Geographically, Sindh has been an attractive, unique and multifaceted region of the country. It has many facets in its inimitable existence like rivers, deserts, salt marshes, green fields, mountains and beautiful coastlines. Sindh’s coastline stretches over 250 kilometres, between Karachi and Badin districts. River Indus also merges into the Arabian Sea here, which further flows into small rivers and waterways and forms a delta. The Indus delta has been recognized as the world’s fourth, and Asia’s second largest delta, covering an area of around 41,500 square km, and spreads over two districts (Thatta and Sujawal) and five Talukas (Keti Bandar, Shah Bandar, Mirpur Sakro, Ghorrabari and Jaati). It also has the world’s seventh largest mangrove forest, which once stretched over an area of 600,000 square km, but over the last three decades has been depleted to an area of just 150,000 square km, mostly due to water scarcity and deforestation.Despite such setbacks, Indus delta still remains one of the largest and strongest delta systems in the world, containing hundreds of different species of marine and wild life. According to an estimate, the regular water fall in the Arabian Sea, through the Indus delta, used to be 80 maf (million acre foot), at a time when dams, illegal canals and waterways had not been constructed yet, while during the summers this number would rise to somewhere between 150 and 250 maf. Additionally, 400 million tons of mixture (Reat in Sindhi, meaning a mixture of sand particles, water and other water borne plants) also used to fall into the sea, which used to help provide protection from flooding. This mixture was also made up of naturally rich substances, which made this region very fertile, with its red rice, banana, and sugarcane famous around the world. Over the last three decades, a very low amount of sweet water came down from Kotri. Resultantly, the Indus delta has now turned into a desert, and only fresh water can make the lifeless Indus delta prosperous once again. Locals who dwell along the delta mostly rely on agriculture, fishing and rearing livestock, but the unavailability of water in the delta has put all of them in dire straits. Due to unmerging of fresh water into sea water, 8000 square km land of Sindh’s three districts has also been covered by the sea. Hundreds of people are afraid that their entire villages will eventually disappear due to the encroachment of the Arabian Sea.While on the one side the sea is encroaching on land, on the other, groundwater is becoming marine water. According to an estimate, more than 1,500,000 acres of land in 8 Talukas have become completely barren due to this development, and has had an adverse effect on the locals as well, who now need to travel miles in search of drinkable water. Alas, one of the most flourishing regions of the past, is now one of the poorest, and according to a UN report (Multidimensional poverty in Pakistan 2014-15), the poverty score in the districts Sujawal and Thatta was 78.5 percent in 2014, and is growing worse every year. While on the one side the sea is encroaching on land, on the other, groundwater is becoming marine water. According to an estimate, more than 1,500,000 acres of land in eight Talukas have become completely barren due to this development, and has had an adverse effect on the locals as well, who now need to travel miles to seek out drinkable water.In these terrible conditions, instead of finding a solution to these problems, the government just focuses on building dams. Sindh is already facing water shortages, and building more dams will not help the situation any further. According to the 1991, water pact, 10 maf of water was to be sent downstream to Kotri on a regular basis, with no hurdles impeding its flow in to the Arabian Sea. This condition was added to the act due to the prudence of the Sindh government of the time, however, Islamabad has never been serious on its implementation.Presently, the federal government has failed to provide a fair share of water to Sindh, and this will get worse with the construction of new dams. It also puzzling that nobody has thought to build dams in Sindh instead of focusing on the southern areas of the country. According to some reports, more than 60 percent of Sindh, including Tharparkar, Kohistan, Kachho, Kheerthar and its coast belt, are facing acute shortages of water, and could benefit from dams that can store water for consumption. The people of Sindh are known for their aversion to dams, yet they only have a problem with the unequitable distribution of water among provinces. Dams should be built where they are most needed. If the government was serious about building dams in Sindh, then they could consider Manchhar Lake, the biggest natural lake in South Asia, or ‘Acchrro Thar’ (white desert in Sindhi) that could help provide water to the five districts of Sindh. In any case, urgent action is needed, as the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has calculated that in order to save the Indus delta, then at least 27 maf water should flowing down to Kotri on a daily basis.According to the laws governing International waters, the Helsinki rules and UN conventions, first rights on the water of a flowing river belongs to the people who live at its tail end, and no one is allowed to impede the flow of water, without their express permission. These laws are also applicable on the Indus River as well. Perhaps the Chief Justice might like to take notice of this issue as well. The writer is a freelance columnist and he can be reached at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, September 10th 2018.