The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), a grass-roots non-governmental organisation (NGO), has launched a year-long campaign titled “Freedom of Rivers”, Chairperson PFF Mohammad Ali Shah told The News on Saturday.

A comprehensive study prepared by the PFF for pragmatic utilisation of the most precious commodity, i.e. freshwater, says Pakistan’s water situation is extremely precarious. Water availability has plummeted from about 5,000 cubic meters (m3) per capita in the early 1950s to less than 1,500 m3 per capita today.

According to the 2008 data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Pakistan is expected to become water-scarce (the designation of a country with annual water availability below 1,000 m3 per capita) by 2035, though some experts project this may happen as soon as 2020, if not earlier.