Shrunken Simli Dam Reservoir
Pakistani teenagers make a long trek out of a shrunken swimming hole at drought-ravaged Simli Dam, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Islamabad, in a photo taken June 22.
A lack of rain has forced Pakistan to drain its reservoirs and groundwater supplies, and as these reserves run out, a water crisis looms. The nation’s growing population needs more water, but recent rainfall has fallen far short of averages even as the nation eagerly awaits this year’s summer monsoon.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department says the country has entered stages of meteorological drought (with 40 percent less than expected rainfall), hydrological drought (surface water availability 30 percent less than normal), and agricultural drought (which is severely impacting crop production).