Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, May 26th, 2017

Depleting Water Resources

Water is one of the most important resources that human beings require to live alive. Life without water is impossible; therefore, it is necessary that human beings should have clean drinking water for themselves and ensure that the future generations will be able to have access to this important resource as well. Keeping in consideration the growing population of the world and the shrinking water resources it will be great challenge for human beings to ensure that they will have clean drinking water for all the human beings, as nearly billion people in the world already suffer from lack of clean drinking water.

To highlight the importance of water and its proper and sensible use, March 22 was celebrated as World Water Day internationally. In fact, the day is celebrated every year on the same date since 1993, when the day was first declared by the United Nations General Assembly. The day was basically proposed in 1992 during United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and started being observed from March 1993. The nations that observe the day strive to highlight the issues related to water, both nationally and internationally. They also make sure to implement the recommendations that are put forward by UN and design and pursue practical measures that can prove helpful in providing this basic requirements to all the people.

The theme for this year’s World Water Day was, “Why Wastewater?” to focus on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater from homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. It was emphasized this year that human beings need to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safely reuse it. At the same time, they need to reduce the quantity and pollution load of wastewater they produce, to help protect the environment and water resources.

It would be unmanageable for human beings to live without water; therefore, they require to use it wisely and at the same time find out new ways of providing it to all human beings so that everyone can benefit from it in the best possible manner. They have to make sure that the economic and political systems must ensure providence of natural resources to all the human beings alike – unfortunately that is not the case in contemporary world of ours. The short-comings in our administrative system have made the basic requirements seem lesser and inadequate though it is yet to face a serious threat of inadequacy.

It would be better for the world that it must cogitate seriously about every possibility of a new political economy so as to enable the world to compensate for the water and other shortages for the poor countries will have to suffer to a considerable extent as a result of the shortage of basic requirements and sources of energy.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan is one of the same countries and it will have to face serious challenges in the times to come to provide clean drinking water to its people. Decades of war in Afghanistan has affected the country to a large extent. Different sectors have been influenced by this menace. The basic infra-structure has not been able to get proper attention and people are suffering because of basic needs, among which food and water are the most basic ones.

Even the capital Kabul has been suffering because of the lack of these basic requirements. A report last year showed that underground water level would deplete considerably in Kabul till the end of 2017 and the residents of the city would face serious challenges in this regard.

According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, "The growing populations, seasonal droughts and over pumping are some of the factors that contribute to the rapidly plummeting underground water resources in Kabul." The ground water resources decreased from 44 million cubic meter to 31 million in a decade. "We have ground water for one million people, but the level is in great depletion because four million people in Kabul pump water from wells dug at homes.”

The ministry has already warned that ground water could become undrinkable after a couple of years if unplanned constructions continued, and the ministry had planned to initiate short and long term projects aimed at protecting the available ground water resources from contamination but they have not been successful in tackling the situation completely. 

The shortage of basic requirements itself is a sure problem, but there are many other problems that are directly linked with the hunger and deprivation that result from such shortages. Many diseases would erupt and many social evils will find their way in the society and will further deteriorate the country's socio-political scenario.

It is really important that a decade of struggle for betterment in Afghanistan must not only end in peace and tranquility but also better living standards for the common Afghan people; and if that is not convenient, they must at least be provided the rudimentary requirements like clean drinking water, and the authorities need to promise that there would be serious efforts to provide all the people of Afghanistan with clean drinking water.