Next Article in Journal
Influence of Temperature on the Removal Efficiency of Organic Matter and Ammonia from Micro-Polluted Source Water
Next Article in Special Issue
Research on Soil Nitrogen Balance Mechanism and Optimal Water and Nitrogen Management Model for Crop Rotation of Vegetables in Facilities
Previous Article in Journal
Assemblage Patterns of Microalgae along the Upstream to Downstream Gradient of the Okavango Delta: Abundance, Taxonomic Diversity, and Functional Diversity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Colored Wastewater Treatment by Clathrate Hydrate Technique
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:

Effect of Climate Change and Human Activities on Surface and Ground Water Quality in Major Cities of Pakistan

Department of Environmental Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Department of Chemistry, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Department of Biotechnology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Department of Management Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2023, 15(15), 2693;
Submission received: 17 May 2023 / Revised: 17 July 2023 / Accepted: 18 July 2023 / Published: 26 July 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management and Treatment)


In this study, climate change and human impacts on water quality in five major urban areas of Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Gilgit, were determined. Secondary data on various physical, chemical, and bacteriological water quality parameters were taken from published papers, reports, and theses. Surface and groundwater were the major sources of drinking water in these cities. The physicochemical parameters were total turbidity, pH, dissolved solids (TDS), sulphates, chlorides, calcium, sodium, HCO3, potassium, magnesium, nitrates, fluorides, arsenic, and hardness. The bacteriological parameters were total coliform, total faecal coliform, and total plate counts. The data revealed that pH, TDS, fluoride, chloride, HCO3, sodium, and hardness were above the limits in Karachi. MCB Market, Goth Ibrahim, and Malir Town were the main contaminated areas in Karachi. In Lahore, arsenic was found above the limits in all sampling locations. Turbidity, pH, HCO3, calcium, magnesium, and hardness were found above the limits in Peshawar. In Gilgit city, all physicochemical parameters were found within the limits except turbidity, which was 10 NTU in Nomal valley. Nitrates were higher in the water sources in Abbottabad. Bacterial contamination was found in the water of all five cities. Most of the studies revealed that this contamination could be human-induced. The improper disposal of solid waste, sewage, and animal waste and the excessive use of fertilisers deteriorate the quality of the water. Precipitation, a rise in temperature, and seasonal variation are climate variables that affect water quality and are responsible for major outbreaks of waterborne diseases. There is an urgent need for regular analysis, proper management, and proper treatment of drinking water before it is supplied to the local community in these cities.

1. Introduction

In rural Pakistan, nearly seventy percent of people have no access to fresh and clean water. Pakistan is a country where water is scarce, and the country ranks 80th among 122 countries in terms of drinking water quality [1]. Approximately eighty-five percent of urban and forty-seven percent of rural populations are usually able to obtain clean and safe water for drinking through water channels [2]. At present, just two-hundredths of the country’s people have access to hygienic drinking water. The populace that is left behind is subject to unclean water, mainly polluted by sewerage that includes E. coli colonies, total coliforms, and faeces, and also by manure, pesticides, and industrial wastes [3]. In the past 15 years, microbial agents in soil and water have increased significantly, according to the World Bank [4].
Climate change in Pakistan changes the seasonal patterns and precipitation time and intensity [5]. Seasonal or climate change effects negatively affect the quality of both groundwater and surface water resources. As a result of increased precipitation, flooding transfers large quantities of contaminants into water bodies. Storms and flooding, sewerage, and untreated wastewater result in the entry of pollutants directly into waterways [6]. The important climate change determinants disturbing water quality are temperature and extreme hydrological events. Solar radiation increases, and soil drying and rewetting cycles can also be considered determinants [7]. The influence of climate change on human infectious illnesses is well accepted. Worldwide, 58% of people have faced infectious diseases that have, at some point, been made worse by climatic hazards [8]. Floods and heavy rains frequently result in a rise in waterborne diseases and zoonotic infections, and high temperatures also encourage the spread of these conditions. Waterborne illnesses are associated with humid and rainy summer weather. Pathogens connected to climate change may potentially increase health risks [6]. Various factors of climate change, including rising temperatures, flooding, heavy rainfall, and rising sea levels, have previously been evaluated in terms of their spread and transfer of waterborne diseases such as malaria and cholera [9]. In most of the areas in Pakistan, the predicted rise in temperature will increase microbial growth in surface water resources. Declining precipitation rates in developing countries, including Pakistan, eventually impact the protection of water sources [1].
In Pakistan, water for drinking purposes is primarily obtained from the surface aquifers and groundwater along the tributaries, or water channels. More than 90 % of the water is taken from groundwater sources, which are refilled by irrigation water from the Indus Basin [10]. The quality of surface water like streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, reservoirs, and creeks is deteriorating quickly [11]. Sewage and animal waste, as well as agricultural activities like the use of fertilisers and pesticides, are the primary sources for both surface and groundwater contamination. The water supply pipelines (as a source of drinking water) and waste carrier pipelines run parallel, causing leakage and mixing. As a consequence, the quality of the water in Pakistan is deteriorating rapidly [12]. Contaminants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals are transported into the surface water, groundwater, and coastal waters from urban, residential, and agricultural areas [13]. The number of contaminants identified in groundwater is rapidly increasing; such contaminants are generally classified into chemical, biological, and radioactive contaminants [9]. Through human activities and microbiological contamination, physicochemical parameters like turbidity, hardness, alkalinity, nitrates, chlorides, and sulphate ions have significantly increased [14].
According to the UNICEF statement on inequity in the availability of safe water, cleanliness, and sanitariness, the majority of the population is not able to obtain clean drinking water or clean facilities [15]. Polluted water is also connected to the spread of diseases, for example, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and Hepatitis A [16].
According to a new report by UNICEF, children are more likely to die from water-borne diseases than from direct violence [15]. In the 1972–1973 reports from the WHO, in Pakistan, the total number of diarrhoeal cases reported was approximately 0.1 billion per year. It had been estimated that 200,000 children die each year from diarrhoea (UN Commission on Sustainable Development, 2004). In health care units in Rawalpindi alone, over 80,000 cases of disease associated with contaminated water were noted [17]. According to UNICEF, 20% to 40% of Pakistan’s hospitals are filled with people suffering from waterborne diseases. It is estimated that around 85 million people have access to safe drinking water in Pakistan [15].
No comprehensive study is available on water-quality data, or the constraints and challenges faced by the people. This study gathers recent data from published sources to determine the current status of drinking water quality in Pakistan. In this study, we chose to assess the water quality in five major cities in Pakistan on the basis of the published literature: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Gilgit. The purpose of the study is to examine the quality of the drinking water in the selected areas of Pakistan using the available secondary data and to assess or review the biological and physicochemical parameters of the drinking water in these areas.

2. Methodology

2.1. Research Plan

The present review study was carried out at COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, from August 2020 to December 2020. Water quality testing was not possible at academic labs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this study focused on secondary data to ascertain the status of drinking water quality in selected urban areas of Pakistan, as shown in Table 1.

