Issue Brief on “The Growing Water Scarcity Issue in Pakistan”

Water scarcity is the foremost critical issue that Pakistan faces today.  The country is the most water-stressed among the South Asian countries and will face acute scarcity by 2025.[1] The effect of the water crisis in Pakistan is already being felt among people. Almost 30 million Pakistanis have no access to clean water, 80 percent of people living in 24 major cities do not have access to clean water and 16 million slum dwellers of Karachi do not have access to running water.[2]

Water security is, rightly, linked to human rights, with the right to access clean water considered the basic human right of every citizen. However, due to growing population, reckless use of water along with changes in weather patterns because of global warming, countries around the world, both wealthy and poor, face increasing water scarcity in the 21st century. The UN reports that globally three billion people are facing water shortage with one billion facing hunger today. Moreover, the Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum ranked water crises as the third most important global risk in terms of impact on humanity.[3]

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