The first ever ‘Water Conservation Bill’ drafted by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) is still awaiting approval from the Ministry of Science and Technology after which it would be tabled in the National Assembly. PCRWR has finalized the draft bill and submitted to the relevant ministry however its approval was delayed in absence of the Minister of Science and Technology, sources in PCRWR told APP.
The draft of the bill was prepared in consultation with all the stakeholders at federal and provincial levels and will hopefully serve as catalyst to the cause of water conservation in the country which is direly needed at this time, they said. The non-appointment of the relevant minister is creating hindrances in the development works as well as in pursuance of administrative matters in majority of the departments working under this ministry, the sources said.
According to the draft of the Water Conservation Bill, water would be declared as an economic good and public property or asset and water conservation would be essential part of school and college curricula. Water recycling and reuse would be encouraged and promoted. The draft suggests that admissible minimum and maximum limits of domestic water supplies would be determined and declared.
Domestic water would be metered and priced and supplies would be based on per capita requirement and number of residents, usage above admissible supplies would be priced on higher rate. Rainwater harvesting would be integral part of building having covered area of one kanal or more. Water charges would be enhanced during period of water shortage to control demand.
About the water usage for irrigation, the draft suggests to carry out crop zoning while allowing only admissible crops to be sown in zone area. Keeping in view the domestic demand, the draft recommends allocating quota for sowing high delta crops and these should be adhered to an annual basis. Sowing of high delta crops would normally be discouraged and flood irrigation would be gradually reduced and abandoned by 2030.—APP