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Pakistan's water at risk : water and health-related issues in Pakistan and key recommendations : a special report

Even though water is one of the most important requirements for life and Pakistan is a semi-arid country, water use practices in the country fall short of the required minimum for water conservation and water quality. Rapid population growth, urbanisation and unsustainable water consumption practices have placed immense stress on the quality as well as the quantity of water resources in the country.
Pakistan is drying up, and what water remains is heavily polluted. Deterioration in water quality and contamination of lakes, rivers and groundwater aquifers has resulted in increased waterborne diseases and other health impacts.
A national water quality study was carried out in 2001. In the first phase of the programme, covering 21 cities, all samples from four cities and half of the samples from seventeen cities indicated bacteriological contamination. Arsenic above the WHO limit of 10ppb was found. Uncontrolled discharge of industrial effluent has effected surface and groundwater. Municipal wastewater and industrial effluent flow directly into open drains, which flow into nearby natural waterbodies.
The treatment of sewage and industrial effluents is at present a low government priority. While unregulated groundwater abstraction is the cause of water depletion; there are no clear guidelines, rules and regulations. The level of compliance to environmental laws in the country is extremely low, as law enforcement is weak. A clear and practical strategy has to be defined to implement policies, if Pakistan is to survive the next few decades, practices have to change.
Presented with conclusions and recommendations.

TitlePakistan's water at risk : water and health-related issues in Pakistan and key recommendations : a special report
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsWWF-Pakistan -Lahore, PK. Freshwater and Toxics Programme
Paginationiv, 24 p. : boxes, fig., tab.
Date Published2007-01-01
PublisherWWF-Pakistan
Place PublishedLahore, Pakistan
Keywordsenvironmental protection, health impact, legislation, pakistan, policies, sdiasi, sdipol, water consumption, water demand, water pollution, water quality, water quantity, water use
Abstract

Even though water is one of the most important requirements for life and Pakistan is a semi-arid country, water use practices in the country fall short of the required minimum for water conservation and water quality. Rapid population growth, urbanisation and unsustainable water consumption practices have placed immense stress on the quality as well as the quantity of water resources in the country.
Pakistan is drying up, and what water remains is heavily polluted. Deterioration in water quality and contamination of lakes, rivers and groundwater aquifers has resulted in increased waterborne diseases and other health impacts.
A national water quality study was carried out in 2001. In the first phase of the programme, covering 21 cities, all samples from four cities and half of the samples from seventeen cities indicated bacteriological contamination. Arsenic above the WHO limit of 10ppb was found. Uncontrolled discharge of industrial effluent has effected surface and groundwater. Municipal wastewater and industrial effluent flow directly into open drains, which flow into nearby natural waterbodies.
The treatment of sewage and industrial effluents is at present a low government priority. While unregulated groundwater abstraction is the cause of water depletion; there are no clear guidelines, rules and regulations. The level of compliance to environmental laws in the country is extremely low, as law enforcement is weak. A clear and practical strategy has to be defined to implement policies, if Pakistan is to survive the next few decades, practices have to change.
Presented with conclusions and recommendations.

Notes16 ref.
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The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.