In a rare alliance across corporate sector, academia, think tanks, development sector and government the Nestlé Pakistan Water Plan was unveiled at LUMS. The coalition was led by Nestlé Pakistan with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), WWF Pakistan, Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Punjab and Pakistan Agriculture Research Centre (PARC).
One of the major threats Pakistan faces today is water scarcity. We are the third most water stressed country in the world, with our current per capita annual water availability 1,017 cubic meters (down from 1,500 cubic meters in 2009). There are scientific guesstimates that the country may run dry by 2025 if we do not take immediate, collective action.
The Nestlé Pakistan Water Plan aims to bring together multiple partners to preserve and protect water resources by leveraging research and technology to reduce and recycle water, introduce sustainable agricultural techniques to reduce water use vis-a-vis increased yield and provide access to clean and safe water within communities.
At the occasion, Nestlé Pakistan’s MD Bruno Olierhoek declared Nestlé Pakistan’s commitments to the water cause in the coming few years. He said,” Our Shiekhupura Factory was Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certified in 2017 and we aim to get the remaining three factories certified by AWS standards by the end of 2019. We will increase the number of drinking water facilities to 7 in 2018 with a new installation in Kabirwala.
Furthermore, we want to promote drip irrigation amongst other water efficient initiatives. By the end of 2017, drip irrigation will be implemented on 68 acres leading to a water saving of 147 mio litres which will be further extended to 185 acres resulting in savings of over 400 mio litres by the end of 2019.”
Dr. Syed Sohail Hussain Naqvi said, “LUMS is proud to play a role in addressing the water scarcity issue as it is imperative that we come together to resolve this for our present and future generations”
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Sulehri Executive Director of SDPI said,” There was time when we thought we would never run out of natural gas and today it’s the same dire situation with water. Water is imperative for us both in addressing our energy and food security concerns.”
Secretary Agriculture Department Captain (R) Muhammad Mahmood said, “Water is life. Currently, Pakistan has a water storage capacity for just 30 day.