2.2. Sources of Data

Secondary data on water quality in the selected cities of Pakistan were compiled and analysed using different sources. These areas were chosen in view of the available previous reports for drinking water quality. Biological and physicochemical parameters were selected from those reports in order to provide an overview of the status and challenges of drinking water quality in Pakistan. Sources were considered published reports by the federal, provincial, or local government’s bodies, like the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR). Various reports are available belonging to foreign governments or international organisations (e.g., UNO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, WHO, etc.). Research reports published or presented by research scholars, institutions, etc. regarding water quality in Pakistan. The data were searched in books, master’s, or Ph.D. research theses, newspapers, magazines, etc. University libraries were accessed if the required permissions could be obtained. Public records and statistics, historical documents, and other sources of published information (Table 2). The data on drinking water quality for selected areas of Pakistan were collected, compiled, and then analysed and compared with WHO permissible standards for safe use for drinking purposes. In view of the reports, the ground realities of drinking water quality status were determined in the five major urban cities. Factors influencing the quality of drinking water were explored in previous reports. Current concerns, issues, and constraints faced by the community in the study areas would be investigated in view of those published reports.

2.3. Water Quality Parameters

Physical, chemical, and biological parameters were examined in order to determine the quality of the drinking water. Physical parameters describe the aesthetic characters (turbidity, colour, odour, etc.). The chemical parameters include pH, turbidity, bicarbonate (HCO3), total hardness, sulphates, TDS, chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, nitrates, arsenic, and fluoride. The biological parameters include total coliform, total faecal coliform, and total plate counts.

3. Results

3.1. Physicochemical Parameters

The effects of climate change on physicochemical parameters of drinking water are presented in Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3 and Figure 4 of different selected cities: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Gilgit (Samo et al. [18], Panjwani [19], PCRWR, 2015–2016 [10], Abbas et al. [20], Jibreel et al. [21], Yousaf et al. [22]).

3.2. Microbiological Parameters

Climate change may cause huge hydrologic variations, a rise in water temperature, and an increase in microbiological pollution. Table 3 presents the microbiological characteristics of drinking water at different locations in selected cities.

4. Discussion

4.1. Water Quality Status of Karachi City

Karachi is now dealing with a number of environmental concerns, such as waste management, inadequate water sources, and contaminated drinking water. Samo et al. [18] investigated the drinking water quality in Karachi’s various areas in terms of physicochemical and biological parameters. At three important locations—MCB Market, Goth Ibrahim, and Malir Town—TDS was found to be higher or beyond the permitted level. At MCB Market and Malir Town, turbidity was also closer to the permitted level of 5 NTU. These places have neutral to slightly basic pH levels. Sulphates were present, although at lower concentrations than permitted limit. In particular, the tap water from Goth Ibrahim had greater and exceedingly high chloride concentrations at all three sample locations. MCB Market and Malir Town both had fluoride levels that were over the permissible limit. Nitrate levels were found to be less than the acceptable line in MCB Market tap water samples and within the legal limit in Goth Ibrahim and Malir Town. Similar to this, salt levels were higher in Malir town and MCB market but within the acceptable range in Goth Ibrahim. All samples of Ca and Mg were determined to be within acceptable limits; however, the hardness at the MCB market was above the WHO-permissible limit. At Goth Ibrahim, potassium was detected above the permitted level, whereas tap water samples at MCB Market were closer to the recommended level. At Malir town, MCB market, and Goth Ibrahim, bicarbonates were found above the permitted level. In all three Karachi locations, contamination with TDS, fluorides, chlorides, sodium, magnesium, and bicarbonate had been identified. Recently, studies conducted by Rafi et al. [38], Bakhtiari et al. [39], Nadeem et al. [26], Khan and Qureshi [40], and Nasir et al. [41] showed that groundwater samples contained higher amounts of TDS, Na, Mg, K, Ca, Cl, and HCO3 at different locations such as Gad-dap town, coastal areas of Karachi city, Qayyumabad, Gulshan Iqbal, and Liaquatabad town, the site area of Karachi. Shahab et al. [42] examined the human and geological reasons for arsenic presence in surface and groundwater as well as the potential assessment of health risks from arsenic pollution in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Drinking water samples from Karachi city had microbiological contamination (total coliform, fecal coliform, and plate counts), according to [10,23,26,43]. Due to their parallel locations, water and sewer lines that were leaking caused this microbial pollution.

4.2. Water Quality Status of Lahore City

On the basis of physiochemical and microbiological criteria from various sites and sources, the drinking water quality in Lahore was evaluated. At the Data Darbar tap [21], in Lahore (from 13 tube wells) [10], and at 16 additional locations across the city of Lahore [44], the pH was somewhat basic. The WHO range was found for all other parameters, including turbidity, TDS, Na, Ca, Mg, chlorides, sulphates, nitrates, fluorides, and hardness. While HCO3 was closer to the normal line and potassium was found to be high at various locations in 16 tube well samples. Arsenic levels in drinking samples obtained from all sites in Lahore were found to be higher in the majority of studies [21,27]. In Lahore City, drinking water samples tested positive for arsenic and fluoride pollution (in-depth report on Lahore’s water quality, 2013). The ground water of important towns in Lahore city has significant quantities of arsenic, according to research by Abbas et al. [20]. This study explains why high pH and alkaline conditions are responsible for the high levels of arsenic found in groundwater samples because they are favorable for the mobilization of the metal. Additionally, through pH-dependent dissolution and reductive dissolution, respectively, low sulphates and high alkalinity were found to be the causes of the arsenic present.
Lahore’s groundwater was found to be alkaline, which posed a health risk to those living there (particularly those with weakened immune systems). In the arid and hot environment of the Indus plain, Podgorski et al. [45] examined the arsenic contamination in high pH unconfined aquifers and found that high pH increased the solubility of arsenic in water.
A lot of evaporation from heavy irrigation elevates the pH of the soil. In a different investigation by Ur Rehman et al. [46], it was revealed that all of the physiochemical parameters were within the allowed ranges with the exception of arsenic, which had a concentration of 78 g/L. Additionally, it was discovered that 82% of the water samples had been polluted with arsenic, exceeding the WHO permitted standard of 10 g/L. Pyrites and arsenopyrites are the two arsenical minerals that are most frequently found and are the main sources of groundwater arsenic contamination. Once again, the increasing human population and excessive abstraction of groundwater for irrigation, domestic usage, and human consumption have caused a decline in groundwater quality. According to Aribam et al. [47], there is a strong correlation between seasonal variations in groundwater levels of arsenic and climate change, in addition to how changing the climatic pattern affects the world’s water supply.
Numerous places around the city of Lahore were found to have significant microbiological contamination (total coliform bacteria, total fecal coliform, and total plate counts) [10,21,28,48]. A few of the causes of bacteriological contamination in the research area were old and corroded water mains, the location of water supply pipes close to sewage lines, an intermittent water supply system, blocked sewer lines, and insufficient storm drainage [49].

