Experts term water security part of national security


The Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP) Sardar Muhammad Tariq has said that the water was a strategic asset for defence and development for most of the countries in world. Delivering a lecture on water security in Pakistan at US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro on Monday, he said that Pakistan’s dependence on single river system is highly vulnerable.
Defining the water scarcity indicator, he said that the water resource system is considered stressed if it is unable to deliver the necessary water for environmental, social and economic purposes and its threshold value is 1700 cubic meter per capita. While sharing the data, he informed that in Pakistan the availability of surplus water for a year is only for 30 days whereas the in remaining 335 days the availability is less than demand.
He was of the view that Pakistan must have 40 percent storage capacity of water while the existing capacity is very low which is only 7 percent. He opined that India’s continuous interference with river flows threatens Pakistan water security, as he believed that water security is equal to the national security.
He said due to inefficient use of water in Pakistan placed among the poorest productive country. He emphasized on introduction of dry and salt tolerant variety of crops as the existing crops like wheat which is already abundant in the country. He emphasised on the efficient water management and suggested for effective national and provincial water polices. He recommended for rain water harvesting and also the principle of 3R’s which is reduce, recycle and ruse of water.
Another speaker, of the lecture Dr. Pervaiz Amir Director PWP also delivered his talk on Water led SDG platform as a paradigm for economic development with climate and CPEC challenges and said that water is an integrator of development and water can lead the way for the majority of SDGs as potential paradigm. He said that Sindh possessed unique challenges of supply and demand of quality and quantity of water. He was of the view that the climate change affecting our way of thinking.
He stressed upon proper utilization of C-PEC that is a window of development opportunity to benefit the downtrodden people of Pakistan. He recommended for reorienting water priorities, preparedness for Climate change challenges and for the water applied research. The Project Director USPCAS-W Dr. Bakhshal Lahari briefed the participants about the Water Centre of Mehran University, its goals and objectives and informed that the Centre has undertaken 100 research projects based on applied research in the water sector of the country.—APP

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