A Pakistan Minister has warned that scarcity of water is a major issue looming in the country and efforts need to be made to resolve it right away. Pakistan is already facing a massive power and gas shortage.
CCTV’s Danial Khan filed this report from Pakistan.
Pakistan\'s water shortage creates dangerous agriculture conditionsA Pakistan Minister has warned that scarcity of water is a major issue looming in the country and efforts need to be made to resolve it right away. Pakistan is already facing a massive power and gas shortage. CCTV's Danial Khan filed this report from Pakistan.
Pakistan’s water woes began in 1960, when the country’s Field Marshall Ayub Khan surrendered Pakistan’s main water supply to India in a deal complicit with the World Bank.
Pakistan lost three of its principle rivers, located in the upper Himalayas. These rivers, Jehlum, Ravi and Suthluj, flowing through Indian-occupied Kashmir and jealously guarded by Indian troops, are now running dry.
Pakistan could become another Sahara, extinguishing all signs of life. Pakistan’s fabled irrigation network, established by its colonial rulers, is now in shambles.
Pakistan was known as the bread basket of the subcontinent in days gone by. Today it is known as a begging bowl, seeking millions of tons of wheat and other food items from foreign countries every year.
“For the past several years, drought and water shortage have reached a critical stage in the food growing areas, especially in Sindh and Punjab provinces,” economic expert Khizer Mahmood Zaidi said. “The federal and provincial governments have repeatedly declared the water shortages as critical, but no one seems to be taking this issue seriously.”
The rapidly increasing population in Pakistan is already experiencing drought conditions and critical water shortages in cities with a steady downfall in agricultural output as the challenge of climate change and global warming looms dangerously close. Meanwhile, crop-growing areas in all the provinces are endangered on account of water scarcity. The planners are unable to cope with the problem.
“More dams should be planned, and this should be done in war footing,” Zaidi said. “Pakistan’s economy depends on its agriculture, and without water resources there will be no agriculture and no economy. It is disastrous.”
Pakistan is heading towards the worst water shortage in the next couple of years due to insufficient water management practices and storage capacity.
India has diverted Pakistani water and is building more dams which would further worsen the water situation in Pakistan.
Melting snow no longer reliable water resource as US faces super-drought
A new study claims large parts of the U.S. could be at risk for a super-drought, a drought that’s more intense and lasts much longer than droughts of the recent past.
CCTV’s Hendrik Sybrandy filed this report from Berthoud Pass, Colorado.
Melting snow no longer reliable water resource as US faces super-droughtA new study claims large parts of the U.S. could be at risk for a super-drought, a drought that's more intense and lasts much longer than droughts of the recent past. CCTV's Hendrik Sybrandy filed this report from Berthoud Pass, Colorado.
Hydrologists with the National Resources Conservation Service glided through one of several hundred, state snow survey sites.
“We are out to measure the current snow-pack conditions…to see exactly how much water is in the snow-pack,” Brian Domonkos, Colorado Snow Survey Supervisor said.
The more moisture, the better the downstream water supply will be in the months to come.
“Yes, we love the falling snow, and as long as it’s mounting up and becomes more and more water in our measurements, that’s what we’re looking for,” Domonkos said.
Unfortunately, this is what residents see all too often in Colorado and many other U.S. states. Climatologists say this is a result of climate change.
“If we have a mega-drought on top of these effects of climate change then look out. I mean it could be really bad,” Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said.
A study in the journal Science Advances argued we could be looking at extensive and persistent “megadrought”.
Scientists examined the width of tree rings across North America to reconstruct past climate conditions, then used computer models to project into the future. They found that a devastating megadrought in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains could far exceed mega-droughts that occurred back in the 12th and 13th centuries.
“From 2050 to 2100 the probability of having a mega-drought which we define as a 35-year event increases to 80 percent,” Jason Smerdon of the Columbia U. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said.
The study authors hope their findings help water managers in the affected areas plan for the future and get people thinking even more about carbon emissions.
“They’re based on future choices, choices that we haven’t made yet,” Smerdon said.
Climate expert Kevin Trenberth said the study is yet more proof that greenhouse gases are not harmless like some claim.
“I think this helps to put some nails in the coffin in fact, or maybe that’s not the right metaphor,” Trenberth said.
Richard Howitt of UC-Davis discusses economic impact of global drought
CCTV America interviewed Richard Howitt for more on the global drought and its impacts. Howitt is a professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics at UC-Davis University.