4.3. Water Quality Status of Peshawar City

The parameters that were used to assess the quality of Peshawar’s drinking water were pH, TDS, turbidity, bicarbonates, hardness, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, as well as sulfates, chlorides, potassium, nitrates, arsenic, and fluorides. In three chosen locations, the pH was neutral: the tube wells at Khattak Chowk and Nothia Road [10], as well as water samples from 13 union councils in Peshawar City [22]. At each of the three locations, the hardness was greater than the standard line. Drinking water samples obtained from the Nothia Road Gulberg tube well were found to have excessive levels of turbidity.In samples obtained from 13 UCs in Peshawar, Ca and Mg were found to be over the WHO standard line; however, bicarbonates were found to be above the WHO standard at Khattak Chowk and Nothia Road Tube Well. Sulphates, chlorides, Na, potassium, nitrates, arsenic, fluorides, and TDS, on the other hand, were determined to be within the WHO-allowable range.Additionally, PCRWR verified the presence of bicarbonates in many other Peshawar city areas that were above WHO standards [10]. The groundwater of north Peshawar had high concentrations of Ca, Mg, hardness, and bicarbonates [50]. In water samples collected from diverse sources, hardness, calcium, and magnesium levels were also higher than the WHO guidelines [51]. According to Inamullah and Alam [51], the cause behind the highest Ca and Mg hardness might be due to drilling activity for water exploration. In addition to these contaminants, 31% of fluoride pollution was discovered in the Peshawar district’s water distribution networks [6]. The quality of the drinking water is at risk if the measurements are above the NEQs set by the EPA, Pakistan, and WHO [6].PCRWR [10] verified coliform and E. coli contamination in TW samples coming from diverse sources. Similar findings of fecal pollution in the city’s water were made by Naeem et al. [31], Inamullah and Alam [51], Khan et al. [30], Ah-mad et al. [6], and PCRWR [43]. Groundwater recharge from sewage drains and landfill leachate is responsible for the increased pollutants in drinking water.

4.4. Water Quality Status of Abbottabad City

Natural streams, springs, and groundwater are the major sources of drinking water in Abbottabad. The water quality of the streams is impacted by a number of factors, including heavy rainfall, urbanization, and solid waste disposal facilities adjacent to the stream [52]. Streams and rivers were indirectly contaminated by human waste disposal through surface runoff. Groundwater and spring water in the Abbottabad district are mostly composed of CaHCO3, with both positive Ca ions and negative bicarbonate ions present [10]. At all three locations in Abbottabad City (Takkia Camp, Jinnah Park, and Medical College Hostel), the pH of drinking water samples collected from tube wells and hand pumps was found to be within the WHO standard [10]. At Takkia Campground, turbidity met the required level. Jinnah Park and Medical College had bicarbonates that were close to the norm but below the WHO permitted level. In all samples collected from these areas, potassium levels were found to be high. The WHO standard line was not fulfilled by any of the other parameters, including K, Na, TDS, SO4, HCO3, As, and F.
The water quality of Abbottabad City was significantly contaminated by bacteria in 2005 and 2006 as well; however, according to PCRWR 2015, the situation steadily improved in 2015 [10,43]. Heavy planting (organic detritus) may be one cause of nitrates in Abbottabad City. Ahmed et al.’s [32] confirmation of coliform contamination in drinking water samples from academic sector water sources follows their earlier findings. The existence of microbial pollution was also verified by Khalid et al. [53], Jabeen et al. [34], Humayun et al. [33], Fazoon, and Imtiaz [54] in various urban and rural areas of Abbottabad city. In Abbottabad, several microorganisms were present in about 76.8% of the water samples [54]. Overall, the evaluation revealed that water sources had higher levels of nitrates and microbiological contaminants.

4.5. Water Quality Status of Gilgit City

Due to the region’s geographic location and mountainous terrain, the key areas of research involving the geographical distribution of physical, chemical, and microbiological features of drinking water remained unexplored. Numerous studies have tried to evaluate the physicochemical and microbiological quality of the water in GB areas [55,56,57,58]. At three specific places in Gilgit city (KIU University Gilgit, Gilgit Barmas water supply, and Jutial water supply), the pH was somewhat basic, while the KIU Gilgit tap consisted of turbidity. All other parameters (Na, K, Ca, SO4, Mg, Cl, SO4, HCO3, TDS, and hardness, As) were found within the WHO permissible values [10].The majority of samples that were drawn from Gilgit’s various water sources, including rivers, were found to be turbid, according to the PCRWR 2015 report. Din et al.’s study [59] on the water quality of drinking rivers and streams revealed a shockingly high amount of turbidity in river samples. In Gilgit City, tap water tests had a maximum turbidity of 5 NTU [35]. The greatest turbidity measured in samples from taps and channels in the Nomal Valley region of Gilgit was 10 NTU [56]. Due to the high turbidity value, bacteria accounted for the majority of contamination in a PCRWR investigation conducted in 2005–2006 [43].The sources of drinking water in Gilgit City were much polluted with several bacteria. Both the total and fecal coliform levels detected were above the WHO guideline [59,60]. The 100% microbiological contamination (TFC, E. coli) discovered in drinking water samples from Gilgit City was also verified by PCRWR [10]. Overall, the analysis demonstrates that excessive turbidity levels and bacterial contamination were responsible for the city’s water quality issues. Distribution system contamination may be caused by anthropogenic reasons.

