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Efforts required at all levels to avert potential water crisis

Pakistan is one of the few countries facing serious water shortage. The safe drinking water is not in access of majority of the population and hence, serious and collaborated efforts at every level are required to respond to the challenge and to prevent it from becoming a bigger crisis.

The panel of speakers comprising experts from water sector said this during the seminar ‘Why Waste Water?’ held as a collaborated effort by Sustainable development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Nestle Pakistan. In the wake of recent acute water crisis in Islamabad and public hue and cry for addressing the problem on water footing, the seminar assumed all the more significance and one could see a large number of people from civil society, councilors of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), CDA officials and general public attending the seminar.

Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman Council of Research in Water Resources, Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST), said water is the most precious resource on the earth and demand a careful usage of it. He said that besides conserving water, we need to release that the contaminated water was damaging our food as well as our eco-systems.

According to him, we have drinking water policy but there are gaps in implementation and thus it was time to raise awareness about the water crisis among all the stakeholders.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, conserving water was a challenge that could not be left upon a single stakeholder to deal with. Hence, he said, the government, CSOS, think tanks and corporate sector should join hands to find common solutions for this grave issue. He said that our collective efforts should respond to two basic paradigms i.e. sustainable production and sustainable consumption. Moreover, the availability of affordable safe drinking water to common people should also be worked upon.

Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs at Nestlé Pakistan on the occasion presented details about the efforts that were being carried out for water conservation at various levels. He said that his company was working with government, academia, civil society as well as communities and industry to raise awareness about water conservation.

Other speakers including Wolfgang-Peter Zingel, a water expert at Quaid-e-Azam University, Rab Nawaz, Senior Director World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Pakistan and Dr. Imran Khalid of SDPI also covered various dimensions of water related issues in Pakistan. They said that water shortages and access to safe drinking water in Pakistan had become serious issue and coherent efforts were required to respond to this urgent issue

Source: Pakistan Observer, article by Zubair Qureshi.