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The disastrous redesign of Pakistan’s rivers
- Published on Jan 29, 2023 veröffentlicht
- British colonizers created a massive canal system in Pakistan - and helped cause the country’s deadly water crisis.
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In late summer of 2022, Pakistan experienced a devastating flooding event. An unusually severe monsoon season induced by climate change resulted in a third of the country being covered with water. Over 1,600 lives were lost, and water took months to drain out of lower-lying regions of the country, causing disease and displacement.
On the flip side, Pakistan is among the most water-scarce countries in the world - expected to reach absolute water scarcity by 2025 if nothing changes. You can’t remove climate change from this equation, but an overlooked factor is the role that British engineering played in building water infrastructure along the Indus River and its tributaries, Pakistan’s sole source of surface water.
A series of perennial canals, dam-like structures called barrages, and embankments were built to extract as much water from the Indus as possible and convert much of Pakistan’s arid landscape into farmland. But this water infrastructure exacerbates the destruction of flooding events and creates a hierarchical system along the canals in terms of water access.
In our video, we explain the design of this water infrastructure and how Pakistan’s colonial past has made the country’s relationship with water even more precarious.
Daanish Mustafa, who we interviewed for this video, co-authored a report on Pakistan’s water crisis:
We recommend The Juggernaut’s reporting on the legacy of dams in Pakistan:
For more context on how Pakistan bears the brunt of the effects of climate change:
We interview David Gilmartin for this story, who authored a book on the history of water engineering in the Indus basin:
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Comments • 2 598
As a hydrologist and water resource engineer, this really hits close to me.
Most of the time, we engineers understand the problem/s and can always produce holistic solutions to water resource management.
But unfortunately, we always hit the wall of politics, bureaucracy, corruption, and uninformed decision-makers.
I really wish we experts can really have the final say on matters of water resource management.
I wish everyone especially politicians can understand that water doesn't care about your politics, religion, or affiliation.
We must always remember that "we all live downstream".
That’s sadly the life of engineer, worldover …
As an ecologist I echo this sentiment, but across the board for a wide range of earth systems, environments, and biodiversity.
@Zaydan Alfariz can't afford family planning but can afford kids lololol
@Emmet Harrigan physics is the same in Pakistan and in Holland. Why Holland manages water very well, and Pakistan doesn't?
@Clorox Bleach politics is not an even playing field as physics. Money and violence can warp the laws. You cannot do politics and engineering in same time. What titans you spoke? Usually they hired other to do the work and then they reaped the benefits.
If I understand this video correctly, the population explosion of Pakistan is directly related to the engineering of the Indus (makes sense, more agriculture = more food = more people). But that means you can't revert to "indigenous knowledge" as their engineering was designed for a much smaller population. The thing I took away from this video is that just like with the world as a whole, the country over-engineered its way to an unsustainable state, and cannot reverse it now.
Well, one thing that could work is to build a bit away from the rivers, leaving out space for rivers to swell in case of serious overflow. This was tried in the Netherlands when they began spacing out their levees to allow rivers to swell, but not flood out. But convincing a city to move back from the river is probably something very difficult.
@Ninyahow Biftin Jesus God Allah all same as a flea on dogs
@Ninyahow Biftin i give you an example of a society that doesn't has one boss who decides all: Switzerland, it has a counsel and each counselor is president of Switzerland for 6 month. Do you think that CEO of corporation decide everything? They delegate.
That's modern agriculture in a nutshell.
The criticism of British colonialism are of course valid, but relying on 150 year old traditional knowledge and trying to turn back to a "natural" state of things is unlikely to yield satisfactory results.
Water-engineering drastically increased the amount of farmable land, that is now needed to feed Pakistan's vastly larger population. The struggle over grain exports from Ukraine and Russia have shown how dangerous an over reliance on food imports can be particularly for poorer countries.
With Pakistan's economy reliant on agriculture, there is also the risk of an economic crisis, that could have similarly severe impacts as some of these natural disasters.
Building a water management system with the modest means of a developing economy that equitably provides enough water to irrigate enough land to feed people in a world that is plagued by ever more extreme weather events, seems like a task with impossible constraints.
With no clear solution in sight, arguments against the proposed solution need to be more substantial than "it's unnatural and the British came up with it".
@Cracked Emerald haha I don't think so
//With no clear solution in sight, arguments against the proposed solution need to be more substantial than "it's unnatural and the British came up with it".// Cannot agree more
@Anand Arokianathan well it has been over 70 years and over 4 generations
Not valid. The industrial mindset helped them develop their country. Now they need to go back to a million in population not keep breeding
As a Pakistan citizen living in Lahore, this really is very concerning but our army, corrupt govt officers and politicians don't even care a bit about the future generations, they have created a negative economic and political environment on purpose so that there power remains intact, while the major issues like climate change, water scarcity and economic growth and development are getting neglected
read arthsastra save pakistan,,,
@Satya diwakar adigarla their imran Khan is Oxford graduate. Education and cultural mindset are two different things. Even terrorists are engineers and teachers. So don't expect anything from Pakistan. Education will only create more Pakistani Rana Ayyub and Mohammad zubair.