4.6. Outbreak of Diseases due to Climate Change and Human Activities

Pakistan is listed as one of the nations that is most at risk from the effects of climate change, coming in at number 70 [5]. The growth of several vector species is aided by the climate shift. Climate factors, including humidity, precipitation, and temperature, affect how infectious illnesses spread among living things and throughout biological processes. Figure 5. The potential for numerous infectious illnesses to spread is increased by the consequences of climate change. Rainfall, temperature, and humidity have all been significant contributors to epidemics [61]. The epidemic was made worse by land cover and human density. Geographically, areas with little to no green space and total urbanization had a greater prevalence of DF cases [62]. In Rakaposhi Valley, seasonal and water-related diseases, including dengue, malaria, and diarrhea, frequently broke out. Additionally, an increase in flu and typhoid was seen, which may have been brought on by deteriorating climatic conditions, tainted water supplies, and air pollution [63]. A total of 1600 deaths were reported in the KPK province in 2010 as a result of flooding and a heavy rainfall [64]. In these flooded areas, diseases and harmful infections impacted close to 14 million people [64]. Due to severe weather in 2022, infectious illness epidemics affected millions of flood victims in South Punjab and Sindh [65].
Numerous human activities have reduced the quality of drinking water, which has resulted in serious droughts. Water pollution and disease outbreaks are caused by the activities listed in Figure 6. An upsurge in water-borne illnesses was caused by inadequate treatment and waste management in water reservoirs. In 2000, there was an epidemic of gastroenteritis in Rawalpindi, with contaminated water being the main contributor. A connection was made between polluted drinking water and the reported 4000 hepatitis cases in Rawalpindi and Islamabad [66]. Urban areas frequently experience intermittent water supplies, and outbreaks of gastroenteritis and other water-borne illnesses are becoming more common [67,68]. Every year, endemic diarrheal illness leads to 2.5 million fatalities that are directly attributable to pathogens found in drinking water, including several viral, bacterial, and protozoan agents [68]. The office of the Director General of Health in Hyderabad, Sindh, received a report of an outbreak of extremely severe nausea and stomach discomfort in the village of Mir Khan Otho in the Shaheed Benazirabad District in 2017 [69].
Arsenic poisoning can result in a number of disorders, including malignant growth, severe aspiratory sickness, skin sores, cardiovascular problems, diabetes mellitus, gangrene, neurological impairments, problems with endocrine organs, and immunity [30]. Regrettably, the person at risk still has no access to public health information or statistics about the dangers of arsenic, alternative water sources, or wellbeing interventions. In December 2019, Pakistan reported a total of 52,877 dengue cases that had been independently verified [70]. Only 1690 AJK cases were reported by NIH 2019, whereas Rawalpindi and Islamabad reported the largest number of cases (20,988), followed by Karachi (14,768) and Peshawar (2699) [70]. More than 190 children have passed away and 22,000 have been hospitalized in Tharparkar district in 2016 as a result of water-borne and viral infections brought on by the drought [71].
Because the unit’s water supply had been contaminated by feces, a Hepatitis E epidemic was also documented at Abbottabad (a Pakistan Army unit) in September 1988. A total of 107 out of 800 people were infected [72]. Between 15 January and 27 May 2022, there were 234 laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera reported in Sindh province, which is a considerable rise. A further 31 and 25 confirmed cases of cholera, respectively, have been reported in the provinces of Punjab and Baluchistan [65]. In Karachi, Sindh province, 109 samples from private homes and public water sources (hydrants) had been examined as of 27 May. Results are presently accessible for 71 of these samples. Vibrio cholera was discovered in 70% of these samples, E. coli in 55%, and coliform in 90% of samples, respectively [65].
In Abbottabad City, stomach disorders, hepatitis, renal illness, and malaria were the most often reported waterborne diseases, according to a 2009 IUCN assessment on drinking water [73].
In Abbottabad’s urban population, unclean water was responsible for the frequent occurrence of water-related health issues such as diarrhea (27%), skin infections (23%), 20% typhoid, and 13% hepatitis [34]. Typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, stomach aches, and skin illnesses were caused by academic students in Abbottabad drinking contaminated water [72]. The majority of responders (50%) listed gastrointestinal inflammation, diarrhea (59%), dysentery (35%), hepatitis A (38%), hepatitis B (19%), and hepatitis C (7%) as their top five primary health concerns [74]. In Sindh, illnesses such as looseness of the bowels, nausea, intestinal inflammation, and renal problems are caused by polluted drinking water in southern Sindh [74,75]. In Gilgit-Baltistan, digestive disorders are particularly prevalent [72,76,77]. Due to the highest fluoride levels in drinking water, it was discovered that 138 children in Manga Mandi, a district of Lahore, had fluorosis of the skeletal muscles. Similar findings were revealed by another study carried out in Kalalanwala, close to Lahore, which discovered that over 400 people had bone illnesses, with 72% of the patients being under the age of 15 [1]. The high fluoride level of the drinking water in the study area was the cause of these numerous occurrences of bone disorders [78].

4.7. Health Impacts Due to Microbiological and Chemical Contamination

According to the Health Management Information System (1997), the quality of drinking water is deteriorating as a result of insufficient sanitization facilities, a lack of treatment, and a lack of monitoring of the water supply system [79]. The harmful impacts on human health are caused by toxic chemicals and bacteria in drinking water. In Pakistan’s rural and urban regions, fecal pollution is the leading reason for water-borne illnesses. Typhoid, diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and polio, particularly in toddlers and newborns, have all been documented in Pakistan as a result of drinking polluted water. E. coli also contributes to hemorrhagic colitis. If the level of nitrates (NO3) was found to be higher than allowed, it might result in methemoglobinemia in newborn infants [80]. High nitrate concentrations in drinking water over an extended period of time can have carcinogenic consequences, including abnormalities of the nervous system in newborns. Additionally, bladder cancer and insulin-dependent diabetes are made more likely by high nitrate concentrations [81]. Due to poor health records in health centers, it is exceedingly difficult to properly assess the risk.
Low potassium levels in the blood can cause high blood pressure, renal, and cardiac difficulties, asthma, bladder and muscle weakness, and high blood pressure. Cysts, a fast pulse, and poor protein absorption can result from levels rising [82]. Dehydration is reportedly one typical sign of taking too much magnesium or sodium sulfate [83]. Alongside the river Ravi in Lahore, the area’s most at risk for exposure to arsenic include Ravi Town, Farrukhabad, and Shahdra [84]. The largest mass poisoning in human history affected over 60 million individuals in Pakistan due to a high quantity of arsenic [85].

5. Conclusions

This case study demonstrates that the quality of surface water and groundwater is more adaptable to anthropogenic activities and climate change. However, groundwater quality is impacted by climate change due to decreased groundwater recharge, altered land use, and excessive removal for agricultural and drinking uses. In Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad, and Gilgit, surface and groundwater quality deterioration was mostly due to microorganisms, arsenic, TDS, fluorides, nitrates, hardness, and excessive turbidity, according to the aforementioned review. In Lahore, arsenic was the major contributor to drinking water contamination, along with fluorides, TDS in Karachi, hardness, TDS, fluorides, and bicarbonates in Peshawar, nitrates in Abbottabad city, turbidity in Gilgit city, and major microbial contamination. Overall, the review exhibited that microbial and chemical/salt contamination in drinking water was due to an increase in population, human activities, industrial effluent, sewage, and cross-linked water pipelines, as well as seawater intrusion.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, A.Y. and H.Z.; methodology, A.Y.; software, H.Z.; validation, H.A., I.Z. and I.K.; formal analysis, A.Y.; investigation, H.Z.; resources, I.K.; data curation, I.Z.; writing—H.Z.; writing—review and editing, H.A.; visualization, I.K.; supervision, A.Y. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Data Availability Statement

