look at the global shortage of water and possible solutions.

Clean drinking water is a valuable resource and a the key to human survival.

780 million people live without clean drinking water.Source

According to water specialist Simi Kamal, based on current projections, water availability (per capita) will be 855m3 by the year 2020. We have already used up everything that exists in our water cycle and we do not have additional sources of water to mobilize. When we say we are putting up another dam or reservoir, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be additional water coming in; we are just re-appropriating what’s already in the system.

The pollutants that fill our waterways each year are largely unknown.

Hardness. Hardness, also a physiochemical property of water, is generally a measure of calcium and magnesium ions in water. Zinc, iron, strontium, aluminum, and manganese can also contribute to water hardness; however, they are generally present in very low concentrations. Water is classified as soft at 0-60 ppm, moderately hard at 61-120 ppm, hard at 121-180 ppm and very hard at >180 ppm. Water intake of cattle and milk production were unaffected by water containing up to 290 ppm of hardness (NRC, 1974). Nitrates. Drinking water, especially from surface or shallow ground water, may become contaminated with high levels of nitrates. Nitrate poisoning results from a bacterial reduction of nitrate to nitrite in the rumen with the nitrite being absorbed into the blood and reducing oxygen carrying capacity. Production and reproduction were unaffected in dairy cattle consuming water containing 86 ppm nitrate-nitrogen for almost two years in a Wisconsin study (Kahler, et al., 1974), but some reproductive performance decline (increased services per conception and longer calving interval) was noted in the third year. A more recent field study in Iowa (Ensley, 2000) found a slight decline in reproductive performance in herds where nitrate-nitrogen levels were highest (approximately above 20 ppm nitrate-nitrogen). Concentrations of less than 10 ppm nitrate-nitrogen or 44 ppm of nitrate concentration in water are considered safe for dairy cattle (NRC, 2001).

Our water resource base continues to be degraded because of pollution, atrophy, veruse of surface water and over-exploitation of groundwater. Large tracts of land have been rendered uncultivable due to water logging and salinity, direct results of mismanaged irrigation. Unsafe drinking water is responsible for numerous diseases including dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, malaria and gastroenteritis. UNICEF estimates that 200,000 children in Pakistan die annually due to diarrhoeal diseases alone.

We are the ones that manage the water that surrounds us every day.

With store shelves filled with bottled water, public water fountains everywhere and every continent on earth being surrounded completely by water, it's hard to imagine there is an impending water crisis on the horizon.

One of the major causes of water scarcity in China is its climate.

Pakistan has the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world. However, owing to the poor state of infrastructure, about two-thirds is lost due to poor transmission and seepage. This means that about 68 MAF is potentially usable water if the canal system is adequately repaired and maintained. Of the total sweet water availability of approximately 144 MAF, 97 percent is already used in agriculture. We have a situation where instead of improving farming methods to conserve water and increase productivity, agricultural landowners demand more water, only to maintain some of the lowest productivity rates in the world per unit of water and per unit of land.

Water, Sanitation and the Millennium Development …

An arid country, Pakistan depends heavily on annual glacier melts and monsoon rains. Water from these sources flows down the rivers and out to the sea. En route, there are seepages into the ground, where water-bearing rocks or aquifers absorb and store this water. Most parts of the country receive scant rainfall and have little or no access to surface water. Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP) states that in Pakistan the total available surface water is about 153 million acre feet (MAF) and the total ground water reserves are approximately 24 MAF, of which a substantial part has been mined without allowing for natural recharge. Currently estimated at 160 million, the population of Pakistan is set to double in 2.5 decades. This means that the per capita availability of water will decrease. There is likely to be a net decrease, rather than an increase in the country’s water resources, due to a number of factors including population growth, climate change, and exploitation of water.

The amount of drinking water required varies

All debates on water conservation, however, are cuffed by the constant refrain on dams and water sharing among provinces. Safeguards are needed.