The day Pakistans literacy rate reaches above 80% (when religious Education separated from schools) is the day people elect appropriate leaders who are educated
And the day Pakistan public considers COUNTRY before Religion is the day you see raise of PAK
From democratic INIDA
Religious fanaticism is the elephant in the room no one talks about.
The problem seems to be bad engineering rather than over-engineering. Good governance could fix past mistakes if there were the political will to keep selfish interest groups in check.
The design was Great, It's been there for decades and saved lives of millions. They should have redesigned it as the population had surged and adapted to climate change.
@Mohit Jauhari love and peace. Why do you lot hate so much. Life is short. Enjoy it. You just seem to enjoy making it miserable for others.
@ismael khan allah not saving y'all? Shame
What a strange video! Super interesting on the history and hydrology part but so visibly wrong on the social commentary. From what I gather, the British started to build a canal system in the early 1900s and independent Pakistan continued similar projects to make a desert fertile. Then a hundred years later a number of unfortunate events at the same time culminate in a massive flood with 1,600 casualties. Tragic indeed. But the proposed alternative, which seems to be "dismantle the colonial canal system and go back to indigenous methods of managing water", basically means to go back to a state in which Pakistan is able to sustain maybe 10 or 20 millions of people tops - not the 230 million it has today. So instead of 1600 casualties over 100 years, you'll have more than 200 million casualties and constant hunger (because an average woman in Pakistan has a few children).
Strange pretty much sums up Vox and its research
@shoppedout The purpose of the video is to just bash the British Empire.
Agree with your views. Essentially, the only way to manage this situation - and to prevent further human and natural catastrophes - is to create an engineered solution. Merely blaming the British projects will not do anything. You also need to take into consideration Pakistan's 400% population growth since the 1950s too. Having "natural" solutions is not feasible. You have to engineer solutions on a large scale to get out of this mess. This will mean more projects that will absorb and divert water away from highly built up areas. Pakistan has lots of peaks and valleys, perhaps the water can be diverted there via small(er) rivers and tributaries and locked in via dams and then fed into irrigation zones as and when required.
but wouldn't rolling back the "modern" irrigation systems mean also going back to subsistence farming + fewer people being able to be sustained by pakistans acres?
yea so instead of going from one extreme to the other, u find ways to diminish the damage done and stop any damage from happening further, because people need to be alive, safe and healthy in the first place to do their jobs
@julian cohen You're right food production and population used to be strongly interlinked.
The population increase is very telling. More people are being fed with the current irrigation system.
Yes. But expanding it is not a good solution either. The system must be redesigned with modern knowledge of hydrology etc. India for example had lost it's appetite for massive irrigation projects after finding that it doesn't work very well for them, and now switched to more decentralized local water management systems.
Yes of course; without these system the population would not have increased so drastically in the first place. That is a very clean way to say that hundreds of millions of people would have died in infancy instead. The problem is largely lack of governance and central planning to keep their (agricultural) systems up to date.
This videos appears to be conflating two separate issues, inequality of water access and engineering water pathways to capture more water. While the two have been historically linked, they don't have to be. You could still engineer the water pathways, and be more equitable with water distribution and access. The problem is that it appears that the engineering is necessary to support Pakistan's population. They can't just go back letting the rivers flow wherever nature takes them.
Also while damming up the rivers has reduced flow and allowed salt water to destroy previously farmable land, that has to be put into the context of how much more land was created that could support agriculture. My guess is that the latter is a lot more than the former. Again, there is the inequality issue of who gets the new land and who gets their land destroyed, but that's a separate issue that can be remedied while keeping the engineering.
And how many has died because of that and will.
Thank you! The population growth came first, the water engineering was a way for the Pakistani Government to allow all people to earn a living. If the canals and barrages went away, Pakistan would starve. The issue is that there are too many people living in the country for the amount of water available.
Kashmir is an integral part of india pakistan has illegally occupied it...but wait is over their allah is punishing them now. And this makes me feel happy and sad at the same time.
You are right about everything. In many ways the too much expansion also is made by the Pakistanis themself.
What does not seem to be clear is that if this "colonial" irrigation system was to be dismantled, would it not have severe repercussions of its own? I think this it is too simplistic to say it's the fault of colonial mindset or colonial practice or over-engineering. The solution probably lies somewhere between sustainable engineering solutions, enforcing flood management related plans and in my humble opinion most importantly arresting the mind-boggling growth of population in Pakistan.
@Mahesh Sardesai You can only remove things like that by electing someone else, then You do.
It has toi have a descent program and not only phrases. Its about bad habits actually can change.
@Mahesh Sardesai major gaurav arya op 🔥🔥😛
Kashmir is an integral part of india pakistan has illegally occupied it...but wait is over their allah is punishing them now. And this makes me feel happy and sad at the same time.
Corruption is an important part of it in Pakistan too.
