Pollution status in case of Balochistan Population in Balochistan utilizes imbalanced quality of water like salty, rotten smell, poor taste, cloudy and colored water is concluded that it is not able to drinking purpose. Agencies must be responsible for check the water quality and perform interrupted checks to water according to recommended standards 8. In Balochistan water is utilized domestically, commercially, agricultural use, public supply, livestock consumption, thermoelectric power, mining and for industrial use 9.
Sources of water in Balochistan Storage reservoirs and lakes are the source of water in Balochistan. In Balochistan rivers are also the foundation of water supply, perennial rivers and non perennial rivers. ponds and lacks are also the source of water in Balochistan, during the rainy season the overflow water is collected in the depression, some time it should be naturally and some time it is synthetic. Manmade lakes which designed by constructing dam transversely a river basin.For tapping water from sandy river beds. Hand pumps, tube wells and infiltration wells are the source of ground water. Re-emerging to the underground water at the surface by infiltration or by the pressure. A simulated hole made into the ground for taping underground water. Hand pumps are also the source of water in Balochistan. A Tube well as the name implies is basically a tube or pipe bored into the underground pool, fitted with a filter at the lower end and worked at the top. H. Sources of Water Pollution in Balochistan: In Balochistan humans, animals, sewage, agricultural and surface over flow are the main sources which are responsible to pollute the water 9..
Types of water pollution in Balochistan: According to different studies, Ecologically prospective, contaminated water refers to poor water quality to a public health. Any physically, chemically and biologically substance in water is a pollutant which cause harmful effect to other living organisms. Radioactive isotopes, heavy metals, nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, fecal coliform bacteria, protozoan, virus, pathogenic microbes and sediments polluted water in Balochistan.
Water Quality Status in Balochistan Biological and chemical water quality of Balochistan are not satisfactory as revealed by various studies. In four cities of Balochistan, that is, Ziarat, Loralai, Quetta, and Khuzdar, the water quality was badly contaminated with microorganisms making water unfit for human use. Water samples of these cities showed that NO3concentration was higher than the recommended limits of WHO. About 50% of water samples, collected from Ziarat, were found highly contaminated with NO3 10. The drinking water quality assessment of different colonies in Quetta city revealed that pH, TDS, and hardness value of all samples were within the WHO range but 50% of the samples were found to have high EC value and COD of all samples was above the critical limits of WHO 11. The drinking water quality of Quetta was inadequate having bad taste, foul smell/odor, change in appearance, and pathogens being 57%, 44%, 39%, and 60%, respectively 12. Temperature examination revealed a little fluctuation in results between 12.10 and 13.50°C. The highest value was determined in Thole channel water while the lowest was found in Nilt tank water. According to WHO and EPA, turbidity must not exceed 5 NTU and water having turbidity less than 1.00 NTU is excellent for domestic consumption. Turbidity of all samples was less than 5 NTU 13. The surface and groundwater sources of drinking water throughout Baluchistan were highly contaminated with coliforms, heavy metals, and pesticides. Human activities like improper disposal of municipal and industrial effluents and indiscriminate applications of agrochemicals in agriculture are the main factors contributing to the deterioration of water quality 14.
The fluoride concentration in various drinking water samples collected from tap and wells water in Quetta indicated that all samples were within permissible limits of WHO except one sample of tap water 15. The bacteriological and physicochemical study of Hingol River situated at Hingol National Park was carried out, where the majority of its inhabitants are leading nomadic life style 16,17 and consume the water of the river as no alternative water resources are available. The physicochemical parameters of the samples collected were according to the NSDWQ standards. But the TDS value was greater than the permissible limits in post monsoon. The BOD concentration was also relatively higher 18.
Impact of water pollution in Balochistan Typhoid, gastroenteritis, cryptosporidium infection, intestinal worms, giardiasis, some strains of hepatitis, intestinal worms and diarrhea are the major diseases which is caused by polluted potable water in Balochistan. In some areas chlorination and filtration are used to disinfect the water but it is not enough and restricted only to urban areas and only 15% people do this process for cleaning water. Those areas which have more population have a high risk of pollution in the result the potable water quality is poor 9.
