ISLAMABAD: Shortage of affordable and safe drinking water is manifested in Pakistan with an estimated 44 per cent of the population without access to safe drinking water, while in rural areas 90 per cent of the population lacks such access. As one indication of the intensity of the problem, it is estimated that about 200,000 children in Pakistan die every year of diarrheal diseases alone, according to a report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR). Pakistan was a water rich country just a few decades ago; however, a recent World Bank Report mentioned that Pakistan is now among the 17 countries that are currently facing water shortage. It is pertinent to mention here that the major source of drinking water in Pakistan is groundwater, so water availability is the second most serious issue. This becomes even more daunting as estimated level of water available may decline considerably in the foreseeable future. Talking to APP, Spokesperson PCRWR Lubna Naheed said with decrease of quantity, the quality of water is also deteriorating badly by municipal, industrial and agriculture wastes. In Pakistan, she said, majority of population is using groundwater for drinking purpose. Contamination of this source due to unplanned urbanization and industrialization is a major problem. She was of the view that over exploitation of the natural resources and discharge of hazardous wastes into water bodies without proper treatment is one of the major concerns. Intensity of the water quality problem is enormous. Main ground water source of drinking water in rural ares of Pakistan is hand pump. Hand pump and motor pumps together provide 61 per cent of households with drinking water, rising to 70 per cent in rural areas. Whereas, motor pumps form an increasingly relevant part of this. According to official data available, Punjab has the best rural water supply amongst all the provinces. Vast majority of the rural population has either piped water or water from a hand pump or motor pump. Only 7 per cent of rural population depends on dug wells or on rivers, canals and streams. Situation in Sindh is considerably worst as 24 per cent of the rural population is depending on such sources and where the situation is further deteriorated over the period. Rural water supply situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also worst but the worst of all is in Balochistan. In these two provinces, 46 and 72 per cent of the rural population, depend on water either from a dug shell, river, canal or stream. http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/12/more...lack-access-to-clean-water.html:becky::becky: Rural water supply situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also worst but the worst of all is in Balochistan.