Since childhood, we have been reading about how enriched Pakistan is, in Social Studies and other subjects. It is almost imprinted in our brains that we have abundant resources, including minerals and other natural resources. Reality is a bit opposite to this; we face energy supply outages in summer, winter, and between. The main obstacles are the network expansion, rising demand, inefficiency, and political unrest. Provincial and federal organisations in Pakistan use the majority of the country's energy while not paying their fair share of the bills. The largest obstacle, outside unpaid payments, is the way people use each resource. Let's quickly go over what is below.
Electricity is a crucial part of Pakistanis; from comfort to work, electricity is needed everywhere. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 21-22, the electricity deficit is nearly 9,000 MW when the demand peaks in summer and in winter, the shortfall surges. Outages in peak season are a common outcome we have a stand in cities. If you live in a rural or remote area, electricity causes you headaches and you have to face the worst situation ever—load-shedding for up to 18 hours. Here, the question is, when people claim that they can pay the bills, produce more electricity and run into the system.
Unfortunately, the nation's infrastructure for electricity distribution is similarly antiquated and of poor quality that it couldn’t bear extra load. The institution is attempting to boost electricity production, modernize the infrastructure for electricity distribution, reduce transmission losses, end power outages, and lower the price of electricity in the future.
However, it is an open secret that Pakistan has been facing supply and demand issues for years and the most affected consumer is the household which consumes nearly 47% of the total electricity, then 28% industrial, 9% agricultural and 7% commercial.
The government has tried to address the problem but the general public is not supposed to cooperate. We have no policy to use sunlight and closed business after sunset; we also rejected the idea of less electricity usage, and the concept of shared resources and agreed to pay bills at sky-high rates. We let the lights, fans and other electricity open and didn’t care to turn them off. We are digitizing the country but we don’t have an effective plan to make it happen.
Pakistan accounts for just 1% of global gas usage. Gas sources used in electricity production, natural gas and imported LNG make up more than 40% of the nation's present energy mix. In recent years, Pakistan's gas demand has grown significantly without utilizing any expansion plan which could have been effective enough to use the resource carefully. LNG's operational and regulatory environment is unsound, and gas exploration and production have decreased, resulting in a national shortage and higher supply costs. Just like the past few years’ gas shortage announcements, this year, in October, it has been announced by the government that we would face history’s worst gas shortage this year. And it’s not wintering yet in most parts of the country, and the acute outages have started.
It is a matter of fact that when we get something cheaper or at low rates, we use that thing carelessly. Since 1952, when gas was discovered in the country, the government made poor policies and provided gas at cheaper rates, people carelessly used and overused the gas including saving match sticks instead of turning off the stove, wearing lighter clothes and warming themselves with gas heaters, let geezers on when there’s no need of burning water and so on. Moreover, we shifted vehicles to industries on gas and increase the usage without any prior planning. Though the largest consumer in the country is households, experts have warned that if we won’t control heavy industrial usage, we might usurp all the gas reserves within 20 years.
Climate change has devastatingly hit the world, and Pakistan is also experiencing water scarcity. In Pakistan, water is being used by people for use in industry, agriculture, the creation of energy, and human consumption. The shortage of water may contribute to the food shortage. The Indus River is the main water body flowing in Pakistan but mismanagement of the water resources is the main reason for the water shortage. However, the river is suffering from increased pollution, decreasing flows, altered weather patterns, and rising temperatures. It is just human interference that is causing the unavailability of drinking water.
Currently, Pakistan's agriculture industry, which accounts for 18% of Pakistan's GDP, uses 97% of the country's fresh water. Water resources are being heavily taxed by bad agricultural decisions, flood irrigation, a lack of hybrid seeding, and ineffective water management. There are several problems with water management, such as the absence of basin-wise water resource management and the lack of an adequate system to prevent evaporation and theft (40 per cent of water is lost). In addition, Pakistan must contend with 30% of its agricultural area being underwater and 13% of its arable land being salty.
Pakistan is now a water-stressed country. In comparison to the global average storage capacity of 40%, Pakistan can only store 10% of the average yearly flow of its rivers. The first National Water Policy of Pakistan, published in 2018, does not give enough consideration to trade in water-intensive crops, risk management against natural disasters, or urban designs that are sensitive to water use. Experts say that we might face water extinction in future if dams were not built and the water management system is not worked out properly.
Let’s Save the Energy Resources
If we want to avoid the energy problem or make it worse, we must practise efficient energy preservation by changing our behaviours and habits and investing in technology that performs the same job while using less energy. It is advantageous for both individuals and our larger energy systems to actively conserve energy where we can because the amount of energy on our planet is finite. There are several simple ways you may save money and energy with limited resources.