Clean water is a basic necessity of life. If we believe that to be true, how can it be possible for every two out of three people in Pakistan to not have access to safe drinking water? It is high time to think about why water is clean enough for some groups but not for others?. And how can we really define “clean” water or “safe” drinking water? The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a science organisation created by the US Congress in 1879 that gives impartial information about the state of our ecosystems and environment and threatening natural hazards that jeopardise our lives and livelihoods. It defines clean, safe water as “water that will not harm you if you come in contact with it.” When we talk about clean water, we are often referring to drinking water, but it is also essential for water for all domestic use to be clean. Domestic use of water includes water used indoors and outdoors for activities including drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth, watering crops, swimming and cleaning etc. The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resource (PCRWR) has also corroborated these concerns. It has warned that Pakistan will approach absolute water scarcity by 2025. Pakistan had been abundant in the past with almost 6000 cubic meters per capita in 1960 but now that its cubic meter per capita has fallen to 1017, we have become a water-stressed country. Unluckily, Pakistan stores only 10 per cent of the average annual flow of its rivers, which is far below the world’s average storage capacity of 40 per cent. The reasons include an increase in population, inadequate water storage, low system efficiency and poor management, and groundwater depletion. Pakistan is slated high among 36 water-stressed countries around the world since its gross water withdrawal is 74.4 per cent of total renewable water resources, as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Population explosion, rapid urbanisation, and climate changes are often noted as key reasons widening the gap between water availability and water requirement. As per a report by the Food and Culture Organisation, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is yet another major reason that contributes to the water crisis. Pakistan is on the verge of facing absolute water scarcity by 2040. Population growth is alarming and so are the requirements of the population, which are also increasing simultaneously. To fulfil the food requirement pesticides and fertilizers are applied to increase the outcome of the crops. Whereas the industries like textile, pesticides and fertilizers industries are present in the major cities. Pakistan has been blessed by nature with enough surface and groundwater resources. It is also called an agrarian country because of the five rivers that irrigate most of it. industrialisation, urbanisation and rapid population growth have placed huge stress on water resources. Certainly, it has a vital role in life processes which include growth and development. Due to technological developments, drinking water contains impurities, of physical biological and chemical nature. The most dangerous impurity is of biological nature which causes human health problems or death. Various impurities in the form of nutrients and microorganisms are transported from one place to another. Water pollution occurs when microorganisms and toxic Chemicals from domestic waste and industries either come in contact with water bodies or run off groundwater or freshwater resources. The contamination of animal and human faeces indicates the presence of coliform bacteria. The growth and dispersion of bacteria are at their peak in the rainy season due to drainage in water bodies, that is, rivers, lakes, and streams. Poor treatment facilities cause the spread of waterborne diseases. In Pakistan, drinking water sanitation systems and drainage lines run in parallel, which causes leakages and intermixing result in deterioration of water quality. This issue has been raised by senior journalist Mohsin Bhatii in his programs as well where he highlighted the influx of industrial wastewater into rivers and canals, which leads to agrarian farms and damages the crops. IMF says Pakistan is on the verge of facing absolute water scarcity by 2040 and there are chances that the ongoing distress over the water problem turns into a violent protest as it did two decades ago. Not only this, but the food production will also be affected while distrust for the government will grow. This will be both politically and economically dire for Pakistan. To avoid this outcome, the government of Pakistan should frame a rational, politically unbiased and holistic water policy that reflects its priorities of growth and development. The problem is not due to water availability, but the mismanagement of water resources. The writer is Chairperson (Global Women Media) and a journalist.