If VOX thinks the traditional water management solutions are so awesome they should also provide some analysis on how this would affect total agricultural output. I'd guess it would lower, otherwise the british wouldn't have bothered with the canals. But it's easy to advertise traditionalist agricultural practices if you are not the one having to live with the results.
@IndieBoy10 why 231 million there then? Should be but down to about ten million
How about reducing population, decreasing military budget
@Rhys Duncanb-b-but diversity is a good thing!
The video implies that the solution to Pakistan's water problems is to revert to pre-industrial agricultural and water control methods. This is all well and good if you're willing to accept a pre-industrial standard of living and population (as the video notes, pre-industrial pakistan's population was a 5th what it is today).
Switching to subsistence farming is not the only solution, They could instead invest in better and less corrupt water engineering. Most countries around the world have professional civil and hydro engineers who spend great effort to manage the water systems to prevent flooding and provide further irrigation, and in the vast majority of cases they are successful. The solution for Pakistan is to better manage their water resources and establish an apolitical body to maintain them. This has been the job of governments for millennia. I believe the scale of the damage Pakistan's floods have caused will provide sufficient political will to establish proper, professional, apolitical and holistic management of the country's rivers.
@LoudCommentor Well it brings an interesting perspective atleast. Pre industrial societies might've been more "sustainable", but the issue is mostly due to industrializing places that aren't "ready" for it and then leaving it up to themselves to manage it. Like giving a hunter/gatherer a rocket launcher and expecting them to use it with caution.
One the best comment 👑
@Mohit Jauhari what's that got to do with anything?
Kashmir is an integral part of india pakistan has illegally occupied it...but wait is over their allah is punishing them now. And this makes me feel happy and sad at the same time.
@Himanshu, please keep your negativity to yourself and refrain from commenting on anything related to Pakistan.
I'm Pakistani and I'm telling you, The canals and Dams aren't the issues, the issue is mismanagement and actually not modernizing this almost century-old irrigation system!!
That's not true. It's the Force of the nature
@Speed wave king exactly. we can't run out nature
It was less miss management and more of climate change
framing this as a "colonialist mindset" problem is the absolute worst take possible
@K Ashutosh Its true.
@Mudra nah bro
You should see what channel you are on
I mean, Vox and Vice will do whatever they can to seem politically correct.
@Philip James Maybe, but famines were quite common in India, before British rule.
It's sad to see the once so-called "largest canal irrigation system" go down the drain all due to lack of long term planning by the government.
@Qurrat ul ain Zehra P3doworshipper 🛐🛐🤲🤲
@Qurrat ul ain Zehra what that really is a issue pakistan need to evolve
i see what you did there
The water crisis is definitely a critical topic. Our crew analysed the current situation at the River Nile. Egyptian farmers along the River Nile banks have long relied on this legendary water source for their way of life. But now the river is drying up, turning the traditional way of life into a struggle. While more efficient irrigation and planting systems might be one solution, wider geopolitical issues are also affecting livelihoods all along the river. We're hoping to see positive solutions to the problematic water conflicts we're seeing nowadays.
I'm your 100th liker here & bye.
Yeah, it's a completely Western idea to artificially redirect water. That's why the first known instances of irrigation took place in Iran, India and Mesopotamia.
just vox tings
Western influence or not water management is much older then British ingenuity in Pakistan or elsewhere
@Atharv Agarwal These projects are always selfish. The goal for both of them was to increase agricultural productivity and thus the finances of the crown due to the agricultural sector being the main "industrial" sector was always the reasonening. The British just brought new technologies to the table
@Atharv Agarwal it’s not subcontinent, it’s united India
@Atharv Agarwal True - i read this in a few WhatsApp forwards as well. I have been trying to find answers to these questions like a) were the Indus farmers not paid market price for their produce b) didn't Indians get share of this produce c) how did the situation of farmers improve after Indian/Pakistani Govt came to power. Can you help with that? Pls include evidence as well so that it doesn't come across as racist.
Waterways can be useful. But climate change made us to adapt rivers to that condition. Jakarta, while it's mostly caused by human-induced water extraction, rather than climate change, is another great example. It always floods partly due to rivers being above the sinking land. Jakarta now has adapted lots of canals since then. And yes, it's mostly caused by Dutch mistakes, and unsustainable, both climate and land stability, development
@eksa No, it makes it more efficient since one tram can pull more people than one articulated bus
@Zaydan Alfariz Even if we replace TJ with tram it won't make any difference since it has same capacity and speed. Changing it to tram will only increase maintenance
@eksa Different. Metro is what the commuter should've been. Tram is replacement of TJ
@Zaydan Alfariz yeah that's why we're building metro system in jakarta
@eksa Yeah in Soekarno era. But it shouldn't be like that honestly. Now, TransJakarta is pushed to its limits and it shows
The first 6 minutes were focussed on colonialists deteriorating the land for money/power and the fact that an independent Pakistan significantly ramped up the canal system over 30-40 years was glossed over in 20 seconds
The country before WW2 was just called 'British Raj'
I noticed that, too!