Data are contained within the article.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Azizullah, A.; Khattak, M.N.; Richter, P.; Hader, D.P. Water pollution in Pakistan and its impact on public health—A review. Environ. Int. 2011, 37, 479–497. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Hasnie, F.R.; Qureshi, N.A. Assessment of drinking water quality of a coastal village of Karachi. Pak. J. Sci. Ind. Res. 2004, 47, 370–375. [Google Scholar]
  3. Daud, M.K.; Nafees, M.; Ali, S.; Rizwan, M.; Bajwa, R.A.; Shakoor, M.B.; Arshad, M.U.; Chatha, S.A.S.; Deeba, F.; Murad, W.; et al. Drinking water quality status and contamination in Pakistan. BioMed Res. Int. 2017, 2017, 7908183. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  4. Mansuri, G.; Sami, M.F.; Ali, M.; Doan, H.T.T.; Javed, B.; Pandey, P. When Water Becomes a Hazard: A Diagnostic Report on the State of Water Supply, Sanitation and Poverty in Pakistan and Its Impact on Child Stunting; No. 131860; The World Bank: Washington, DC, USA, 2018; pp. 1–151. [Google Scholar]
  5. Chaudhry, Q.U.Z. Climate Change Profile of Pakistan; Asian Development Bank: Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 2017. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Ahmed, J.; Wong, L.P.; Chua, Y.P.; Channa, N. Drinking water quality mapping using water quality index and geospatial analysis in primary schools of Pakistan. Water 2020, 12, 3382. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Delpla, I.; Jung, A.V.; Baures, E.; Clement, M.; Thomas, O. Impacts of climate change on surface water quality in relation to drinking water production. Environ. Int. 2009, 35, 1225–1233. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. Mora, C.; McKenzie, T.; Gaw, I.M.; Dean, J.M.; von Hammerstein, H.; Knudson, T.A.; Setter, R.O.; Smith, C.Z.; Webster, K.M.; Patz, J.A.; et al. Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change. Nat. Clim. Change 2022, 12, 869–875. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Li, P.; Karunanidhi, D.; Subramani, T.; Srinivasamoorthy, K. Sources and consequences of groundwater contamination. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 2021, 80, 1–10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. PCRWR. Water Quality Status of Major Cities of Pakistan 2015–2016; Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2016.
  11. Chilton, P. Pakistan Water Quality Mapping and Management Project; Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (PIHS) Islamabad, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2000. [Google Scholar]
  12. Patoli, A.A.; Patoli, B.B.; Mehraj, V. High prevalence of multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli in drinking water samples from Hyderabad. Gomal J. Med. Sci. 2010, 8, 23–26. [Google Scholar]
  13. Trtanj, J.; Jantarasami, L.; Brunkard, J.; Collier, T.; Jacobs, J.; Lipp, E.; McLellan, S.; Moore, S.; Paerl, H.; Ravenscroft, J.; et al. Ch. 6: Climate Impacts on Water-Related Illness. In The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment; U.S. Global Change Research Program: Washington, DC, USA, 2016; pp. 157–188. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  14. Omer, N.H. Water quality parameters. In Water Quality-Science, Assessments and Policy; IntechOpen: London, UK, 2019; Volume 18, pp. 1–34. [Google Scholar]
  15. UNICEF. Children Living in Protracted Conflicts are Three Times More Likely to Die from Water-Related Diseases than from Violence Press Release. 2019. Available online: (accessed on 22 December 2020).
  16. WHO. Waterborne Disease Related to Unsafe Water and Sanitation; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2018. [Google Scholar]
  17. Tahir, M.A.; Chandio, B.A.; Abdullah, M.; Rashid, A. Drinking water quality monitoring in the rural areas of Rawalpindi. In Proceedings of the National Workshop on Quality of Drinking Water, Islamabad, Pakistan, 7 March 1998; pp. 35–39. [Google Scholar]
  18. Samo, S.R.; Khan, A.; Channa, R.S.A.; Mukwana, K.C.; Hakro, A.A. Physicochemical and Biological assessment of drinking water quality and its impact on coastal community health of Goth Ibrahim Hyderi, Karachi, Pakistan. Int. J. Econ. Environ. Geol. 2017, 8, 45–50. [Google Scholar]
  19. Panjwani, S.K. Drinking Water Quality and Environmental Monitoring in Rural Areas of District Malir, Karachi. Masters’ Thesis, University of Oulu Faculty of Technology, Oulu, Finland, 2018. [Google Scholar]
  20. Abbas, Z.; Mapoma HW, T.; Su, C.; Aziz, S.Z.; Ma, Y.; Abbas, N. Spatial analysis of groundwater suitability for drinking and irrigation in Lahore, Pakistan. Environ. Monitor. Asses. 2018, 190, 391. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Jibreel, M.; Ahmad, A.; Rabbani, M.; Mushtaq, H.; Ghafoor, A.; Shabbir, M.Z.; Saleem, M.H.; Saleemi, M.K.; Avais, M.; Muhammad, J.; et al. Evaluation of drinking water quality at various public places in Lahore city Pakistan. JAPS J. Anim. Plant Sci. 2018, 28, 1314–1320. [Google Scholar]
  22. Yousaf, S.; Ilyas, M.; Khan, S.; Khattak, A.K.; Anjum, S. Measurement of physicochemical and heavy metals concentration in drinking water from sources to consumption sites in Peshawar, Pakistan. J. Himal. Earth Sci. 2019, 52, 36–45. [Google Scholar]
  23. Amin, R.; Zaidi, M.B.; Bashir, S.; Khanani, R.; Nawaz, R.; Ali, S.; Khan, S. Microbial contamination levels in the drinking water and associated health risks in Karachi, Pakistan. J. Water Sanit. Hyg. Dev. 2019, 9, 319–328. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  24. Alamgir, A.; Khan, M.A.; Shaukat, S.S.; Majeed, R.; Urooj, S. Communal Health Perception of tap Water Quality Supply to Shah Faisal Town, Karachi. Int. J. Biol. Biotechnol. 2019, 16, 189–198. [Google Scholar]
  25. Shakoor, S.; Ahmed, I.; Mukhtiar, S.; Ahmed, I.; Hirani, F.; Sultana, S.; Hasan, R. High heterotrophic counts in potable water and antimicrobial resistance among indicator organisms in two peri-urban communities of Karachi, Pakistan. BMC Res. Notes 2018, 11, 350. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. Nadeem, S.M.S.; Masood, S.; Bano, B.; Pirzada, Z.A.; Ali, M. Assessment of Ground Water Quality at Selected Locations Inside Karachi City. Pak. J. Chem 2015, 5, 138–145. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  27. Hussain, S.; Habib-Ur-Rehman, M.; Khanam, T.; Sheer, A.; Kebin, Z.; Jianjun, Y. Health risk assessment of different heavy metals dissolved in drinking water. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1737. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  28. Hassan, A.; Nawaz, M. Microbiological and physicochemical assessments of groundwater quality at Punjab, Pakistan. Afr. J. Microbiol. Res. 2014, 8, 2672–2681. [Google Scholar]
