Water is the main element of life. Humans and animals require water to maintain their body temperature and PH levels. Not to mention the composition of water in the human body, this is close to 70% in the human structure. We require water for cleaning, drinking and use it in every aspect of our daily lives whether it is construction, manufacturing, production or preservation.
Water is used to produce electricity by storing water in dams and then projecting strong currents of water onto the turbines which create electromagnetic pulses and generate power or electricity. Pakistan has two major dams namely ‘Mangla’ and ‘Tarbela’. Numerous small dams exist in the country but with little or no electrical production capacity.
Pakistan is facing a water crisis. Our neighbor India has cut the water flow of our rivers from the Indian occupied Kashmir and has built dams on those rivers for its own usage. This has resulted in an average decrease of water levels in the rivers of Pakistan resulting in a semi drought like situation in many parts of the country.
For an agriculture based country such as Pakistan, the importance of water is enormous. Drying up of rivers and reduced water levels will create a drought in the country by as early as 2025.
The main question is: Will Pakistan go to war with India over water?
India has built Kishanganga dam on river Jehlum. It started construction in 2009. For 2 years since 2011, the case was pending in the International court of Justice. The case was refused for lack of substantial evidence by Pakistan and India was allowed to construct the dam and revert the water back to India.
The main havoc of this water steering will be caused to agriculture and water reservoirs in Pakistan.
Mangla dam is dried since October 2017 and Tarbela dam is in dire need of rains to fill up.
In addition, India has also built Baglihar dam and Salal dam on Chenab River from the Indian held Kashmir. This is a matter of grave concern for Pakistan as Chenab is a major river irrigating the crops of Punjab in Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi threatened that he will make Pakistan a dry barren land. The Indian lobby is playing its cards right by avoiding direct conflict and creating a water race between the nations.
There is no point in staying silent over this grave issue. The nation is in a state of peril but the masses are sleeping. No water in dams, rivers means no water in our homes as the water table goes down.
War between the countries will be nuclear in nature which increases the importance of this issue. War between the nations is not a permanent solution. A political solution is the need of the hour. Or priority should be to make dams in our country to remove the electricity shortage and bring stability to the economy.
The immediate solution to this water crisis is the construction of Neelum-Jehlum Hydro Project and KALABAGH Dam. Neelum-Jehlum is being constructed on river neelum and will be completed by 2019. 90% of this dam is underground tunnels. It will produce 970 Mega Watts of electricity. Kalabagh Dam will be constructed on Indus river. Its production capacity is more than three times of the biggest dam of Pakistan. Kalabagh dam alone can suffice for the electricity demands of the nation for many years to come. The controversy surrounding Kalabagh Dam is also a part of Indian agenda to destabilize Pakistan and make it suffer for water.
We as a nation need to realize the dire consequences of water shortage in the country before it is too late. I urge the people to force the Government officials to take necessary actions to tackle this water deficit in time for our coming generations to dwell in this country.