ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that the Planning Commission is organizing a National Water Summit here next month to cope with looming water crisis in the country.
“Different stakeholders from across the country would participate in the Summit to devise a policy to cope with the future threat of water crisis in the country”, said the minister while addressing a two-day second annual conference organized by Pakistan Strategy Support Programme (PSSP) in collaboration with USAID.
He said that the government would have to address the water issue very seriously otherwise in ten years the country will be facing sever challenges.
He said the infrastructure of water in the country is ageing and it needs to be re-align in view to climate change.
“We have no water storage arrangements and there is dire need of building small and big water reservoirs to avoid water crisis in the country”, he said. The United States have 5000 cubic meter of water storage per inhabitant while in China the water storage per inhabitant is 2200 cubic meter and Pakistan has only 150 cubic meter storage of water per inhabitant, he added.
The minister stressed the need for making water as a source of social harmony not only with the neighbouring country but also among the provinces. He said that the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) needs to find ways to resolve disputes between the provinces.
Highlighting the importance of research in this sector, Ahsan Iqbal said that in this sector there is no implementation of research based knowledge and there is need to put the knowledge in to action.
Earlier, the panelist in the conference called for focussing on the need of heavy investment in water sector in the country.
“Pakistan needs to make heavy investment in the water-food energy nexus if it wants to be able to sustain an increasingly large and rich population”, said Prof. Sherman Robinson from PSSP.
The panelists also called for focussing on ground water storage in the country saying that the uncontrolled and unregulated ground water usage is a big issue.