  29. Khan, F.A.; Ali, J.; Ullah, R.; Ayaz, S. Bacteriological quality assessment of drinking water available at the flood affected areas of Peshawar. Toxicol. Environ. Chem. 2013, 95, 1448–1454. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  30. Khan, S.; Rauf, R.; Muhammad, S.; Qasim, M.; Din, I. Arsenic and heavy metals health risk assessment through drinking water consumption in the Peshawar District, Pakistan. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. 2016, 22, 581–596. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  31. Naeem, M.; Danish, Z.; Sufian, M.; Saleem, W. Bacteriological analysis of Drinking Water in urban areas of District Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. J. Med. Sci 2017, 25, 107–109. [Google Scholar]
  32. Ahmed, T.; Pervez, A.; Mehtab, M.; Sherwani, S.K. Assessment of drinking water quality and its potential health impacts in academic institutions of Abbottabad (Pakistan). Desalination Water Treat. 2015, 54, 1819–1828. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  33. Humayun, E.; Bibi, A.; Rehman, A.U.; Ahmad, S.; Shujaat, N. Isolation and identification of coliform bacteria from drinking water sources of Hazara Division, Pakistan. IOSR J. Pharm. 2015, 5, 36–40. [Google Scholar]
  34. Jabeen, S.; Mahmood, Q.; Tariq, S.; Nawab, B.; Elahi, N. Health impact caused by poor water and sanitation in district Abbottabad. J. Ayub Med. Coll. Abbottabad 2011, 23, 47–50. [Google Scholar]
  35. Ali, S.; Ali, A.; Hussain, S.A.; Hussain, K.; Begum, F.; Akbar, M.; Raza, G.; Ali, K.; Hyder, S. Functional status and water quality analysis of fifty-six water purification plants established at Gilgit District, Pakistan. J. Biodivers. Environ. Sci. 2015, 6, 332–340. [Google Scholar]
  36. Ahmed, K.; Ahmed, M.; Ahmed, J.; Khan, A. Risk assessment by bacteriological evaluation of drinking water of Gilgit-Baltistan. Pak. J. Zool. 2012, 44, 427–432. [Google Scholar]
  37. Kanwal, S.; Ahmed, K.; Nafees, M.A.; Anwar, S. Physico-Chemical and Microbial Analysis of Drinking Water of Four Springs of Danyore Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Agric. Biotechnol. 2017, 2, 238963. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  38. Rafi, S.; Niaz, O.; Naseem, S.; Majeed, U.; Naz, H. Natural and Anthropogenic Sources of Groundwater Salinization in Parts of Karachi, Pakistan. Int. J. Econ. Environ. Geol. 2019, 10, 22–28. [Google Scholar]
  39. Bakhtiari, A.E.; Khan, A.; Saeed, Z.; Kanwal, A. Groundwater quality determination for drinking purpose by using water quality index technique: A case study of Gadap Town, Karachi, Pakistan. Asian Rev. Environ. Earth Sci. 2019, 6, 70–77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  40. Khan, A.; Qureshi, F.R. Groundwater quality assessment through water quality index (WQI) in New Karachi Town, Karachi, Pakistan. Asian J. Water Environ. Pollut. 2018, 15, 41–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  41. Nasir, M.I.; Abbasi, H.N.; Zubair, A.; Ahmad, W. Seasonal Assessment of Water Quality by Statistical Analysis in the Coastal Area of Sindh, Pakistan. Pak. J. Sci. Ind. Res. Ser. A Phys. Sci. 2020, 63, 130–138. [Google Scholar]
  42. Shahab, A.; Qi, S.; Zaheer, M. Arsenic contamination, subsequent water toxicity, and associated public health risks in the lower Indus plain, Sindh province, Pakistan. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2019, 26, 30642–30662. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  43. PCRWR. National Water Quality Monitoring Programme Annual Report 2005–2006; Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2007. Available online: (accessed on 15 October 2020).
  44. Abbas, Z.; Su, C.; Tahira, F.; Mapoma, H.W.T.; Aziz, S.Z. Quality and hydrochemistry of groundwater used for drinking in Lahore, Pakistan: Analysis of source and distributed groundwater. Environ. Earth Sci. 2015, 74, 4281–4294. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  45. Podgorski, J.E.; Eqani, S.A.M.A.S.; Khanam, T.; Ullah, R.; Shen, H.; Berg, M. Extensive arsenic contamination in high-pH unconfined aquifers in the Indus Valley. Sci. Adv. 2017, 3, e1700935. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  46. Ur Rehman, H.; Ahmed, S.; Ur Rahman, M.; Mehmood, M.S. Arsenic contamination, induced symptoms, and health risk assessment in groundwater of Lahore, Pakistan. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2022, 29, 49796–49807. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  47. Aribam, B.; Alam, W.; Thokchom, B. Water, arsenic, and climate change. In Water Conservation in the Era of Global Climate Change; Elsevier: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2021; pp. 167–190. [Google Scholar]
  48. Hamid, A.; Yaqub, G.; Sadiq, Z.; Tahir, A. Intensive report on total analysis of drinking water quality in Lahore. Int. J. Environ. Sci. 2013, 4, 76–86. [Google Scholar]
  49. Haydar, S.; Arshad, M.; Aziz, J.A. Evaluation of drinking water quality in urban areas of Pakistan: A case study of Southern Lahore. Pak. J. Eng. Appl. Sci. 2009, 5, 16–23. [Google Scholar]
  50. Adnan, S.; Iqbal, J. Spatial analysis of the groundwater quality in the Peshawar District, Pakistan. Procedia Eng. 2014, 70, 14–22. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  51. InamUllah, E.; Alam, A. Assessment of drinking water quality in Peshawar, Pakistan. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci. 2014, 20, 595–600. [Google Scholar]
  52. Maqbool, F.; Malik, A.H.; Bhatti, Z.A.; Pervez, A.; Suleman, M. Application of regression model on stream water quality parameters. Pak. J. Agric. Sci. 2012, 49, 95–100. [Google Scholar]
  53. Khalid, A.; Malik, A.H.; Waseem, A.; Zahra, S.; Murtaza, G. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of drinking water samples of different localities in Abbottabad district, Pakistan. Int. J. Phys. Sci. 2011, 6, 7480–7489. [Google Scholar]
  54. Fazoon, S.; Imtiaz, A. Assessment of Drinking Water in Abbottabad. Int. J. Innov. Sci. Res. Technol. 2018, 3, 539–547. [Google Scholar]
  55. Begum, F.; Rubina, K.A.; Khan, A.; Hussain, I.; Ishaq, S.; Ali, S. Water quality assessment using macroinvertebrates as indicator in sultanabad stream (Nallah), Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. J. Biodivers. Environ. Sci. 2014, 5, 564–572. [Google Scholar]
  56. Shedayi, A.A.; Jan, N.; Riaz, S.; Xu, M. Drinking water quality status in Gilgit, Pakistan and WHO standards. Sci. Int. 2015, 27, 2305–2311. [Google Scholar]