@OldLordSpeedy During British there was no such country as india it also came into existence after ww2. This video is talking about the provinces and region of Pakistan which was never under control of any “india”.
You can't explain the latter without providing the context of the former.
In 2012, like many years, there were also massive floods. We were driving through the area. The roads are embankments, they are the high point. So lots of poor people who lost everything were just sitting there on the roads. It was heart-wrenching to see. As far as you could look there was water.
Framing this as a problem of colonialism, that can only be solved with local/indigenous answers is a bit...odd. Engineering and science are absolutely what is needed. Evidence-based solutions.
Just Vox doing vox things as usual
@Nathan Cochran You should also look into the "slow the flow" concept to reduce floodings
@Nathan Cochran And that is exactly why the current way cant be kept up, reoccuring floods will destroy harvests at some point.
@Beerenmüsli no, but data is useless if you can't interpret it. Pakistan needs to maintain its agri output or it will starve.
As a Pakistani, who understands this issue and the politics involved, I find this documentary mostly wrong. Don't have time to correct all the info but for a start, the key reason for building Dams and Barrages is that Indus river gets its water from Glacier ice melting. This happens in late spring, summer and early autumn, so Dams and barrages help store massive amount of fresh water that is needed for agriculture and people, throughout the year. If it weren't for the dams/barrages then Indus river would be dry during periods of no glacier ice melting (i.e. many months)
@Naram Sai Shanmukh
It's Sindhis who always had an issue with building of dams. Not Punjabis' fault.
this is not a documentary
Indus river flows year long , lol 😂
@Jon Doh I'm just saying that it's more complex then you think, the peaceful population has take a part of our land as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and still creating ruckus in present day India. It's an Ideological battle between those who think everyone except people following a particular ideology don't deserve to live and those who welcome inflow of better values in them. Just see what has happened to Europe with just 5-6% of them, and imagine that going to 20%. And if you are denying the supremacist attitude of peacefuls, you should look some ex- peaceful channels and see what happens to peaceful majority countries.
I’m Pakistani and when it comes to this the main issue is corruption, mismanagement, discrimination and a load of other issues blaming the British isn’t the solution. Yeah the British are responsible for several issues Pakistan faces like the Kashmir dispute and modern day western intervention in Pakistan like the US meddling in Pakistani affairs is a issue. The old irrigation systems won’t be able to feed Pakistans 220 million people. With better management this issue can become a lesser risk. Many areas face issue with water like the western US just recently in California lots of storms caused flooding in a usually dry area but due to better management the impact wasn’t as bad as the floods in Pakistan.
Indus river flows from India to Pakistan bruh
@Philip James That's because India was a subcontinent with included Pakistan Nepal Bangladesh srilanka all together, the point is when Indus water and it's civilization history came in to the limelight Britishers had no idea except to name it as India as the name comes from indus tributaries 👈
In Indian constitution India as two names officially Bharat or India it is 🇮🇳
@Aswin G the name India comes from indus which is in Pakistan
@Jay S ok what have I said that isn’t logical please enlighten me
@Umar Yusuf by looking at your other replies, I can definitely say logic has already left the chat. So no use of logical arguments here.
Thank you for explaining why the monsoon floods in Pakistan have been so much worse than the monsoon floods in India since 2005 or so. I was wondering if it was because Pakistan was just getting far more torrential rains during the monsoons. But if that were the case, India would be equally affected. But almost never hear of India suffering these floods (though Bangladesh does, every year, because it's in the Ganges River delta). When you mess around with the flows nature has set out, you will get disaster more often than not.
These engineering project certainly helped the communities grow... there was certainly greater benefit in them. These projects certainly come with risk involved, we see the effect today. What seems to be overlooked was the constant monitoring of these rivers, to see if they may cause problems ahead, and could be rectified easily.
Recently Indian govt has sent letter to Islamabad to talk about the Indus water treaty 1960.
A lot of major development will be seen on this topic.
@Noushad Ali Karimzaei
Nafrat nhi hai bro ye
Agar nafrat hoti toh 72 saal pehle band kardete , 4 wars hue tab band kar dete lekin nahi kiya na?
India ko bas 20 % water milta hai treaty ke karan aur pakistan ko 80% milta hai isliye India ne notice bheja hai
Ground water scarcity is going to be a real problem in the next five years .
@EARTH 2K Allah tala will help them 🤲
Important history our policy makers and infrastructure managers should pay attention to. Rivers are also built to grow vegetation. In our world we focus our attention on flood control when we should be focused on high flow diversion for agricultural and bioremediation uses. Spot on Vox! Thank you for speaking truth and for putting a spotlight on these scholars.
The issue is not only the canal system but how much water goes to waste using this system. Process is known to be incredibly inefficient and due to that, almost 80% of all farming in Pakistan is done by ground water instead of the rivers. At independence (1947), ground water use for farming was less than 10%. This has put an enormous pressure on ground water supplies in the country.
@Tony Marik Jakarta (and Venice) is prime example of that
@Zaydan Alfariz Im pretty sure he means that using groundwater tends to be unsustainable, since it replenishes slowly. But it depends on how deep do you dig for the water..
