Experts urge ‘water austerity’ measures to counter current water, energy crises

Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan’s water resources are fast depleting and in view of the current critical situation, it is the duty of every citizen to be vigilant and be watchful over waste of a single drop of water.

This was said by Chairman of the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and an expert in water resources Dr Muhammad Ashraf.

He was addressing a dialogue organized by the Nazriya Pakistan Council (NPC) on “Current Situation of Pakistan’s Water Resources: Concerns, Implications and Our Response” as guest speaker at the Aiwan-e-Quaid Fatima Jinnah Park.

Dr Ashraf said we should keep in mind that water is a gift of the Almighty and reaches us after travelling (through rivers) a distance of hundreds and thousands of miles.

There are 65 verses in the Quran attributed to the purity of water and natural life on the earth but unfortunately, this gift of God is wasted recklessly, he said. A large number of the members of civil society, energy experts and noted intellectuals attended the seminar.

Anjum Khaliq conducted the proceedings of the event.

Chairman of the NPC Mian Muhammad Javed presided over the seminar while noted educationist Dr Muhammad Afzal Babar was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Dr Ashraf was of the view that Islamabad’s residents could resolve their water woes by conserving even 25 per cent of the rainwater. All their problems for washing their cars, porches, clothes and watering plants can be fulfilled by the storing water in small tanks inside their homes, he said. The same can be carried out in other areas where rains fall frequently, he said. A comprehensive plan in collaboration with Capital Development Authority (CDA) can be implemented in the urban as well as rural areas of Islamabad, he further said.

There is no alternative to water, he said adding Pakistan being an agrarian economy needs ample water for irrigation and water saved thus can be utilized for the agriculture purpose.

Our current water resources are not sufficient to meet the needs of the ever-increasing population, expanding industry and agriculture therefore, it is our national duty to take care and store water in advance against a rainy day, he said.

He said for rice harvest, for livestock, for crop harvesting plenty of water is essential, he said. Even for trees and green cover which has become indispensable under the current heat waves, water is needed, he said.

According to scientific research, a tree produces Oxygen that is sufficient for 16 humans.

Mian Muhammad Javed while commending the guest speaker for his though-provoking ideas said it had become a national duty of every Pakistan and the government to prioritize water as the first and the foremost need. Social worker Naeem Fatima Alvi and Bushra Manzoor also highlighted the importance of water and called upon the housewives to be judicious in use of water.


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