environmental concerns in pakistan_en-16


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Department of Environmental EngineeringNED University of Engineering & Technology KarachiCOURSE INSTRUCTORDr. Asif Ahmed Shaikh



1. IntroductionPakistan is basically an agricultural country.

Its economy depend on agro-based industries.

Poor management & unsustainable use of natural resources are leading country to environmental concerns.3

2. Why concerns of environment in Pakistan?


3. Current issues/Concerns of environment in Pakistan

Limited natural fresh water resourcesQuality & scarcity of potable waterWater pollution from raw sewage & Industrial wastesSolid waste generation in PakistanAir pollutionDeforestationSoil erosionWater logging & salinityDesertification5

3.1 Limited Natural Fresh Water Resources

71% Earth surface is covered by ice & snow.Only 0.3% of the fresh water or 0.007% earth water can be readily accessed.Like other developing countries of world, Pakistan is also facing critical water shortage.


Among 2.5 % of fresh water

Water availability (m3/C/year)7

Water availability (m3/C/year)Another study shows that water availability in Pakistan is going to alarming situation.8

3.2 Quality & Scarcity of potable waterWater quality of most of rivers, lakes, ground aquifers of the country not to be safe for human consumption.Study conducted by PCRWR about water quality of 21 cities 6 rivers and 10 reservoirs of the country in 2002-2006.Conclusion of study reveals that an average of 84-89% of water sources throughout the country have water quality below the recommended for human consumption. 9

10SourcepHTurbidity(NTU)TDS (mg/l)Coliform (MPN/100ml)E.coli (MPN/100ml)/WHO Guidelines6.5-8.516Sutlej River7.5694580>16>16Mangla dam 8.2493>16>16Ravi River7.5670127>16>16Chenab River7.6580115>16>16Kabul River6.1774120>16>16Swat River7.33646>16>16Indus River7.67684>16>16Kanpur dam8.12222>16>16Tarbela dam7.95294>16>16Hanna lake7.511385>16>16Manchar lake7.61345318>165Hub dam7.25743>16>16Jehlum River7.8419132>16>16Hamal lake7.3124652>16>16Chashma lake7.8183132>16>16

3.3 Water pollution from raw sewage & industrial effluentsIt has been estimated that around 2000MGD of sewage is being discharged to surface water bodies in Pakistan.Latest estimates reveal that total quantity of wastewater produced in Pakistan is 2637MGD, including 1846.6MGD from municipal and 790MGD from industrial.The total wastewater discharge to major rivers is 1075MGD which includes 868MGD from municipal and 207MGD of industrial effluent.It has been estimated only 1% of industrial wastewater in Pakistan is treated before discharge. 11

Wastewater discharge of major citiesCityUrban population (lacs) 1998Total wastewaterProduced (MGD)% of totalReceiving water bodyKarachi9,339,02336526.3Arabian seaLahore5,143,49517312.5Ravi river, irrigation canalsFaisalabad2,008,861785.6River Ravi, River ChenabGujranwala1,132,509433.1SCRAP drains, vegetable farmsRawalpindi1,409,768241.8River soan, vegetable farmsSheikhupura870,11090.7SCRAP drainsMultan1,197,384402.9River Chenab, irrigation canals Sialkot713,55211.460.8River Ravi, irrigation canalsHyderabad1,166,894312.2River Indus, SCRAP drains, irrigation canalsPeshawar982,81631.372.3Kabul RiverOther19,475,588583.4841.8-Total43,440,0001389.31100


3.4 Solid waste generation in PakistanAccording to various studies conducted on waste management in the country about 54,888 tons of solid waste is generated daily in urban areas of Pakistan.On basis of annual growth rate of 2.6% in population an estimated projection of solid waste is 71,018 tons/d by the end of year 2015.About 60 % is collected by municipal authorities, and 30-50% is not collected in most of the cities.Average waste generation in country vary from 0.283kg/C/d to 0.613kg/C/d.13

