Water is an essential resource for human beings. Survival is impossible without water, and it is alarming to find that only two-and-a-half percent of all water in the world is fresh, of which only one percent is accessible to us. In reality, we only have access to 0.0007 percent of the planet’s water, which is all we have to provide for over seven billion people across the world, and the lack of clean water is now an epidemic which affects close to two billion people every year. This can lead to droughts, famine, and even death. Today, safe drinking water has become a luxury for people in many parts of Pakistan. Regions like Tharparkar, and Achhro Thar have been going through a drought, and the major cities in the country aren’t safe either. Many people have to travel miles just to get a glass of fresh drinking water, and if they are unable to, then they have to make do with what they have, leading to waterborne diseases. Mismanagement and a complete lack of institutional responsibility lead to the waste of clean and fresh drinking water every day, whether due to the lack of water storage facilities or its overuse. Lack of clean water can have a lot of detrimental effects, with waterborne diseases one of the leading causes of deaths in the world. Water-related diseases affect more than one-and-a-half billion people each year, resulting in the death of a child every 90 seconds, with diarrhoea being the leading cause of death. An estimated 250,000 children in Pakistan under the age of five die annually due to this menace and the economy loses $1.3 billion every year as a result; meanwhile, the budget allocation for water supply and sanitation amounts to less than 0.2 percent of Pakistan’s GDP. Diseases like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A&E, and diarrhoea are common in the country, and affect not only poorly-managed rural areas, but urban cities as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “25 percent to 30 percent of all hospital admissions are linked with waterborne bacterial and bloodsucking conditions, with 60 percent of infant deaths caused by water-borne infections.” Water has even been the cause of international disputes, as evidenced by the conflict between Pakistan and India. Pakistan is among the top five countries in the world that desperately need access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Over 22 million people have no choice but to drink unhygienic dirty water, while more than two in five people don’t have access to decent toilets. According to a UNDP report, Pakistani authorities have failed to take effective action against this rising threat. However, former (disqualified) premier of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, did take up the issue of dams with the World Bank but they could not come to a reasonable solution. He asked WB to “play a ‘lead role’ in resolving the water disputes between Pakistan and India, by establishing a Court of Arbitration, but the international community, as well as the UNDP, holds Pakistan responsible for the dispute” This alone kills over a million people across the globe, every year. Malnutrition is another consequence of a lack of clean water and over 160 million children around the world suffer from chronic malnutrition linked to water and sanitation. According to a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report, Pakistani authorities have failed to take effective action against this rising threat. However, former (disqualified) premier of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, did take up the issue of dams with the World Bank (WB) but they could not come to a reasonable solution. He asked WB to “play a ‘lead role’ in resolving the water disputes between Pakistan and India, by establishing a Court of Arbitration, but the international community, as well as the UNDP, holds Pakistan responsible for the dispute”. Crying for water should be replaced with finding ways for using water in a more efficient manner, which can help us save safe and clean drinking water. This can eventually help save the lives of millions of people across the globe. It is the only way to resolve this situation, considering water is gradually becoming a finite resource. The writer is a Development Researcher. He can be reached at email@example.com and tweets @furqanppolicy Published in Daily Times, July 16th 2018.