Can you explain the ineffienciesm
It is important to note that there were no flooding issues during British rule with the fist major floods being in 1950, today's issue comes from Pakistan's mismanagement and poorly thought through expansion of the system.
Monsoons are the support system of Pakistan's agriculture. And monsoon is not just a rainy, stormy weekend, it stays for a while and it ultimately fills our water reservoirs. As far as its catastrophic effects are concerned, it is nothing as compared to large scale droughts and famine if such irrigation system had not been developed. Such intense monsoon rains occur in a decade but this irrigation system feeds the country throughout the year.
What a correct observation
First of all, Thank You the team which created this video. Really we are indebted to you. Here in Pakistan institutions and responsible authorities and people don't pay attention to real problems. I'm glad that your channel highlighted this issue.
Secondly, Kindly make a video about possible solutions. Pakistan's population is growing exponentially. Really it's a mess. The rivers are our lifeline. Dams create cheap electricity. By the way currently the rate of electric current is too expensive for middle class. Thus there is greater focus on building new dams so cheap electricity can be produced. Water scarcity is scary. I'm sad to inform that authorities are not paying attention.
Bangladesh has worst case river related scenario than Pakistan. But Bangladesh took the matter in it's own hand and started fixing it's problem one by one instead of blaming British for something which happened 70 to 150 years ago.
For how long Pakistan going to blame their colonial past?
Pakistan is not blaming the british, VOX is
Well if that colonial past is still causing devastating issues, colonials should definitely be held responsible. Besides that what does the UK do to help resolving the problem they caused? Your hate towards Pakistan is representative of Stockholm Syndrome.
@Hisham Rashid pakistan was historically an arid region with low population after indus valley civilization time..majority people moved into ganga river valley once indus valley civilization collapsed due to the same water/climatic issues thousand's of years before..its only afyer the canals were built and agriculture was made possible that population of pakistan (western punjab and sindh) exploded... so, there is no easy solution..
As a pakistani, i 100 percent agree. Corruption, arrogance and mismanagement is ruining our country. In order to make matters worse, only 25% of our fertile land is under use.
@Cyber Pirate Rip logic
Can we appreciate how beautiful the stop motion throughout this video is? 👏👏
Yes we can!
I did appreciate it.
But video spend too much time on blaming the British past and too little time on engineering trade-offs.
I can't thank you enough for covering this critical topic in detail. There is so much complexity in this water system and elites are controlling the majority of these irrigated lands and blocking every possible solution being proposed by the critics. Greetings from Pakistan
@Hhydar Really ? The forex reserves and the massive amounts of debts say otherwise. Petrol prices have skyrocketed in Pakistan. Isn't it time that common people do something about it i.e bring competent people to actually pull the country out of this crisis.
@Zaydan Alfariz Its not even that poor man. Its all lack of planning by the corrupt authorities and elite landlords not letting it happen. Marshlands could have been restored over the decades along with building dams upstream. Well its a long debate though
The problem is, Pakistan is too poor for that. Even socialist Pakistan still have to build tons of dams somehow. It's like Albania that builds tons of dams to be carbon neutral
A city nearby seaside had river flowing like five fingers to sea.
City had the main stream.
Still city faced water shortage.
Streams on either side away from city with water flowing to sea, were engineered to get all the water to city.
Every thing was okay till a heavy down pour and city faced flood.
if only Pakistani authorities were smart enough themselves and really cared about the public the floods would not have been so disastrous
Yeah and u would stop climate change right?
Bro, you're spitting facts.
Please take a minute to appreciate the visuals of how the water flow has been explained. I mean just wow! Vox pushes the bar higher every time for other content creators.
A fairly bizarre take. The lack of gratitude toward the hard working souls that created these systems is Jarring. Hopefully this type of story telling has an expiry date, and we can get back to appreciating progress for the blessing that it actually is.
A similar story is playing out where I live. Wetlands "reclaimed" for farming. Extremely severe drought and little tolerance for rainfall
2:05 so glad someone has highlighted this with actual 3D topographical representations, was on my list of projects but Kudos to the vox team who have done an excellent job 🏆
Given so much water scarcity and that seeing a lot of videos on how much effect the dams cause to downriver flows. I don't think building more dams are going to make it better, it just slows the river flow down even more along the Indus River (and if that was meant for agriculture or electricity generation, then that's going to make it worse in the next flooding season)
Though Indus is in Pakistan..But it's very pious for us Indians and the mother river has blessed our civilization..Our culture, our heritage Indus❤️🙏
@The Master mind Also see the statements your pak ministers have made. Like saving some GB on a device will give you a new wife,immigrating to other countries to solve overpopulation, is this all your "factual evidence"?
@The Master mindYou mean fabricated facts which you want to add credibility by hiring intellectuals?
Who destroyed the river Saraswati?
@lakshit yadav hope for the best buddy .
Inko sabak sikhana jaruri hain.
Next war for water in pak.