Efforts towards Legal Protection
Historical Background of legislation In 1997 a regulatory framework known as PEPA Act 1997 was approved to regulate and monitor issues regarding environmental protection in the country 19. Table 1 makes it clear that environmental legislation to sanction water pollution does exist in Pakistan. Under federal legislation, the relevant provisions relating to the human right to water, including the prevention of water pollution, provisions of the PEPA Act, 1997 relating to the disposal of wastes and effluents and Art. 20 relating to drinking water, of the amended Factories Act of 1934 20. The Pakistan Penal Code1860 contains a criminal penalty for polluting the water of any public spring or reservoir 21. Another relevant piece of legislation is PCRWR Act 2007, which set up the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, which is primarily entrusted with improving the technology needed to advance, as well as to conserve existing water resources. This Body is also required to provide recommendations to the government, regarding the quality of water that needs to be maintained and how existing water sources may be utilized and conserved 22 furthermore, various water and sanitation based policies and guidelines have been approved by
Date Legislation Implementation Key feature
1860 Pakistan Penal Code Federal Penalizes Water pollution as a public health issue
1873 Canal and Drainage Act Federal and provincial Governs irrigation water use
1882 Easement Act Federal Grants and limits rights for water pollution
1883 Land Improvement Loans Act Provincial Provides loans for drainage & reclamation
1905 Punjab Minor Canals Act Provincial Governs irrigation water use
1927 Forests Act Federal and Provincial Governs disposal of waste and effluent
1934 Factories Act Federal Penalizes pollution of water in forests
1949 Karachi Joint Water Board Ordinance Municipal Prohibits pollution of water supply; first water law at municipal level
1952 Punjab Development of Damaged Areas Act Provincial Allows government to construct sewage and drainage in “damaged areas”
1958 West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act Provincial and Federal Establishes what is today the Water and Power Development Authority
1960 Indus Waters Treaty International Governs sharing of Indus River waters between Pakistan and India
1976 Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act Federal, International Declares maritime territory and boundaries
1980 Sindh Fisheries Ordinance Provincial Prohibits dumping of pollutants in water
1981 On-Farm Water Management and Water Users’ Association Ordinance Federal Provides resources for improved irrigation water management
1991 Indus River System Accord Provincial Governs water sharing between provinces
1997 Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authority Acts Provincial Implements irrigation reforms
1997 Environmental Protection Act Federal Governs protection, conservation, rehabilitation, pollution, and improvement of environment
2009 National Drinking Water Federal Provides institutional framework and guidelines for supply of drinking water
2010 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan Federal To establishes for interprovincial dialogue
2011 Punjab Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill Provincial Establishes Punjab Ministry of Environment
Table 1 Indicate the legislation in Pakistan
the national government. The IRSA Act 1992 implements the Water Accord which apportions the balance of river supplies, including flood surpluses and future storages among the provinces. The WAPDA Act 1958, Water User Ordinances 1982. The PIDA Acts 1997, The Sindh Irrigation Act 1879, Provincial legislation such as the BGWRA Ordinance, IX Of 1978, established regulatory and supervisory functions for the Provincial Water Board and a Water Committee to overlook the implementation of the policies of the Water Board 23. Other laws related to pollution prevention of water bodies include the Canal and Drainage Act (1873) and the Punjab Minor Canals Act (1905), which prohibits the corrupting or fouling of canal water; Sindh Fisheries Ordinance (1980), which prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage and industrial waste into water, and The Greater Lahore Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Ordinance (1967) all these legislation related to water rights. However, under the PLGO (2001), 24 a number of provincial functions including water management and sanitation have been entrusted to the TMAs. The CDG and the TMAs 25 are also responsible for the enforcement of punishment for offences, relating to the contamination or pollution of water, failure on the part of industries to dispose of hazardous waste, or offences relating to the provision of contaminated water for human consumption 25
Other forms of offences such as failure to stop leakage of drain pipes, the obstruction of water pipes etc. have been made punishable by the issuance of tickets rather than through court and are the responsibility of the Tehsil/Town Officer. Furthermore, the National Government has approved various water policies and guidelines. In November 2002 national standards for drinking water quality were introduced. Similarly other policies including National Environment Policy 2005,26 National Sanitation Policy 2006 27 and National Drinking Water Policy 2009 28 have been approved. The National Environment Policy, 2005, provides a framework for various environmental issues, particularly the pollution of fresh-water bodies. It recognizes the need to meet international obligations effectively and in line with national objectives 29 and concerns regarding public health and environment. In addressing water supply and management, it lists a number of guidelines by which the government can ensure sustainable access to safe water resources 30. Under the National Drinking Water Policy 2009, water was the basic human right of every citizen 31. The policy aims at providing safe drinking water to the entire Pakistani population by 2025, including the poor and vulnerable, at an affordable cost 32. As per policy mandates that the safe drinking water be accessible to both urban and rural areas. The policy declares that various forms of legislation are to be enacted to ensure the implementation of these measures, including the Pakistan Safe Drinking Water Act 33.