CityPopulation (millions) 1998Population (millions) 2004Solid waste generation rate(kg/c/d)Solid waste generated (tons/d)Solid waste generated(Tons/year)Karachi9.26910.8180.61366322,420,680Faisalabad1.9792.3070.319902329,230Hyderabad1.1511.3430.563756275,940Gujranwala1.1241.3120.469615224,475Lahore5.1436.40.51550001,825,000Peshawar0.9881.1530.489564205,860Quetta0.5600.6540.37824790,155Banu0.0460.0540.439248,760Sibi0.0820.0950.283279,855other urban areas27.26131.8180.45314,4145,261,110Total of urban areas42.45849.5544.07824,1818,826,065Rural areas88.21102.8530.28329,10810,624,420Sub total130.121152.4074.36153,28919,450,4853% hazardous 1599583,635Grand total54,88820,034,120

3.5 Air pollution in PakistanAir pollution is rapidly growing environmental concern in PakistanSome major causes of ambient air quality deterioration in the country areHighly inefficient use of energyAccelerated growth in vehicle population and vehicle kilometers travelledIncreasing industrial activity without air emission controlOpen burning of solid wasteUse of ozone depleting substances (ODSs)


Average air pollutants in Karachi16

Ambient air quality of Islamabad & major cities Punjab. 17CitySO2 (ppb)NOx (ppm)CO (ppm)TSP (ug/m3)Islamabad28.5148.51.55520Lahore44.6156.62.82709Rawalpindi30.774.71.83895WHO Guidelines36-52-9.0150-230

3.6 DeforestationAccording to a study that forest, scrub and trees on farmland covers 4.2 million hectares or 4.8% of the country.The deforestation rate has been estimated 0.2-0.5% per annum, the worlds second highest rate of deforestation.Two recent studies revealed that Pakistans woody biomass is declining at a rate of 4-6% per year.The principal cause of deforestation is the consumption of fuel wood and timber. The majority (40%) of the forests are either conifers or scrubs. Almost 7000-9000 hectares deforested annually, this rate is severe in north part of country where per capita consumption is 190 times greater due to severe winter.It is estimated Pakistans woody biomass will be consumed with in next 10-15 years 18

3.7 Soil erosionIn Pakistan around 15.9 million hectares of land (18% of total is affected by soil erosion).Out of this 11,172,000 hectares (11.1 million hectares) affected by water erosion, while 4,760,000 hectares (4.76 million hectares) affected by wind erosion.Soil loss by water erosion is estimated to be 150-165 tones/ha/year in the Indus catchment between Tarbela reservoir and upstream.Wind erosion is reducing productivity of land by 1.5 - 7.5% per year.It is quite common in the sandy desert of Thal, Cholistan, Tharparkar and sandy areas along Makran coast. 19

3.8 Water logging and salinityAccording to soil survey of Pakistan, the total water logged summer rain area in the country is 4.11 million hectares. And water logged area doubled during post monsoon.High water table has serious adverse effects on agriculture. Over 25 % of the Indus basin the water table has risen to 2m of soil surface, in result 40000 hectares of land being lost.Over 5.7 million hectares land is salt affected and 2.4 million hectares is highly saline according to soil survey of Pakistan.The soil of 13.6 million hectares was surveyed 23% of this in Sindh and 13% in the Punjab.20

3.9 DesertificationDesertification is a process that turns productive land into non-productive desert. It mainly occurs in semi arid areas (mean rainfall less than 60mm).

According to an estimate more than 60% of the natural grazing area have production level lower than one third of country has been classified as under risk of desertification (45mha).

Deforestation, over cultivation, excessive cutting of fuel wood and incorrect irrigation practices all have a share in this problem.21

ConclusionA number of serious environmental problems are inherent in the country, which are of great ecological concern in terms of its sustainable economic future. Only 1% of the industrial wastewater is treated before discharge There are serious sewage & effluent problems and lack of sanitation affecting the natural resources and posing health risks.Quality of drinking water is not fit for human consumption.Water scarcity is also going to alarming condition.The use of raw materials is also inefficient and many reusable resources are discarded as waste.


ConclusionThe major constraint to overcoming these problems, in-fact perhaps the main contributor to their intensity is the population growth, which is very high in contrast to the natural limited resources that are available to the people.