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Pakistan Water Sector Strategy


Ministry of Water and Power
Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor/
Chairman Federal Flood Commission


Volume 1
October 2002

Pakistan has been blessed with a rich water resource which has driven, mainly through agriculture, the economic development of the country. Pakistan has a long and proud history of the development of water resources and the infrastructure for delivering water to where it is needed, including the vast Indus Plain, constituting the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world.

As the population continues to grow the country is approaching the utilization limits of its water resources and Pakistan is becoming a water scarce country. As never before, there is now a strong and growing need to manage this precious resource more carefully and efficiently to ensure water for all on a sustainable basis.

In recognition of this need, the Government of Pakistan, with the support of the Asian Development Bank, instituted the Water Resources Strategy Study. It was undertaken by the Ministry of Water and Power, Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor/Chairman Federal Flood Commission. The Study began in July 2001 with the main objective of preparing a road map for future development of the water sector toward more efficient service delivery and optimum utilisation of resources to meet the competing demands of all water users in the future.

The Government has addressed the issue of developing the water sector through several initiatives, including the Ten Year Perspective Plan (Planning Commission, 2001), Vision 2025 (Water and Power Development Authority, 2001) and the National Water Policy (Ministry of Water and Power, Draft, 2002). Now the Pakistan Water Sector Strategy Study provides a road map for the future development of the sector.

The end product of the Study comprises three main documents which are referred to in total as the Pakistan Water Sector Strategy. These are:

1. The National Water Sector Profile (NWSP), which summarises and details all aspects of the Water availability and utilisation as they exist today. As such, it will become a standard source document for future water sector work.

2. The National Water Sector Strateqy (NWSS). which identifies the key issues and objectives for the water sector and proposals for planning, development and management of water resources and their use in all water sub-sectors.

3. The Medium Term Investment Plan (MTIP), which identifies the key programmes and projects which should be undertaken up to 2011 which will make the initial contribution to achieve the objectives of the Strategy.

This is a document for the whole of the water sector, in all its sub-sectors of: Water Resources Development, Urban Water Supply and Sanitation, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Industrial Water Supply and Pollution Control, Irrigation and Drainage, Hydropower, the Environment and Flood Protection.

As 95% of our water resources are used for agricultural purposes, the role of the agriculture sector is also discussed extensively, with recommendations and a proposed strategy for a closer relationship with the water sector.

The Strategy and MTIP emphasize institutional, management and financial matters as well as infrastructure. It prioritizes equity in water allocation, improving and maintaining the quality of water, the conservation of the country's water resources and the need for efficiency and financial sustainability in water service delivery. It promotes an integrated approach to water sector development and participation of all stakeholders in decision making.

This is a collaborative document. The study adopted a participatory approach to ensure that all stakeholders of water have been consulted and have contributed to this Strategy and MTIP. Working Groups from each province and at the federal level were formed at the start of the Study and have been closely associated with the development of the work throughout. Four National Workshops were held to broaden the scope of stakeholder consultation, bringing people together from all areas to contribute to the Strategy document.

The effective implementation of the Pakistan National Water Sector Strategy and its accompanying Medium Term Investment Plan is paramount to the continued development of Pakistan's water sector and economy well into the 21st century.

Mirza Hamid Hasan
Secretary, Water and Power 4 October 2002

Riaz Ahmad Khan
Chief Engineering Advisor, Ministry of Water and Power 4 October 2002


The Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan, Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor/Chairman Federal Flood Commission led the development of the Water Sector Strategy under the guidance of Mr. Riaz Ahmad Khan. Mr. Asjad Imtiaz Ali, Project Director, also chaired the Federal Working Group.

The Provincial Working Groups contributed significantly to the content and quality of the Strategy and Investment Plan for their respective provinces under the guidance of their conveners:

  • Mr. A. Salam Khan / Mr. Munawwar Khan Mandokhel, Secretary, Irrigation and Power Department, Balochistan
  • Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Secretary, Irrigation and Power Department, NWFP
  • Mr. Javed Majid, Secretary, Irrigation and Power Department, Punjab
  • Mr. Idrees Rajput / Mr. Hifz ur Rehman / Mr. Meer M. Perhyar, Secretary Irrigation and Power Department, Sindh

The Ministry of Water and Power, Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor/Chairman Federal Flood Commission also extends sincere thanks for the contributions of:

  • Dr. Mutawakkil Kazi, Secretary Planning & Development for his support and valuable comments during the study.
  • Mr. Ahmad Khan Bhatti, Member Water, WAPDA for his close involvement and informed recommendations throughout the Study.

Ministry of Water and Power also acknowledges and appreciates the tremendous effort provided by the Consultants on the Study, under the Team Leadership of Mr. Tim Hannan and Mr. Muhammad Aslam Rasheed. The Consultant's Consortium was led by Halcrow Group Ltd. of the UK, in association with ARCADIS Euroconsult (AEC) of the Netherlands, Halcrow Pakistan (PVT) Ltd., Euroconsult Pakistan (PVT) Ltd., and Asianics, Pakistan.

The Water Resources Strategy Study was funded through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Technical Assistance programme and the Ministry of Water and Power gratefully acknowledges their assistance.

The documents, which make up the Pakistan Water Sector Strategy, are:

Volume 1, Executive Summary, which is the summary of the Water Resources Strategy Study, under which the Water Sector Profile, Strategy and MTIP were developed; (2.81 mb)  
Volume 2, National Water Sector Strategy, which is a concise presentation of the Water Sector Strategy; (3.64 mb)
Volume 3, Medium Term Investment Plan, which details the projects and costs for the MTIP, in support of the Water Sector Strategy;(4.8 mb)
Volume 4, Detailed Strategy Formulation, which presents the supporting information and considerations for the formulation of the Strategy; (6.7 mb)  
Volume 5, National Water Sector Profile, which presents detailed background information on the water sector in Pakistan. (3.3 mb)  


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The Water Sector Strategy document presented herein brings out the proposed road map to meet the objectives of the National Water Policy for a sustainable and environmentally and economically sound water sector in Pakistan.

This has, however, yet to pass through the formal channels of approval, with possible fine-tuning. The adopted country Strategy for the Water Sector will follow this approval.