ISLAMABAD: The impact of climate change on the rainfall patterns and water resilience in Pakistan is significant, posing a major challenge to the country’s sustainable development.
“Pakistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to the climate change impacts, particularly the changes in the rainfall patterns and water resources. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including droughts, floods, and heatwaves, which will have significant implications for water availability and management in the country,” said Arif Goheer, Principal Scientific Office Coordinator at the Pak-NDC Secretariat, Global Change Impact Studies, Ministry of Climate Change.
“Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels.”
He said, “Pakistan has already experienced significant changes in its rainfall patterns over the past few decades. There has been a noticeable increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events, which has led to more frequent and severe floods in many parts of the country. On the other hand, prolonged droughts have also become more frequent in other regions of the country.”
“The impacts of these changes on water resources in Pakistan have been profound. The country already faces a water scarcity crisis, with water availability per capita decreasing rapidly due to population growth and inefficient use of water resources. Climate change is expected to exacerbate this situation, with increased variability in rainfall patterns leading to more frequent and severe water shortages.”
“In addition to these impacts, climate change is also affecting the quality of water resources in Pakistan. Higher temperatures and changes in the rainfall patterns are increasing water pollution and reducing water quality, particularly in urban areas,” he said.
“To address these challenges, Pakistan needs to adopt a multi-faceted approach to water management that takes into account the impacts of climate change. This includes improving water governance, increasing the efficiency of water use, investing in water storage and distribution infrastructure, and promoting the use of renewable energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels,” he suggested.
“Pakistan also needs to improve its capacity for climate change adaptation, particularly in the water sector. This includes developing climate-resilient water management systems, improving early warning systems for floods and droughts, and promoting the use of climate-resilient crops and agricultural practices.”
Addressing these challenges, he said, will require a coordinated and concerted effort from all stakeholders, including the government and the private sector. –INP