Saving for the future | Political economics


water water

everywhere and not a drop to drink.

ith the current water supply crisis, this is the situation in which we find ourselves. Pakistan is one of the countries most at risk of water scarcity. It ranks 14th in the world in terms of water risk. Despite facing severe water-stressed conditions, Pakistanis do not hesitate to waste a third of the available water. As a result, groundwater availability has fallen below 1,000 cubic meters per person, from over 5,000 cubic meters per person in the 1960s. About 80% of the country’s population faces extreme water scarcity. water. The agricultural sector has also been hit hard due to depleted water levels; a shortage of 70 million tons of food is expected by 2025.

Much of this problem is due to well-documented but unimplemented policies. Water-related issues have been detailed in Pakistan’s National Climate Change Policy (NCCP), which was developed in 2012 and updated in 2021 with a focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation. climate change. The NCCP highlights various issues resulting from climate change and focuses on increasing water storage and developing the necessary infrastructure, introducing water conservation strategies at local and national levels, developing of an integrated water resources management system, development and promulgation of a relevant legislative framework, capacity building for water storage and public awareness. The ambitious objectives of this policy remain unachieved. This policy has achieved little measurable success.

Most of the above measures could not be implemented due to technological, economic and political obstacles. Thus, these policy measures have failed to solve the water crisis in the short term. Immediate action is needed to fix the problem. To solve the short-term water crisis, it is advisable to use water meters for domestic and commercial consumers. Consumers should be required to pay the price based on their actual water consumption.

Water metering is a promising solution to excessive water waste, but the public might not appreciate the change.

Water meters have been successful in solving short and long term water shortages in several countries. The California State Water Resources Control Board highlighted the efficiency of water meters in the state of California, USA. An 11% increase in water savings was observed after implementing water metering in the state and water efficiency of 8.5%. A significant decrease in the water consumption of urban households was also observed. Water consumption reduced from 856,000 m3/year to 661,000 cubic meters per year, that’s to say, 22.7% per person per day. Similarly, in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, household water consumption was reduced by 28.3% thanks to the installation of water meters in the city. The South East region of England has also benefited from the use of water meters. Water consumption was reduced by 22%, which is significant compared to what has been found in various studies.

The Canary Islands have seen a reduction of approximately 2% in their water consumption thanks to water metering.

Water metering is economical since it generates revenue for the government through bills. Moreover, this measurement can be implemented with low technological changes in current meters and has no negative impacts on the environment. It is, however, sensitive to political stability in the country because once the count is implemented, it will require political upgrades over time. Water metering is a promising solution to excessive water wastage, but the public might not appreciate this change as it would put an end to senseless waste and likely cost more. The

The Punjab government, in partnership with Chinese companies, has launched a Rs 9.3 billion program to install water meters in the province and over 700,000 in Lahore. It is a step in the right direction. The initiative should also be extended to other metropolitan cities and to water-stressed areas in other provinces.

The writer is a independent contributor

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