Islamabad’s taps dry up as water shortages worsen

August 6, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Water, Daily Email Recap

This story comes from Islamabad, Pakistan, where until about a decade ago temperatures rarely rose beyond 86 Fahrenheit, but now reach as high as 118F, helping demand for water to skyrocket. Islamabad’s population has also doubled since 1998 to 1.7 million.

Islamabad’s taps dry up as water shortages worsen

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:45 GMT

Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio


ISLAMABAD (AlertNet) – Fatima Batool lives in a two-story house in a posh residential area of Islamabad that features shiny air-conditioned shopping plazas and restaurant-lined streets.

But for the past two months, she has been lacking one key thing: water. As the reservoirs that supply Pakistan’s capital with water run dry, so has Batool’s tap.

“It really feels traumatic, like living in a village, when one has taps like this without water for weeks,” said the 34-year-old mother of three, as she tested a tap in her courtyard without success.

Her children, anxiously scratching their bodies, have gone without a bath for the past two weeks, she said.

“This is first time that our neighbourhood has gone without water for weeks since we moved here from Lahore,” said Batool, who has lived in Islamabad for 10 years.

An escalating water shortage in and around Pakistan’s bustling capital has been caused by population growth and a combination of failing rains and high temperatures which experts link to climate change.


The shortages, and growing demand for water, is leading residents who can afford it to drill boreholes, while others are forced to buy what they need from private water tankers charging exorbitant sums.

Afsar Ali spent 150,000 Pakistani rupees (nearly $1,600) drilling a borehole outside his house in June to supply it with groundwater after the piped water supply almost completely ran out the previous month.

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