I m waiting for unilaterally correction of 1960 treaty 100% should be utilised by ind govt. 👍
@@P H A N T O M 🦠 bro we should stop all stop water flow to porkistan
and it will be fun watching that hahahaha
I don't think it's that easy for Pakistan to make the suggested changes since agriculture provides employment to around half the population and so, reverting the policies would mean spending more money [which Pakistan clearly does not have] and reducing the spread of "fertile" land which would again affect their monetary conditions. Hence, it is concluded that Pakistan has, in my opinion, no way out
I am also indian and ya the British did bad thing it's about time people and politicians stop use them as an excuse of their incompitance and also this is not colonial mindset but industrial mindset and the first industrial countries just happened to be the colonial countries.. ...... 🧐😒😒
Thank you so so much for this extremely reasonable comment- I agree that the British did some terrible things, but it is definitely time to at least slightly move on and stop using it as an excuse for current incompetence.
@Ameer Abdullah Mabe but post colonial politicians do that
its vox mindset pakistan not blaming british for it
I thought it was interesting that large infrastructure projects were framed as a "western" concept, rather than just a "developed industrial nation" concept. Seemed very condescending.
Thanks for highlighting why some of the flooding happened in Pakistan. All I heard was historic rain, not poor water management
big enough water planes can even lead to some rains, if significant water vapor is generated
Natural Calamities are unavoidable. But Pakistan's government itself is not stable one. Its very difficult to settle the chain of problems which has been going on for decades.
You can never be enough prepared for unprecedented and unforeseen calamities.
poor water management aside, it was an unprecedented rain.
The canal building transformed the demographics and politics of this region. West Pakistan and now Pakistan may not even exist without these canals. The dominance of the feudal land owners and army elite who enjoyed British patronage made sure that democracy does not take a deep roots here. Indus river basin went from supporting a thin population to over 230Mil today. And now the cumulative ecological, economic and political consequences are showing. Thanks for an excellent explanation.
Thank you for raising awareness of this issue! Great video
Thanks for spending the time to create and share this content awareness 🙏🏾
vox: let talk about the issue
me: oh okay let hear it
vox: it all change when the British attacked
me: oh god not again...
@Fairy Lesbyaintdve yes and the allies were oh so careful not to damage germany infrastructure and cities during ww2, in fact if you go to germany today you'd think "i wish i was in pakistan"
@Kaitlyn L Sure, bringing it up is important, but it's no good to ignore other aspects for the sake of it. They always talk about "colonial mindset", yet gloss over the fact that most of the fatal redesign was done by Pakistan after the colonial era, not the brits. Maybe it was them who introduced pakistanis to the idea of large- scale waterway- engineering, but looking at china and japan, we see that the mega-industrial mindset would've spread to non- western nations anyway, not necessarily just by colonisation.
Listening to Vox, it sounds like the brits "poisoned" pakistanis with the idea of controlling the indus, while in reality it was Pakistan itself, that tried to tame the river for the sake of maximal food production for a quickly growing population. The only thing the brits added was the technological capability to actually do it.
@Valentin Mitterbauer it’s not always inevitable, but when struggles and divisions caused by the colonisation are one of the major causes of continued dysfunction (as is the case with Pakistan, and even South Africa) it’s fair to bring it up
@Kaitlyn L British colonialism explains how a country became dysfunctional, but it's not the main reason that it stayed dysfunctional. We can see that this doesn't need to be the inevidable fate of ex-colonies when we look at Botswana, just as an example.
The precarious and unfortunate situation of Pakistan reminds of Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' which had a similar theme of man trying to master nature and getting punished for it with his life, these lines rang in my ears as i looked at the flood imagery -
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
Check out the album 'Powerslave'
Brillaint! Thanks for working on out country’s miserable things
I absolutely enjoyed the model and its animation. Well done!
I'm really grateful for channels like Vox that introduce me to history and issues in the world that I otherwise wouldn't know about just because it's not something being taught or talked about in central Europe. I think schools all over the world should stop only focusing on themselves and look around sometimes. Maybe it would make humanity repeat its mistakes a little less often.
Great explanation and absolutely fantastic visuals with the water in the river and its flows! Allows us to fully understand why this thing have actually happened and how we can deal with all the stuff regarding the overflooding potentially!
As one wise man said, "Pakistan is not a poor country, it's a highly mismanaged country.."
@Lawrence Weston and we love that FK up ur civic sense 👍
@Lawrence Weston nope
i highy doubt the man is wise
because it's mismanaged, it's poor
@Lawrence Weston secularism is worst thing happen to India
Wonderful video as always! really love the effort that goes into this!!
As a Pakistani it's very sad to see once called "largest canal irrigation system" go down the drain due to lack of long term planning by the governments and the corrupt rulers, martial laws are the most important for this downfall.
I love how the thesis for this video is Pakistans water policies are a continuation of colonialism and the experts you interview on this reside in the uk
Ever heard of brain drain?
That was really unexpected. I didn't know that the canal system in our country is causing this much damage to our agriculture and infrastructure sector in every major flood specifically the 2010 and 2022 floods in Pakistan. I hope the government officials of Pakistan will take the aspects of this video into account and take necessary action.
