One-day Seminar on “Water Scarcity, a Non-Conventional Security Threat” at PCRWR Islamabad on 21st October 2022
The Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) organized a collaborative one-day seminar on “Water Scarcity, a Non-Conventional Security Threat” at PCRWR Islamabad on 21st October 2022. The objective of the seminar was to discuss and chalk out some strategy for sustainable water resource management in Pakistan. About 40 water professionals, experts, academicians and policy makers from various federal and provincial stakeholder organizations participated in the event.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR briefed about water resources situation in Pakistan. He emphasized that water security is directly connected with food security as well as with national security. He said that paradigm shift at policy level is need of the time to secure national food security through water security. In his address, Brig. Rashid Wali Jan, Director (Research), IPRI, highlighted the background of the seminar and informed that IPRI has started Grand National Dialogue where water is cross-cutting theme. Moreover, he stressed that water conservation strategies should be adopted to deal with water security challenges. Dr. Fayyaz ul Hasan (Pro Vice Chancellor), PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Chief Guest of the event, appreciated the efforts of PCRWR and IPRI for taking this initiative of national importance and anticipated that this will bring experts’ recommendations for the policy makers. Moreover, he suggested that concerted efforts are required to overcome climate change issues in a more holistic way leading towards sustainable water resources management.
The inaugural session was followed by a technical session in which, presentations were delivered by different provincial departments pertaining to water related challenges being faced in their respective provinces. During the technical session, an overview of the water scarcity in Pakistan was presented by Ms. Bareerah Fatima, Deputy Director, PCRWR, whereas, other presentations were focused on water productivity in Punjab presented by Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director, Agriculture Extention and Adaptive Research, Punjab, Surface Water Situation in Sindh, presented by Mr. Habib ur Rehman, Director (Hydrology) Irrigation Department Sindh, Groundwater Situation in Balochistan presented by Mr. Qurban Jatoi, Superintendent Engineer, Irrigation Department, Balochistan, and initiatives taken by Khyber Pukhtunkha regarding sustainable groundwater management along with implementation of Water Act in the province presented by Engr. Nasir Ghafoor, Chief Engineer (South) Irrigation Department, Khyber Punkhtunkha. Detailed deliberations were made and different emerging water challenges were also discussed at length. Moreover, strategic recommendations were chalked out for sustainable water resources management in Pakistan.