  57. Ali, A.; Hussain, K.; Hussain, S.J.; Hussain, N. Drinking water quality analysis of water supply network at Ganish Valley Hunza Nagar, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. Int. Res. J. Environ. Sci. 2016, 5, 54–62. [Google Scholar]
  58. Fatima, S.U.; Khan, M.A.; Siddiqui, F.; Mahmood, N.; Salman, N.; Alamgir, A.; Shaukat, S.S. Geospatial assessment of water quality using principal components analysis (PCA) and water quality index (WQI) in Basho Valley, Gilgit Baltistan (Northern Areas of Pakistan). Environ. Monit. Assess. 2022, 194, 151. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  59. Din, S.U.; Ali, S.; Nafees, M.A.; Ali, H.; Hassan, S.N.; Ali, Z. Physico-Chemical assessment of water samples collected from some selected streams and rivers in District Gilgit, Pakistan. J. Mt. Area Res. 2017, 2, 9–15. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  60. Hussain, T.; Sheikh, S.; Kazmi, J.H.; Hussain, M.; Hussain, A.; Hassan, N.U.; Hussain, Z.; Khan, H. Geo-spatial assessment of tap water and air quality in Gilgit city using geographical information system. J. Bio. Env. Sci. 2014, 5, 2222–3045. [Google Scholar]
  61. Malik, S.M.; Awan, H.; Khan, N. Mapping vulnerability to climate change and its repercussions on human health in Pakistan. Glob. Health 2012, 8, 1–10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  62. Mahmood, S.; Irshad, A.; Nasir, J.M.; Sharif, F.; Farooqi, S.H. Spatiotemporal analysis of dengue outbreaks in Samanabad town, Lahore metropolitan area, using geospatial techniques. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2019, 191, 55. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  63. Bhatta, L.D.; Udas, E.; Khan, B.; Ajmal, A.; Amir, R.; Ranabhat, S. Local knowledge based perceptions on climate change and its impacts in the Rakaposhi valley of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Int. J. Clim. Chang. Strateg. Manag. 2020, 12, 222–237. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  64. Baqir, M.; Sobani, Z.A.; Bhamani, A.; Bham, N.S.; Abid, S.; Farook, J.; Beg, M.A. Infectious diseases in the aftermath of monsoon flooding in Pakistan. Asian Pac. J. Trop. Biomed. 2012, 2, 76–79. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  65. WHO. Disease Outbreak News; Cholera in Pakistan. 2022. Available online: (accessed on 8 February 2023).
  66. Dil, A.S. 100 communicable diseases associated with water. In Environmental Pollution; Hanif, J., Hanif, M.I., Eds.; Scientific Information Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology: Islamabad, Pakistan, 1997. [Google Scholar]
  67. Ahmad, M.; Jamal, A.; Tang, X.W.; Al-Sughaiyer, M.A.; Al-Ahmadi, H.M.; Ahmad, F. Assessing Potable Water Quality and Identifying Areas of Waterborne Diarrheal and Fluorosis Health Risks Using Spatial Interpolation in Peshawar, Pakistan. Water 2020, 12, 2163. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  68. Kosek, M.; Bern, C.; Guerrant, R.L. The global burden of diarrheal disease, as estimated from studies published between 1992 and 2000. Bull. World Health Organ. 2003, 81, 197–204. [Google Scholar] [PubMed]
  69. Khaskheli, A.; Masood, N. Outbreak Investigation on Acute Watery Diarrhea in Village Mir Khan Otho, District Shaheed Benazirabad, Sindh Pakistan, 2017. Iproceedings 2018, 4, e10581. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  70. Malik, M.W.; Ikram, A.; Safdar, R.M.; Ansari, J.A.; Khan, M.A.; Rathore, T.R.; Ashraf, N.; Basry, R.; Waqar, W.; Tahir, M.A.; et al. Use of public health emergency operations center (PH-EOC) and adaptation of incident management system (IMS) for efficient inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration for effective control of Dengue fever outbreak in Pakistan-2019. Acta Trop. 2021, 219, 105910. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  71. Available online: (accessed on 2 August 2020).
  72. Bryan, J.P.; Iqbal, M.; Tsarev, S.; Malik, I.A.; Duncan, J.F.; Ahmed, A.; Khan, A.; Khan, A.; Rafiqui, A.R.; Purcell, R.H.; et al. Epidemics of Hepatitis in Academic unit in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2002, 67, 6662–6668. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  73. Mustafa, U.; Haq, M.; Ahmad, I. Environmental Fiscal Reform in Abbottabad: Drinking Water. Technical Editors: Rebecca Roberts. Published by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (LDC), and PIDE. iv. 2009. Available online: (accessed on 20 September 2020).
  74. Memon, M.; Soomro, M.S.; Akhtar, M.S.; Memon, K.S. Drinking water quality assessment in Southern Sindh (Pakistan). Environ. Monit. Assess. 2011, 177, 39–50. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  75. Bhutto, S.U.A.; Ma, S.; Bhutto, M.U.A. Water Quality Assessment in Sindh, Pakistan: A Review. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2011, 177, 39–50. [Google Scholar]
  76. Ahmed, K.; Shakoori, A.R. Vibrio cholerae El Tor, Ogawa O1, as the main aetiological agent of two major outbreaks of gastroenteritis in northern Pakistan. J. Health Popul. Nutri. 2014, 20, 96–97. [Google Scholar]
  77. Saqib, N.U.; Yaqub, A.; Amin, G.; Khan, I.; Faridullah; Ajab, H.; Zeb, I.; Ahmad, D. The impact of tourism on local communities and their environment in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan: A local community perspective. Environ. Socio-Econ. Stud. 2019, 7, 24–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  78. Butt, I.; Fatima, M.; Bhalli, M.N.; Ali, M. Evaluation of drinking water quality and waterborne disease prevalence in children at Shah di Khoi, Lahore, Pakistan. J. Himal. Earth Sci. 2020, 53, 118–125. [Google Scholar]
  79. Health Management Information System; Department of Health: Lahore, Pakistan, 1997.
  80. van Leeuwen, F.X.R. Safe drinking water: The toxicologist’s approach. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2000, 38, S51–S58. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  81. Ward, M.H.; Jones, R.R.; Brender, J.D.; De Kok, T.M.; Weyer, P.J.; Nolan, B.T.; Villanueva, C.M.; Van Breda, S.G. Drinking water nitrate and human health: An updated review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1557. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  82. Marijicand, J.; Toro, L. Voltage and calcium-activated channels of coronary smooth muscle. In Heart Physiology and Pathophysiology; Sperelakis, N., Kurachi, Y., Terzic, A., Cohen, M., Eds.; Academic Press: Cambridge, MA, USA, 2000; pp. 309–325. [Google Scholar]