Sources of water pollution in Balochistan
In Pakistan, microbial pollution has been discovered as one of the serious problems in rural as well as urban areas. This is due to the leakage of pipe, pollution from sewage lines intrusion into drinking water supplies, and so forth. Chemical contaminants come from industries, soil sediments, and runoff from agriculture, that is, pesticides and fertilizers, and enter into water resources. In Pakistan, the application of fertilizer and pesticides is, respectively, about 5.6 million tons and 70 thousand tons according to Gross Operating Profit (GOP) figures. These chemicals, commonly insecticides, leach into ground water resources by mixing with irrigated and rain water. In Baluchistan, another important trouble with ground water is highest concentration of salts, which is mainly due to irrigation, soil salts dissolution, sea water encroachment, and chemical industries. Salinity impacts the major areas of Baluchistan, KP, and Punjab as well. Effluent from industries and domestics contains high concentration of arsenic that is becoming a severe problem. Higher concentration of fluoride above permissible limits causes a trouble in major areas of Baluchistan.
Impact on Human health in Balochisatn
Several studies have reported health-related problems due to poor drinking water quality. For example, the concentration of nitrate (NO3) was found above the permissible limits causing blue baby syndrome in bottle fed babies 37. The average daily intake of potassium (K) by adults was noted to be less than 0.1% through water 38. Significant quantity of K is very important, the same as other elements for proper functioning of body. Diseases such as hypertension, kidney diseases, heart problem, muscle weakness, bladder weakness, and asthma may be caused due to K level decreasing in blood and increase in level may cause cysts, reduced renal function, rapid heartbeat, and improper metabolism of proteins 39. The major source of sodium (Na) is the deposition of minerals into the water. Decrease in Na level in body causes low blood pressure, fatigue, mental apathy, and depression and increase in level may cause brain stroke, kidney problem, nausea, headaches, hypertension, and stomach problem 40. Cardiovascular disease may be caused by the basic cations deficiency such as calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) 41. The basic and important element for myoglobin and hemoglobin and for numerous other enzymes is iron (Fe). The higher level of Fe in body also causes many health problems such as weakening of cardiovascular tissue, central nervous system, kidney, and liver, blood problems, vomiting, and diarrhea 42. Unsafe drinking water is a major cause of the disease, which otherwise may be prevented, in particular in young children in developing countries. Pathogens present in drinking water including many viral, bacterial, and protozoan agents caused 2.5 million deaths from endemic diarrheal disease each year 46. Major health problems were reported as gastroenteritis (40%–50%), diarrhea (47%–59%), dysentery (28–35%), hepatitis A (32%–38%), hepatitis B (16%–19%), and hepatitis C (6-7%) by respondents. In southern Sind, waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, dysentery, and kidney problem are caused by polluted drinking water 47.
Personal Recommendation, critics and suggestion
? There is a poor framework for the legislation of drinking water supplies. Drinking water quality standards should be provisionally established for the treatment and maintenance of drinking water distribution system. Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) should take action with the help of private institutions to protect water resources and control pollution from its source. A great attention is also required to stop the saline water intrusion into the fresh ground water resources.
? Government should take action for the maintenance, proper functioning, and handling of already present drinking water treatment plants. There is a lack of proper sampling system of the drinking water treatment plants to ensure that water is safe and fit for drinking in urban areas of Pakistan.
? To stop the spread of waterborne diseases, there is need for proper functioning, inspection, and sampling analysis twice a year to ensure safe drinking water according to the quality standards.
? Proper maintenance of water distribution system and chlorination should be done according to the law and regulations to kill pathogens. Government should provide the latest and reliable instruments and trained personals for the drinking water quality analysis.
? In Pakistan, there are few industries that have their own water treatment plant to treat wastewater. Government should take strict action for their industrial effluent disposal according to the NEQS under the 1997 Act. If any industry is found to be violating the rules, it should be punished with heavy fine and imprisonment.
? Public awareness campaigns should be started at school, college, university, and community level to address the significance of secure drinking water. NGOs might act in this facet. Rural communities should adopt safe control methods for protecting water storage in houses and simple disinfection technologies of drinking water.
? Social and economic conditions of the families also play a vital role in reduction of diarrheal disease. It is also seen that mother’s education, household income, and living style are correlated to the quality of drinking water and also improve health status of the family.