a LOT of water so maybe avoid them when you can? Aakhir haath bhi toh hain. If you wash them using your hands, again, set a target of water in a bucket and don’t exceed it. Same, with everything else.
Just, be mindful. It’s an easy first step to take if you think about how you are working on securing the most basic necessity of life for future generations.
Take a page out of the German ambassador to Pakistan’s book. He gets it.
using a bucket to save water while washing my car!! #pakistan ranks third amongst countries facing water shortage. one major reason is excessive use! 100 liters wasted washing a car with running tap water.. many ways to #SaveWater in our daily life! #SaveWaterforPak pic.twitter.com/mUEJJpSQkP
— Martin Kobler (@KoblerinPAK) June 1, 2018
3. Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth or shaving
When you leave the tap running, you are wasting approximately 5 gallons of water. Twice a day. Save 10 gallons a day just like that. Turn off the tap.
4. Reduce food wastage
Obviously preparing any food takes up a lot of water – in not just the cooking process but also in raising the cattle or growing the food and vegetables you are eating. Stop wasting it. You save money and water. Win-win.
5. Eat less meat
Okay, before you decide that I am being a bit of a climate-extremist (is that a thing? I guess it is now), hear me out. Raising cattle for food is one of the MOST environmentally damaging industries in the world. And it consumes a LOT of water. Now, I am not saying you gotta go vegan all the way. But if you can even reduce your meat intake by a bit (say, you have 20 meals a week that include a lot of meat and you reduce it to 17), you will be reducing your impact on the meat industry.
Again, if this sounds excessive – try to imagine a life where water is one of the most expensive of the necessities of your life. Sounds tough, right? Now, if you don’t want your children (or even your future self) to have that kind of a life, cut down on that meat.
6. Buy fewer clothes
The fashion industry is sometimes known as the thirsty industry amongst sustainability advocates because of how much water it uses.
A plain cotton t-shirt uses about 2,700 liters of water to be made. To put that in perspective, that is about three years worth of drinking water for a single person.
Make an active effort to buy fewer clothes and/or recycle them. Not only are you saving your bank, you are saving the planet. That earns you a superhero cape (but let’s keep it to an imaginary one because making one is just gonna contribute to water wastage…)
I'm gonna change my lifestyle and washing habits to conserve water. I believe, we could only tackle future monster by minimalistic lifetsyle. #SaveWaterforPak #ClimateChangeIsReal #waterislife
— Asma S. Chishti (@asmasch) June 4, 2018
7. Be mindful of when your maali waters your lawn
The best times to water your plants is in the early morning or at the end of the day. This stops water immediately evaporating in the sunlight and heat and it goes straight to the roots, where it’s needed.
8. Invest in cacti
If you are really into having your own garden but don’t want to waste all that water in maintaining it, get cacti. Not only are they super ADORABLE, they hardly need water, and are basically extremely self-reliant.
All kinds of wins.
9. Stop other people from wasting water
If you see people just leaving the tap running or taking hour-long showers, or just wasting water in any capacity, call them out (politely and kindly, please).
They might think you are crazy, but you are not. And one of these days, they just might take you seriously.
Every where I went, dinners, lunches, social or political gatherings, for past few years, #PakistanWaterCrisis was one topic I never forgot to discuss.
Now, wherever I go, people r eager to discuss the issue of water shortage.
Finally, we are talking. That's a start at least.
— Sikander F. Bhadera (@SikanderFayyaz) June 4, 2018
10. Don’t fund water grabbers
Water grabbing refers to companies that are heavily involved in wasting water unnecessarily or buying land in areas that prevent local communities from getting water. Stop buying things from them. Where you put your money says more about what you support or don’t support than anything else.
11. Make sure you support politicians and parties that prioritize water-conversation
If you think life becomes unnecessarily difficult when you are deprived of bijli, think of how much worse it will become when you are deprived of water. Let’s hold politicians and policy-makers accountable and responsible for making sure the problem is solved.
This year, I'll vote for one who will ensure making of dams in Pakista, particularly and foremost Kala Bagh dam #SaveWaterforPak
— Bhooki Abeer ??? (@DMisHaram) May 31, 2018
There you have it. With these super easy ways, you can essentially become a superhero for the planet, starting right at home. Do you know of any more ways in which this can be done? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via wsimag.com