A panel of water experts stressed the need for collaborative national initiatives to value water in a number of areas, given the depletion of natural resources.
On Monday, on the occasion of World Water Day, experts gathered for a webinar under the banner of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan. Moderating the session, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez highlighted the role of water in running diverse sectors such as livestock, milk, energy and industry.
Dr. Hafeez, who can be called a ‘water advocate’, emphasized the need to take advantage of the technology used to change water conservation in Pakistan, a country that is now the most vulnerable to climate change.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf in an important speech said that the price of water depends on the sector and its purpose where it is being used. The expert said that only after realizing the true value of water can steps be taken for innovation and investment in this sector. Dr. Ashraf also came up with the idea of how water is directly linked to sustainable development goals. The Chairman Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) also explained the concept of water conservation and human security associated with management.
Dr. Ashraf said, “We need to take water as a commodity and a common resource.” In addition to establishing an option in this regard, Dr. Ashraf suggested measures such as e-flow and watershed for better water conservation. Said.
Painting a bleak picture of water production capacity, Dr. Ashraf said that less than 1% of wastewater is treated in Pakistan. The official also highlighted key areas that were being overlooked as national databases for water use samples. Dr Ashraf also suggested solutions to a long-standing problem, including rising water prices, limiting high delta cores and adapting to climate-resilient seeds.
“For example, in Islamabad, 40 per cent of water is lost in leakages,” said Dr Ashraf.
He continued that Pakistan needs to strike a balance between water extraction and recharge.
One of the doctors, Dr. Rubina Wahaj, lamented the lack of reliable information and data on water use, despite reports of water levels in the canals. Wahaj, a senior FAO land and water officer, emphasized that water allocation was a politically sensitive issue in the country.
“In 2018, the national water policy did not take into account the actual use of water by various sectors,” the expert said, adding that the non-agricultural sectors were not shedding light on the issue of water efficiency.
The progressive exercise lamented that the use of data for policy implementation was lost in Pakistan’s aquatic environment.
Dr. Mohsin Hafeez also presented Hamad Naqi Khan on the issue of policy powers for water conservation, to which the expert said that despite the introduction of a regulatory framework in this regard, there is a lack of policy implementation in Pakistan.
“Only by implementing a national climate change policy can we address all issues, from water to environmental issues,” said Hamad Naqi, Director General of the WWF, Pakistan.
The WWF representative also unveiled the creation of a nature-based ‘recharge Pakistan’ program aimed at mitigating the impending crisis.
Ms. Yasmeen Siddiqui also took part in the discussion and explained that the ‘Water Development Outlook’ was formulated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with multidisciplinary approaches to water safety. The official said that New Zealand, Australia and Japan are at the top of the water development outlook and have performed better than other countries.
Siddiqui said, “Technology, capacity building and infrastructure are key areas to focus on efficient use of water, and explained that the distribution mechanism for the Greater Thal Canal project in Pakistan is being modified. ۔
On the issue of the link between climate change and water management, Dr. David Potter highlighted that the South Asia Water Governance Program was developed by the UK to manage the database.
“Cooperation is the key to success at all levels of government,” said Dr. Potter.
Furthermore, Dr. Abid Qayyum Salari, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Policy (SDPI), overcame the devastation caused by the epidemic and what place did water occupy in mitigation strategies What They undermined the issue of social behavior and the lack of coordination between different levels of government and non-government agencies, and the crisis persisted.
Dr. Salihri said, “Institutional arrangements need to be focused on coordination.
The policy expert emphasized the need for rational water prices based on ‘social justice’, citing the same rates for cotton and rice farmers.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez stressed the need for a water audit to make the delivery process efficient and transparent. Dr. Hafeez, who has decades of experience in water management, praised some of the initiatives taken by the government, including the formulation of a water policy. The expert also highlighted the role IWMI has played in this regard since 1986.
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