Water crisis is associated with the condition when available usable water inside a region is less than the region’s requirement. The increase in requirement of pure water is due to increase in population and scarce rainfall which is deteriorating the situation for Balochistan day by day.
Water crisis in Balochistan is one of the gravest crisis of the province. The provincial capital Quetta, along with district Gwadar including cities like; Gwadar, Jiwani, Ormara, towns including; Pasni, Peshkan, Sur Bandar and various villages have suffered from water crisis for decades.
Gwadar, a port city on the southwestern coast of Balochistan, also known as the game changer of the country is suffering from major water crisis as the population of the city is increasing with each passing day in regard to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC), eventually increasing the need to utilize water.
The locals, mostly poor, are compelled to drink and utilize impure water for daily use, travelling miles each day in search of fulfilling their everyday needs. Most of the people from cities and rural areas also migrate due to lack of water, proceeding to where they could find availability of uncontaminated water. However, those who can afford also have to pay huge amounts to buy pure water.
Apart from the faulty planning of the past governments and natural circumstances, a major factor behind the crisis is the “Water Tanker Mafia”, which is ruling over Balochistan. These water tankers are filled by the pipelines which supply direct water in our domestic pipelines, but as this supply is used to fill these tankers, water does not reach homes of the locals. Later, these water tanker owners sell water only on extremely high prices.
Consequently, the residents are forced to buy stolen water from the Tanker Mafia. The water mafia which is mainly active in Gwadar city supplies 2 million gallons of water, whereas the demand is of 6.5 million gallons per day, which is not even in pure condition costing local consumers of the city Rs 800 million.
Meanwhile, Quetta requires around 200 million gallons of water on daily basis but WASA could only manage to provide 100 million gallons and the demand is increasing due to rapid increase in population. The “Tanker Mafia” has been operating approximately 2,000 commercial tube wells in different areas of Quetta due to which water reserves have come under extreme pressure.
In such conditions, water tankers are arranged by the Government for the locals using the tax money. Unfortunately, it is being diverted and sold by the local administrators to the rich businessmen. Subsequently, people opt for bore wells causing damage to groundwater which is almost disappearing, causing wells and taps to run dry. It’s high time that Government take notice of the Tanker Mafia and work efficiently to resolve the water crisis in Balochistan.