Kudos to the VOX research team for looking into this matter. Maybe you guys can do another video on Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan as well.
Yes. South asia in general should not have a water problem but a water management problem. Some of our designs are too ancient or too ambitious to get to completion. That said, we have to consider environmental factors as well. In terms of CO2 production, Pakistan produces less than 1% but is the more critical region due to CO2 emission by India,China,Iran in the region. Plenty of factors to consider in future design.
Does the water standing for months on end, not recharge ground water in water scarce lands!?
P. S i know flood management is important but would this flood situation benefit the water scarce places in any way?
i love vox video on Indus River System but the issue is how to we feed 220+million people with sustainable agriculture. You talk out issue of over engineering ..... yes but what is alternative ? year round water supply produce enough food to meet the demand ...... crops who are in season means growing in the fields have to be imported and you known the market (international) ........ if we remove water infrastructure now among any section of rivers we will face flood and famine in that section......ONE THING YOU missed that was climate change...... sudden heavy rain on small patch of land can cause flood......beacuse of climate crisis Government went for more Dams now if upstream gets flooded whole country gets flooded onther mistake in your coverage was flood started at swat and tausa barrage (not sukkar barrage) ........Anyways Good luck and keep up the good work
The mission point here is that if you are going to un-over engineer the river first you must find something else for 100,000,000 people lto do for a living and find food for them on the international market.
good presentation with information about issues on ground, i was not aware of these nice but despite issues with current system, the solution did made a lot of land agricultural. now comes the politics, corruptions, manipulations. so engineers build a solution that can be improved over time
Without talking about Indus water treaty this video is incomplete
Y'all continue to amaze with these physical diagrams and illustrations. They are spectacular!
First of all Pakistan doesn’t win independence…india won it…2nd due to British policy of divide and rule india was divided into 3 parts😞
@mirfjc just one major part , see the map of Maratha empire
How many parts was it in before Britain arrived? I'll give you a hint, many more than 3. And it's just lazy in the extreme after 75 years to conclude the divisions were caused rather than used.
What about irrigation? and taking everyone along with you? As if it is something that is possible in a big country. Yes human engineering has caused floods and calamities sometimes, but it also enabled more people to live on this planet.
It would have taken more time for the Vox team to make a 3D model of Indus River than those policy makers in Pakistan making future plans for tackling the expected water scarcity.
This is based on the Indus and Pakistan but this is such a global issue. We are over engineering rivers and water management in every continent and it’s contributing to our flood magnitude
If an electrical surge blows out a lightbulb, it's not because you overengineered the circuit, it's because you've underengineered it. Add surge suppressors.
If a canal system floods, it's not overengineered, it's underengineered. Add flood mitigation to the system.
Correct. It's a major problem here in the US Southwest as well, coupled with massive population growth.
@Rita Gameiro So, you advocate for e nics?
It's a necessity as we are currently at 8 billion, just too many of us.
Problem was defined nicely
But solutions were left go listeners imagination!
Better and judicious use of irrigation for farming- using drip irrigations instead of flood irrigation
Use of less to no pesticides
Use vegetation to clean water before discharging sewage water for better healthy rivers
Changing part of land from annual to perennial farming and agro forestry to grow fruits not for exporting but local consumption to develop food security
Having at least 100 meters of forest belt on either sides of waterway with indeginous food forest to improve and prevent floods
Making laws not to do construction both industrial and domestic building right over river banks
Make use of overflow perennial canal system feeding water reservoirs to use for irrigation in dry season, etc
Water recharge wells, etc
Reduce hard surfaces to avoid flash flooding, etc
I am not geologist but why can’t academicians from universities were able to give solutions or was this not the point or intent of this video.
Everyone can count and point problems! But can they give do-able low cost solutikns!
So… over all the effect was positive. Boosted the population many times over. Inequality in water management isn’t good, but still, they benefited from it.
Heartbreaking, it was not a natural disaster but a man made missmanaged measures that turned the blessing into disguise. :(
Very informative but the opinions of the professors highlighted in this are very ignorant. The conditions of the modern world make it literally impossible to "just listen to indigenous knowledge instead of fixing the problem with modern engineering". Did they miss the part where agriculture employs 50% of the country? Or maybe the part about how the population of Pakistan has boomed exponentially since these changes were made, and this increase in agriculture is helping prevent starvation? If anything the recent global pandemic has shown how fragile international food supply lines can be and how nations should be encouraging domestic food production, not looking for ways to reduce it.
Exactly, and blame 150 year old infrastructure instead of over population and the current corrupt government. Meanwhile South Korea got their independence only 50 years ago and are a first world nation. The whole rhetoric of blaming everything in south Asia on the British is really counter productive and gives a scapegoat to current governments.
i think what they mean is that pakistan should consider adapting some of the techniques of their indigenous into their modern system. it doesnt mean going from one extreme to another. it means being able to find a balance so that the people who rely on the indus river can have a long term solution for their water needs as the indigenous found out how to do it hundreds of years before the british came. the point is, is that their industrialist mindset is informed by people who either dont know, or care about the issue at hand and how to solve them. thats why they want to turn to indigenous methods for ideas as they have managed their water well for a logn time before.