  83. Daudpota, W.M.; Memon, N.U.N.; Miano, T.F. Determination of ground water quality for agriculture and drinking purpose in Sindh, Pakistan (A case study). Sci. Int. 2016, 28, 701–704. [Google Scholar]
  84. Shahid, U. Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment of Lahore City Based on Modified DRASTIC Model in GIS. Doctoral Dissertation, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan, 2017. [Google Scholar]
  85. Guglielmei, G. 2017. Available online: (accessed on 20 September 2020).
Figure 1. (a) pH, (b) turbidity, (c) TDS, and (d) fluorides found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22]. (Black horizontal lines indicated the permissible limit set by WHO for each parameter.)
Figure 1. (a) pH, (b) turbidity, (c) TDS, and (d) fluorides found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22]. (Black horizontal lines indicated the permissible limit set by WHO for each parameter.)
Water 15 02693 g001
Figure 2. (a) Sulphates, (b) nitrates, (c) chlorides, and (d) bicarbonates found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22]. (Black horizontal lines indicated the permissible limit set by WHO for each parameter.)
Figure 2. (a) Sulphates, (b) nitrates, (c) chlorides, and (d) bicarbonates found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22]. (Black horizontal lines indicated the permissible limit set by WHO for each parameter.)
Water 15 02693 g002
Figure 3. (a) Hardness, (b) calcium, and (c) magnesium found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22].
Figure 3. (a) Hardness, (b) calcium, and (c) magnesium found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22].
Water 15 02693 g003
Figure 4. (a) Sodium, (b) potassium, and (c) arsenic found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22].
Figure 4. (a) Sodium, (b) potassium, and (c) arsenic found in drinking water from the five selected cities [10,18,19,20,21,22].
Water 15 02693 g004
Figure 5. Pathway to disease outbreaks from climate change.
Figure 5. Pathway to disease outbreaks from climate change.
Water 15 02693 g005
Figure 6. Human activities that contribute to outbreak of diseases (reproduced from, accessed on 8 June 2023).
Figure 6. Human activities that contribute to outbreak of diseases (reproduced from, accessed on 8 June 2023).
Water 15 02693 g006
Table 1. Selected cities of Pakistan for current study.
Table 1. Selected cities of Pakistan for current study.
ProvinceSelected CitiesLocations within CitySource
SindhKarachiGoth IbrahimTap
Malir town (Fakeer
Sohrab Goth Jokhio
MCB market)
Hand pump
PunjabLahoreData DarbarTap
Lahore 16 locationsTube Wells
Lahore city (13 town)Well Water and Households Taps
KPKPeshawarKhattak ChowkTube Well
13 Union CouncilsTube Well and Tap water
Nothia Road TWTube Well
AbbottabadTakkia CampHand Pump
Jinnah ParkTube Well
Medical collegeTube Well
Gilgit BaltistanGilgitGilgit KIUTap
Barmas Water SupplyWater Supply
Jutial water TankWater Tank
Table 2. Number of published papers, reports and other sources reviewed in the current study.
Table 2. Number of published papers, reports and other sources reviewed in the current study.
Selected CitiesNumber of Published PapersNumber of Published ReportsNumber of ThesesTotal
Note(s): (-) indicate data not available.
Table 3. Microbial contamination in drinking water from the selected cities.
Table 3. Microbial contamination in drinking water from the selected cities.
LocationsTCB, TFC and TPC IdentifiedOther Bacteria IdentifiedRefs.
Different District of Karachitotal viable plate count at 37 °C was >200 CFU/mLEscherichia coli, Vibrio, and Salmonella[23]
Shah Faisal TownTCC MPN/100 mL = 146.3, TFCMPN/100 mL = 762.92Fecal streptococci[24]
Dispensary Korangi920 MPN/100 mLE. coli,[10]
Urban communities of Karachi29.2% of fecal (coliforms).E. coli, Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp.[25]
Gulshan Iqbal townTPC ≤ 20 CFU/mL [26]
Different Town of Lahore CityTotal bacterial viable counting minimum = no coliform colonies/100 mL, Max = 10,000 colonies [27]
Goal Bagh Tube wellTotal coliform/100 mL = 15E. coli[10]
Different Locations of Lahore CityTotal viable count/mL = 5.9 × 102
Total coliform/100 mL = 14
Total fecal coliform count/100 mL = 11
E. Coli, Pseudomonas[28]
LahoreMaximum fecal coliform = 240 MPN/100 mL [21]
Faisal TownTotal coliform = 17 MPN/100 mLE. coli[10]
Budhni and Shakarpur
TCB ranged from <1.1 to 280 MPN/100 mL
TPC ranged from 8 × 101 to 7 × 104 CFU/mL
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), Vibrio cholerae (VB), Salmonella Shigella, and Staphylococcus aureus. E.coli[29]
Khattak chowk TWTotal coliform count = 55 MPN/100 mlE. coli[10]
Urban Areas of Peshawar DistrictTCB < 1.1 to 16 in MPN/100 mL. TPC < 1.2 to 220 MPN/100 mLV. cholera, Salmonella, Shigella, and S. aureus[30]
(Saddar, Tehkal and Warsak Road)Coliform values were >80 MPN/100 mL. showing high %age (99.9%) of coliform Staphylococcus aureus. E.coli[31]
Academic institution of AbbottabadTBC: 10 to 58,000 CFU/mL. total coliform 0 > 2400 per 100 mLCitrobacter, sakazakii, Enterobacter cloacae and Salmonella choleraesius[32]
Medical college Hostel Total coliform count = 25 MPN/100 mLE. coli[10]
Rural and Urban areas of Abbottabad E. coli, P. aeruginosa,
Salmonella and H. pylori Enterobacter, clostridium
Jutial Water supplyTotal coliform = 25 MPN/100 mLE. coli[10]
Gilgit District Minimum = 0 MPN/100 mL
Maximum = Too numerous to count (56 water purification plants)
E. coli[35]
2 Nallahs and 8 spring of Gilgit DistrictMinimum fecal coliform colonies = 10 cfu/100 mL
Maximum = too numerous to count
Danyore Nallah Gilgit Districttotal bacterial count was in a range of 11 CFU/100 mL to 83 CFU/100 mLE.coli, Enterococci[37]
Barmas Water Supply GilgitTotal coliform count => 1600 MPN/100 mLE. coli[10]
Note(s): Acceptable level: total plate count (CFU/mL) < 100; total coliform bacteria (0 MPN/100 mL); total fecal coliform bacteria 0 MPN/100 mL.
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Zeb, H.; Yaqub, A.; Ajab, H.; Zeb, I.; Khan, I. Effect of Climate Change and Human Activities on Surface and Ground Water Quality in Major Cities of Pakistan. Water 2023, 15, 2693.

AMA Style

Zeb H, Yaqub A, Ajab H, Zeb I, Khan I. Effect of Climate Change and Human Activities on Surface and Ground Water Quality in Major Cities of Pakistan. Water. 2023; 15(15):2693.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zeb, Hira, Asim Yaqub, Huma Ajab, Iftikhar Zeb, and Imran Khan. 2023. "Effect of Climate Change and Human Activities on Surface and Ground Water Quality in Major Cities of Pakistan" Water 15, no. 15: 2693.

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop