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30 Million People in Karachi Facing Water Shortages

KARACHI, Pakistan

The city of Karachi and its 30 million residents are at risk for severe water shortages, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) announced last week. The KWSB warned that water levels in the nearby Hud Dam reservoir have plunged due to poor winter rains.

Currently, only 360 million gallons of water are being supplied to the city each day. Demand for water is 640 million gallon.

"Water in the Hud Dam will end by the first week of July if water supplies from it continue to be released at the present level," KWSB Managing Director Qutubuddin Shiekh told OOSKAnews by phone from Karachi.

"Since chances for improvements in the water supply situation are not possible until monsoon rains after mid-July, the city will remain in the grip of water shortages and have no option but careful use of water at all costs," he said. 

The utility has drawn up a plan to educate consumers about efficient water use, and will implement it in two weeks, KWSB Chairman Sharjeel Inam Memon told OOSKAnews.

Arif Hasan, an urban development expert in Karachi who is associated with the London-based International Institute for Development and Environment, said mothers and children should be the focus of water conservation campaigns at every level.

He urged measures like “encouraging people at schools and through media to avoid toilet flushes, turning off water taps while brushing teeth, fixing leaking taps and pipelines, stopping showers for bathing, and using water-saving or low-flow shower heads.”