Sindh’s water insecurity
Sindh survives almost entirely on the water of the River Indus as there is very limited groundwater available.
Compared to its increasing needs, water availability to Sindh is being reduced every year.
Though regular surveys have not been carried out to assess the availability of groundwater in the province, various sources estimate that its volume is quite sparse scattered in 28 percent of the geographical area of Sindh.
This water is found mainly along the Indus water channels and in the few natural underground streams.
Due to Sindh’s finite water resources and its increasing population, the province is facing a serious water crisis.
Recently the Sindh water commission in its report has noted that the people all over the province are not being provided safe drinking water in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s standards.
The commission was formed in December last year on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, comprising Sindh High Court judges.
Headed by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro, the commission was tasked to conduct an in-depth probe into the authorities’ failure to provide clean drinking water, sanitation facilities and a healthy environment to the people of Sindh.
The high pollution level of the Indus River and groundwater has led to different environmental consequences such as reduction of biodiversity, increase in water-related diseases and decrease in agricultural productivity.
To ensure sustainable water supply for agriculture, drinking and industrial uses and for protecting the natural environment of Sindh, the Sindh government must ensure that the province receives its share of water as per the 1991 water accord besides promoting better management and conservation of its water resources.