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On the other hand, water pollution generation is increasing largely due to the growing economy and population, and an almost complete lack of water treatment.The sources for water pollution include the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the dumping of industrial effluent into lakes and rivers, untreated sewage being dumped into rivers and the ocean, and contaminated pipelines being used to transport water.
This leads to further degradation of the environment and subsequently increases poverty.
This has led to what the World Bank refers to as a "vicious downward spiral of impoverishment and environmental degradation." The World Bank report in 2013 stated that Pakistan's top environmental issues include air pollution, inadequate supply of uncontaminated drinking water, noise pollution and the health deterioration of urban and rural populations due to pollution.
Among these the Ravi and Sutlej are diverted in upstream India, for which consumptive use was awarded to India under the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960 by India and Pakistan.
Canal networks from the Indus (main stem), Jhelum River, and Chenab River supply water throughout the agricultural plains in Punjab and in Sindh, while the rest of the country has very little access to other fresh water.
According to a World Bank report, "Karachi's urban air pollution is among the most severe in the world and it engenders significant damages to human health and the economy".
The inefficient use of energy, an increase in the number of vehicles used daily, an increase in unregulated industrial emissions and the burning of garbage and plastic have contributed the most to air pollution in urban areas.
These are serious environmental problems that Pakistan is facing, and they are getting worse as the country's economy expands and the population grows.
Little is being done to tackle these issues, because the goals of economic growth and tackling terrorism within the country supersede the goals of environmental preservation.
Potential scarcity of water not only threatens Pakistan's economy but also poses a serious threat to the lives of millions of Pakistanis.
Lower flows due to the Indus Waters Treaty, as well as diversion to canals, means that lower dilution flows are available within the rivers of Pakistan.