A number of South Asian countries have been faced with water issues but Pakistan has been affected the most. The nation is currently confronted with a serious water crisis. This becomes even more clear when we consider that at the time of independence, Pakistan had almost 5,000 cubic metres of water per person, a number that has now gone down to only 1,000 cubic metres per person. All our major cities are receiving less water than they actually require. However, our rulers seem unfazed by these developments. In fact, our water crisis can mainly be attributed to the indifference of our politicians, who only presented a proposed solution to this long-standing issue in April of this year. Every one of our major cities is facing a severe water shortage. According to a recently published report by Wapda, regarding the daily water requirement of our major cities, the figures stated were as follows: Islamabad needs 176m gallons per day but is only receiving 84m gallons, Karachi needs 1,100m gallons per day but is receiving 600m gallons, Peshawar needs 250m gallons but is receiving 126m gallons, Lahore needs 696m gallons but is receiving 484m gallons, Quetta needs 45m gallons but is receiving 28m gallons and, lastly Gwadar needs 17m gallons but is only receiving 12m gallons. There is a debate going on these days over the construction of the Kalabagh Dam. However, by only focusing on water development via construction of dams, reservoirs and similar structures we basically downplay our need for focusing on water governance. The state of our water crisis becomes clearer when we consider that at the time of independence, Pakistan had almost 5,000 cubic metres of water per person, a number that has now gone down to only 1,000 cubic metres per person We should understand that we allocate a huge chunk of our water to the agriculture sector, where almost 60 percent of water is wasted before it reaches the fields. Likewise, on average, we waste almost 40 gallons of water on washing a single car and almost a gallon every time we brush our teeth. We need a governance policy that eliminates this unnecessary waste. To achieve this goal, we need to spread awareness among the masses. We need to teach the general public about water conservation, and the various techniques they can use to save water. Moreover, we need to build dams; however, only pursuing the construction of Kalabagh Dam is futile. As the people of our three provinces oppose the construction of Kalabagh Dam, prudence demands that in the sake of national unity we search for alternate solutions as well. For instance, the Katzara dam, Akhorhi dam, Bhasha dam and Dassu dam are all viable options and could even be more economically feasible than Kalabagh Dam. Finally, the water crisis needs to be the number priority for the upcoming government. They should carefully consider all recommendations related to the water crisis and should employ the assistance of experts who can help our country find a solution to this problem. New policies should be drafted that raise awareness about this vital issue and teaches people about the significance of saving water. Last but not least, dams should be built by catering to the needs of all the stakeholders, so that we can finally end the water crisis, together. The writer can be contacted at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, June 12th 2018.