Consultative meeting on “Demonstration of Nature Based Solution for Improving the Resilience of Groundwater Aquifers in Islamabad Capital Territory” October 14th, 2021

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) in partnership with IWMI, Pakistan and Water Aid, Pakistan has conducted a consultative meeting on “Demonstration of Nature based solution for Improving the Resilience of Groundwater Aquifers in Islamabad” held at PCRWR, H-8/1, Islamabad. The consultative meeting was focused to discuss nature based solutions to increase resilience of groundwater aquifer of Islamabad.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR remarked that the population increase has widened the demand and supply gap and put groundwater aquifer in Islamabad under immense stress. Moreover, the urbanization has further aggravated the situation by increasing runoff which is causing flooding at the downstream areas of Rawalpindi. In this context, PCRWR has signed an MoU with Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the implementation of various initiatives including the development of 100 rainwater harvesting sites to increase groundwater recharge.
In his remarks, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Country Representative, highlighted that rainwater harvesting techniques should be prioritized to maximize groundwater recharge, wastage of precious water and minimize socio-economic losses. Pakistan is facing unique challenges like water shortage, population growth, environmental degradation, and climate change. The evidence-based research and nature-based solutions are critically important to solve the prevailing water challenges.
Mr. Syed Munawar Shah, Member Engineering informed the audience that CDA has taken various initiatives related to efficient water resource management and drinking water supply challenges. Moreover, roof top rainwater harvesting will be included in the by-laws of CDA Planning Division.
The chief guest, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA affairs highlighted the initiative of the government to manage water supply and shared progress on additional surface water supply of 100 MGD to Islamabad from Ghazi Barotha. Moreover, he emphasized the need to have a better water resource planning by setting medium and long-term goals. Furthermore, he stressed the need to harvest the maximum potential of available rainwater by developing 400-500 recharging sites in the next two years to increase aquifer resilience and manage water scarcity challenges.