Monsoon season is a major weather system that brings a huge amount of rain (and thus freshwater) with itself. Monsoon winds carrying rainclouds enter Pakistan from east/north-east side and cause massive amounts of rainfall in north and northeastern regions of Pakistan. In Pakistan Monsoon season starts in July and lasts till September.
Monsoon wind system blows for half the year from northeast and then the other half from the southwest. Monsoons bring rain and thunderstorms with itself. South Asian Monsoons are one of the most important – not only for the countries receiving the resulting rainfall but for the World’s overall climate.
Monsoon season is one the most important and highly anticipated seasons in Pakistan and its neighbouring countries due to its agricultural, social, economic and environmental impacts. And even though monsoon season is extremely important for Pakistan, it does being a few problems with itself. Today we will be discussing both, the extreme importance and some problems associated with this particular weather pattern.
Also read: Effects of Climate Change on Monsoon Season of Pakistan
IMPORTANCE OF MONSOON SEASON IN PAKISTAN:
- Groundwater Recharge:
As mentioned above, Monsoon rains bring a huge amount of freshwater with itself into Pakistan which is extremely important for replenishing the water table as Pakistan is already a semi-arid and water stressed country (Water Scarcity Crisis in Pakistan: Causes, Effects, Solutions). For further information read: Aquifer Vulnerability And Groundwater Quality In Pakistan
- Replenishing Rivers and Dams:
Pakistan being a semi-arid and water stressed country depends largely on rainwater to replenish its rivers and dams. It is important for the health of the Freshwater Ecosystem of Pakistan.
- Hydroelectricity Generation:
Monsoon rains brings much needed water to fill up the dams for electricity generation. Pakistan is already an energy insecure country and depends largely on hydroelectricity to meet its energy demand which runs the industries of Pakistan and hence have a direct effect on the economy of Pakistan.
Pakistan is primarily an agricultural country and monsoon rains bring water for the rain-fed farms and are extremely important for the agriculture of Pakistan and hence food security and the economy of the country. Good crop production leads to lowered and affordable prices of stable crops and fruits and vegetables and promotes exports for the country while crop failure due to inadequate water supply or drought conditions leads to higher food prices and increase in imports. Also check out: The Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture in Pakistan
- Ecosystem Health:
Monsoon rains bring water and water is life, thus monsoon season has a huge impact on the health of the various ecosystems and biomes of Pakistan as well as the overall fauna and flora of the country.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MONSOON SEASON IN PAKISTAN
- Flash Floods (Urban Floods):
Monsoon season brings heavy rains and Cloudbursts which usually results in flash floods in cities due to improper or blocked drainage systems or just because the drainage system is not able to handle the sheer volume of water falling down from the skies. For more information read: Flash Floods – Causes, Effects, Prevention and Management
- Emergence Of Insects and Snakes/Growth Of Fungi And Bacteria/Water related Insect-Borne Diseases:
One common observation is that creepy crawlers like snakes, millipedes, centipedes, various insects come out from the bowels of earth which sees an increase in insect and snake bites and related problems (Also read: 25 Species of Insects That Are Found In Pakistan). Hot and humid environment promotes fungal and bacterial growth which results in rise in the number of such diseases. Insects like mosquitoes which lay eggs on water find plenty of water all around and their numbers increase resulting in increase in mosquito related diseases like Malaria and Dengue etc.
Rains are nice, but humidity is not – especially in summer seasons. With Monsoon rains comes suffocating humidity levels which make the atmosphere really unpleasant for people.
- Massive Floods:
Massive flooding is what happens when rivers overflow due to limited capacity to hold water or in many cases when a neighbouring country *cough cough* releases water from their dams which wreaks havoc in our country. These floods are one of the most common natural disasters that occur in Pakistan. These massive floods:
a) Destroy agricultural land, due to soil erosion as well as grown crops
b) Damage infrastructure like roads, buildings, underpasses and bridges etc.
c) Damage or destroy residential and commercial buildings, hospitals, schools, and other valuable property like cars etc. Basements are also flooded.
d) Also result in loss of precious human life as well as economic losses.
- Stormwater Runoff Carrying Pollutants from Cities:
Stormwater from cities carries a wide variety of pollutants in the form of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, oil, medical waste, garbage and what not (Sources and Effects of Common Water Pollutants). All these pollutants end up in streams, rivers and then finally seas and oceans.
- Travelling and Road Accidents:
Travelling during monsoons is usually pretty dangerous as roads are slippery due to rainwater which causes traffic accidents to increase. Northern areas also experience landslides, which makes travelling even more difficult.
Monsoon Season is extremely important for our country as it plays a significant role in the economic, social, and environmental well-being of our country, even though it comes with some related issues – but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. However, climate change is changing weather patterns around the globe and such changes can also be seen in our monsoon season. Even a small change will have a drastic impact on our country, thus it is extremely important for governments to keep this fact in mind while making policies and management plans for our country.
Also check out: Impacts Of Changing Monsoon Season Rains Pattern In Pakistan
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Founder of Envpk.com. A passionate environmentalist and researcher by education and at heart. A proud tree-hugger.