Pakistan is generating just half a dollar from one cubic metre of water where other countries on average producing wide range of resources worth $8 from every single cubic metre of water.
“The number inflates to an incredible $30 in countries as Japan making optimum of the available natural resource,” said Ahmad Jawad, Chairman Regional Standing Committee of FPCCI. Discussing inadequacies in water management, in local context, with a select group of journalists he warned that poor water management and inadequate water storage are fast emerging as serious threat to the country’s agriculture sector.
Sharing details of problems faced by exporters of fruit and agri- products, he said lack of water reservoirs has already caused over a trillion dollars’ worth of economic loss to Pakistan’s economy during past 30 years.
“This currently also manifests itself in severe energy crisis,” he said.
He urged the policy makers in particular and countrymen in general to realize that Pakistan ought to go for viable projects after every ten years in order to conserve the mountainous water gushing fast due to melting glaciers.
“We need to ensure that this precious source is protected and its wastage is minimized to the optimum,” he stressed. He also urged the authorities to accept the fact that regardless of the clauses guaranteed under the Indus water treaty Pakistan may not receive its due share of water.
Ahmad Jawad regretted that Pakistanis as a nation are lenient when it comes to the value of water management – be it for drinking, farming, flood control, improving environment or cost effective power generation.
“Despite being potentially the richest nation in the subcontinent, the country, since independence, had been unable to protect water in its river channels,” he said mentioning that the attitude has enabled neighbors to overstep their bounds, sparking disputes in an already heated arena.
“Despite being an agrarian country ours is a strange approach as we appear to be little interested in protecting the backbone of our economy,” said the business leader representing an important group of stakeholders in the country. Ahmad Jawad took strong exception that no mega dam has been built in the country during past several years.
In reply to a question, he said Indian, as part of its first agenda had established an organisation International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage all the way back in 1950.
“They from the very onset had realised the importance of water for economic growth and since then have positioned themselves at a level of great influence with multilateral institutes and government agencies worldwide,” he said.
Source: Pakistan Observer