World Water Day celebrated at PMAS-AAUR

Speakers said that Pakistan is expected to face shortage of 31 Million Acres Feet of water by 2025 which would pose a grave threat to Pakistan's economy. They stressed the need of individual and collective efforts for the conservation of water. They were in view that water availability is not the issue of Pakistan and many more countries yet integrated water management approach for conserving and saving water is the need of time to cope with the problem of water scarcity in near future.


They stated this on a seminar on World Water Day under the theme "Nature for Water" held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on March 27, 2018. The seminar was organized by Faculty of Agriculture Engineering in collaboration with Rural Areas Water Association Pakistan (RAWAP) for focusing the attention on the importance of water.


Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Director Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) was the chief guest while Prof. Dr Sarwat N Mirza Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR was the guest of honor at the seminar. Dr. Jahangir Khan Sial, Prof. Agriculture Engineering, Engr. Fazal Akbar Afridi, Deputy Director (Water Resources) Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Dr. Amjad Nabi and Engr. Rehan Zeb, CEO RAWAP also addressed the audience while the seminar was attended by deans, directors, faculty members, administrative staff and a large number of students.


Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Director PCRWR stressed the need for the adaptation of interventions that are compatible with nature and suits the nature. He emphasized on balance of nature-approach and said, "Alternate source of energy such as solar energy can be use instead of deforestation.


Talking on the availability and utilization of water he said our country depends upon Indus Basin Irrigation System and 90 percent food production rely on this water. He suppressed his opinion for saving water up to 25 percent instead of cropping rice and said, "Exporting rice means exporting water." He suggested the rainwater harvesting and high efficiency irrigation systems for maximum growth and more water for storage.


Prof. Dr Sarwat N Mirza emphasized on the problems related to water security and informed the gathering that Pakistan is at 17th position in the list of countries, which are facing water crisis. He said according to Pakistan Water Partner (PWP) the total available surface water is about 153 Million Acres Feet and total ground water reserves are approximately 24 Million Acres Feet, of which a substantial part is pumped out allowing for a natural research.


Talking on the bitter facts he said, "Pakistan is expected to face shortage of 31 Million Acres Feet of water by 2025 which would pose a grave threat to Pakistan's economy and according to the media, India has ventured upon an ambitious plan worth $120 billion to divert water of the Pakistani rivers."


He said, "Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with 'green' infrastructure and harmonize it with 'grey' infrastructure wherever possible by planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, restoring wetlands for balancing water cycle for the improvement of human health and livelihoods." He suggested the government must start construction of dams and provision of secure water for irrigation and domestic use.