Image Credit: @KoblerinPAK/Twitter

Dubai: The water crisis in Pakistan is acute: the once-flourishing Rawal Lake in Islamabad has dried up almost entirely, show images circulating on social media.

The artificial lake, which is a reservoir responsible for providing water to Rawalpindi and Islamabad, gets its water from the Korang River and other small streams. Mismanagement by the government, lack of rain and illegal settlements coming in the way of the catchment area are being blamed for its current condition.

The German Ambassador to Pakistan, Martin Kobler @KoblerinPAK, who has been trying to spread awareness regarding water scarcity in the country, visited the lake and tweeted on June 26: “Where did all the water go? I visited Rawal Lake in #Islamabad to see the effects of water scarcity & drought in #Pakistan. Shocking! Parts of it look more like a desert than a lake. Hopefully the monsoon season will bring the much-needed rain! #SaveWaterforPak”

His tweet has since received more than 2,200 retweets, over 5,200 likes and 200 comments.

Social media users from across the nation praised Kobler’s efforts and some also blamed Pakistani politicians.

Tweep @jastupid1 wrote: “Thinking that our politicians should pay attention to this but they are busy enjoying luxuries from nation’s money....”

Twitter user Ahmad Ayub @dukeahmad wrote: “Unfortunately, we could not convince our nation about the importance of forests and tree plantation. We couldn’t convince our political elite about the importance of dams. Our media couldn’t get honest with us to propagate the real issues.”

Tweep Rashid Khan @rashid_akazai wrote: “This is the Ambassador of Germany leading the campaign and pleading for water saving in Pakistan, whereas our rulers... are too much busy in elections and corruption.”

Many social media users said it is time to rally for change.

Reports by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) have stated that the country will reach absolute water scarcity by the year 2025.

World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan’s CEO, Hammad Naqi Khan @hnaqikhan tweeted: “#Monsoon just began and let’s hope #water in #RawalLake is replenished soon but how long can we continue to mismanage our water bodies and their catchment areas?”

@anum_asif26 posted a picture of the lake and wrote: “This is Rawal Lake in Islamabad, which has dried up, it’s so sad and alarming. We need to take action or we’ll be in hell soon. #CleanWaterHealthyPakistan.”

Tweep Nafeesa Muslim @NafeesaMuslim posted: “It’s unfortunate for every #Pakistani that climatic changes are adversely affecting our water and land resources and we are still unaware of upcoming danger of drought. Everyone must contribute to #harvestRainwater in available resources along with our natural water reservoirs.”

Tweep Ali Shaukat @iamAliShaukat suggested that the public itself could make a change: “Besides the government, every citizen is responsible. We can: 1. Use a bucket to bathe. 2. Use a cup of water for brushing our teeth. 3. Use a bucket for car wash. 4. Report or fix any water leakage. 5. Raise our voice to spread awareness. #StopWastingWater #SaveWaterforPak”