Workshop Organises To Transform Future Of Water Security In Pakistan
The consultative workshop was attended by more than 60 representatives of the federal and provincial govts, donors, civil society, academia, and public and private sector organizations.
In order to address the growing water security issue that is prevalent throughout the nation, experts at a multi-stakeholder consultative workshop stated that Pakistan needs to establish an effective network of all segments of society for future, from scientists to policymakers to civil society, with a focus on mainstreaming youth and gender.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) collaborated with the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), the Federal Flood Commission, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Federal Water Management Cell, and the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to organise the workshop titled “Transformative Future for Water Security (TFWS): Setting Priorities for Water Research, Knowledge, and Innovation.”
The consultative workshop was attended by more than 60 representatives of the federal and provincial governments, donors, civil society, academia, and public and private sector organizations. IWMI had built the TFWS Initiative on a bottom-up methodology based on South-South dialogue, youth co-guardianship, and other factors.
Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, Country Representative for Pakistan and Regional Representative for Central Asia at IWMI, informed the attendees of the consultation’s goals in his welcome message. He stated that Pakistan had the lowest level of water security when considering urban, economic, environmental, and other related factors.
To address the nation’s widespread water scarcity, bold actions must be taken. “We must develop shared commitments to action on water security based on science across policy, development, business, and science constituencies for greater water security.”
Through a video message, Dr. Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI, explained the Transformative Futures for Water Security (TFWS) Initiative, its purpose, and the importance of ensuring water security in the area. The latest IPCC report’s message on climate change and water is, in Dr. Smith’s words, “very clear.” Climate change is intensifying the hydrological water cycle, which means an increase in water risks and extreme floods and droughts.
The question of who will take the helm of this audacious move toward water security that lies at the heart of our initiative has an answer in the youth, policymakers, business, communities, farmers, conservation organisations, and sectors outside of water.
Chairman of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, stated: “Pakistan will face a 30% water shortage by 2030, whereas at present over 60% of the population in the country is drinking unclean water.”
Islamabad is experiencing groundwater depletion at a rate of one metre per year, as groundwater contributes 60% to agriculture needs, 90% to drinking needs, and 100% to industrial needs. The situation needs to be handled right away. According to experts, the nation’s water crisis is a result of ineffective water management and governance practises.
Pakistan must improve the efficiency of on-farm water use, governance, site-specific solutions, legislation, and youth inclusion.Youth participation in all programmes was essential because they used water and required a change in behaviour regarding its consumption.
Simi Kamal, a board member at IWMI, stated that since up to 90% of our water resources are used for the agriculture sector, water security must be examined from this angle.
She claimed that today’s youth were adept at using technology, entrepreneurial, aware of their audience, eager to learn new things, and dedicated to making a difference in the world. “Group action for water is political and is needed not based on elite groups’ interests but on the survival of communities affected by climate change,” she continued.
Following the consultation, five working groups were formed to discuss multifaceted issues on water security, which provided key indicators and suggestions for addressing the issue with a systematic approach guided by ground realities and scientific evidence to deal with climate shocks.