The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has warned the country will approach absolute water scarcity by 2025. Pakistan touched the ‘water stress line’ in 1990 and crossed the ‘water scarcity line’ in 2005 and if this situation continues then chances are high the country will face acute water shortage or drought-like situation in near future, reports The Express Tribune.
There is a need to carry out research at various levels to find out the best possible solutions to deal with the upcoming situations. Unfortunately, the PCRWR has no funds to ensure sustainable research, an official of the Science and Technology (S&T) Ministry said. The PCRWR is an apex body of the Science and Technology Ministry responsible for carrying out, coordinating, organising and promoting research in various aspects of water resources. An official talking on the condition of anonymity said the PCRWR recently asked the government to create an endowment fund within the apex body for the purpose of research and development activities. According to PCRWR documents, the objective behind the endowment fund is to avoid its dependence on the annual Public-Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and on recurring budget expenses on research.
The council has sought Rs. 50 million for the government. The fund also aims to focus on water scarcity for agriculture and poverty alleviation by carrying out surveys at various levels without wasting time to obtain PSDP funds, the documents state. The funds will help continue and sustain research activities, which are the need of the hour in a country like Pakistan where rising population is decreasing per capita water availability, an official with the Science and Technology Ministry said.