Sindh grappling with acute water shortage as per 1991 accord, says Jam Khan Shoro

By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti

KARACHI: In a recent Twitter exchange, member of the National Assembly  Moonis Elahi emphasized the urgent need for more reservoirs in the country, citing the potential for generating inexpensive electricity and addressing the scarcity of irrigation for barren acres. However, Jam Khan Shoro, Sindh Irrigation Minister, highlighting a pressing issue, responded with a concerning statistics about Pakistan’s dwindling water availability.

According to Shoro, the country’s water availability has significantly declined from 5,260 cubic meters per capita to a mere 935 cubic meters per capita over the past 70 years. This alarming reduction raises serious concerns about the future of water resources in Pakistan. The province of Sindh, in particular, is currently grappling with acute water shortages, as highlighted in the 1991 water accord.

Under the 1991 water accord, the designated water availability for the region was 114 million acre-feet (maf). However, despite the accord, the water required for storage purposes has not been made available in the system, leaving a considerable shortfall. Consequently, the lack of consistent water supply affects the ability to store water for various purposes, including irrigation and generating hydroelectric power.

The prevailing situation presents significant challenges for the agricultural sector, which heavily relies on water for irrigation. The scarcity of water in storage reservoirs exacerbates the difficulties faced by farmers, particularly those with barren land in the tail areas of Sindh. Insufficient irrigation capabilities not only hinder agricultural productivity but also impede socio-economic development in these areas.


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