Seminar on Pakistan’s National Water Policy Recommendations at LUMS

The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) today
hosted a panel discussion for the launch of Hisaar Foundation’s Report
‘Recommendations for Pakistan’s National Water Policy Framework’ for the
consideration of the government.
The event was a culmination of two years of consultations,
including discussion sessions with various water stakeholders across the
spectrum, as well as two international water conferences that focused on water
cooperation and water security. The recommendations are part of the first
report of Hisaar Foundation’s think tank on Rational Use of Water.
The recommendations focus on five main areas for further
action. These include improving water access for the poor and landless,
financing the urban and rural water value chain, safeguarding the Indus Basin
and its infrastructure, improving water institutions and their management and
governance, and finally building a base for science, technology, and social
aspects of water.
The goals of the recommendations for Pakistan’s national
water policy framework call for extending irrigation system to arid districts of
Pakistan. It also calls for creating new storages and enhancing existing
storages at different levels. The policy framework calls for improvement in
water efficiency by 10 percent. It also calls for increasing productivity in
The policy framework recommends preserving, repairing and
maintaining the existing water infrastructure. It also calls for a reversal in
abiyana to realise the true value of water. The policy framework calls for
control in groundwater withdrawals as well as generation of additional
indigenous hydropower. The recommendations also call for increased coordination
between water, agriculture, and industry for maximum benefits. Finally, it
calls for making investment in water infrastructure and hydropower a core part
of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The policy framework was presented by former finance
minister and Think Tank on Rational Use of Water memberDr Salman Shah. The
panelists included notable personalities from the government, industry,
non-government sector and academia such as Lahore Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (LCCI)PresidentAbdul Basit, Pakistan Agricultural Coalition CEOand
former secretary irrigation ArifNadeem,WITDirectorDrAbubakar Muhammad and Think
Tank on Rational Use of Water member Khalid Mohtadullah.
The launch ceremony was moderated by Simi Kamal, an
international water and gender specialist and Convener, Think Tank on Rational
Use of Water.
Dr Salman Shah highlighted that while there is a water
accord between the provinces, there is no sharing mechanism within each
province. Khalid Mohtadullahemphasized that Pakistan is really a water economy
and that it is possible to save waterin agriculture, yet increase production
and productivity. ArifNadeem stated that Pakistan is in the business of “build-neglect-
rebuild” and raised caution that there is very little maintenance of the
existing system.
Abdul Basit acknowledged that the industry sector needs to
be sensitized and made cognizant of the need for water efficiency and
conservation in production processes.

DrAbubakar Mohammad alerted that the future of technology
and use of intelligent machines will change the agricultural scenario and
revolutionize the way water is used, managed and governed.

Source: DailyTimes

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