Maybe the old ways were better, definitely more sustainable, however, you can't turn back time.
There are now 230 million people living in Pakistan. Going back to agropastoral farming can't sustain that population. I don't have a solution and I assume the people advocating for "indigenous knowledge systems" are aware of this. Pakistan is in need of a robust long-term water management plan, but I'm really afraid ideologies and politics are going to get in the way of a sensible solution.
I think the important thing to remember is the population grew so much because as a result of available food less people were dying young, usually as children.
Thankful for this . i would love to see you guys
If VOX really wanted to understand the issues, they would have interviewed a Hydrologist. You wouldn't do a story about heart attacks without interviewing a cardiologist right?
@稱呼唔重要 British government built few??? It was the largest irrigation project in the whole world at that time.
@David Jennings I have noticed comments showing up in the wrong videos. I know this is definitely the case because once my comment vanished from a video I was commenting on and was alarmed to see it on the video I had tabbed to watch next. Some ytube glitch.
And yet they got the story right.
@Santosh Narayana We can always improve in sustainable way. Indigenous knowledge can be leveraged in modern engineering. Or if we want to stick, just revert back. Just know the consequence of reverting back
@Richard The point being that this area was never supposed to naturally support such a big population, and it was due to human engineering that this population boom happened in the first place, with disastrous consequences we are seeing.
Fantastic work. Kudos to the production team.
This is also happening in India....i have Pandu river basin in Kanpur redeveloped , it's exit being narrowed at Maharajpur that caused flooding in past
A great video and explanation. I saw the footage in the news when they had the massive floods, but had no idea of the underlying cause and history.
The climate of Indus river basin resembles a lot like river Nile
One of the best yet short and concise coverage on this topic. I left with more than when I entered. Thanks!
Engineering practices in the past did not take into account environmental considerations as much compared to modern engineering practices.
Well planned and researched video, keep up the good work
At what point does Pakistan get blamed for its own problems and not the British. Pakistan has had independence for quite a while now and you're making this video telling me that it's Britain's fault that Pakistan can't control it's irrigation? How about they take responsibility and stop blaming others for their problems
Yes. It IS Britain’s fault no matter whatever you say!
The point is Britain left the subcontinent decades ago, and now fixing it is Pakistan’s responsibility, something that Pakistan is doing incompetently and inefficiently.
Moreover, the Indus River civilisations were famous for their huge reservoirs and much was made in this video of them 'going with the flow' but they just did not do that.
The representation of water is amazing
It's really good video explaining the reason but I think they could have avoid the current situation by mentioning then properly.
Very informative video, thank you Vox for covering this issue.
How did the indus valley civilization turn into one of the most remarkable communities of all time? (basically a little history and evolution to today's Indian subcontinent)
Most remarkable communities of all time ? 🤭
It's the fault of government of pakistan. British did what any other colonial power would have done. It's the government of pakistan who still gives land to powerful govt servants by giving them prime land like patronage. What colonial power gave away was about 1/3rd of total hence most of is given by the Pakistani government
Bro in India we are also doing the same thing in Punjab, Haryana and U.P. You can see the impact of that in Punjab they are now facing droughts.
Every thing has its pros and cons. Solve as many as you can. There is a population that has to be considered. My grandpa was a clivil engineer with a Cornell degree. Worked on New York City water systems. Most educated people don’t have enough hands on experience. It’s looked good on paper
Love this video! Would like to see more videos about the situation of rivers in India and whether this kind of canal system problem is also there in India.
All river banks from upstream to downstream must be cleared of construction and bothsides of river banks with trees and shrubs suitable for river banks and survive standing water. All low lying land must be properly survey for soil thickness specially clay loam and deep biopores created for flood waters to seep deep in the ground.
I'm sorry, you can't say that this colonial mindset created this water system and increased the population fivefold is bad because the resulting population increase is overburdening the ecosystem.
This situation is going to get dire as Indian government has issued notice over Indus Water Treaty threatening Pakistan's access to water
I mean if the population of a country grows fivefold and the water supply remains the same it makes sense that the water availability per capita will drop proportionately, it is simple math.
They are breeding like animals.
@Fahad Sultan Yes this is a solution, but if not implemented, as is in this case, then the per capita value will drop. Also, I hate it how the video focuses too much on the British colonizers. Pakistan has been an independent country for more than 50 years, so it is their fault that this problem exists.
@Fahad Sultan So x-amount of rain falls a year and you think all of it should be locked up in dams?
No, Pakistan could have made hundreds of dams and reservoirs to increase its per capita water availability.....
Loved the stop motion animation in this. ❤️
I wish Pakistani Media could talk about it like that..Kudos to you for making this video.
what a great content. I had to rewatch it 3 times to really understand...
*Thanks Vox! another informative and interesting video*