Lahore: On the directives of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) organized a consultative session on “Water Security Issues” here at WAPDA House on Wednesday. The session was presided over by WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood and attended by the stakeholders belonging to public and private sectors. WAPDA Member (Water) Muhammad Shoaib Iqbal was also present on the occasion.
Welcoming the participants, the Chairman said that the Federal Government has tasked WAPDA to hold consultations with all stakeholders of the water sector and make recommendations for framework of action on water security issues. He said that three consultative sessions one each at Lahore, Islamabad and Hyderabad have been planned, recommendations of which would culminate in the form of contours of the Prime Minister’s initiative on water security. He further said that with informed input of the stakeholders and water sector experts, we will be able to find sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the country in water sector.
Later, the session was introduced by WAPDA Advisor Dr. Izhar-ul-Haq. Dilating upon the water security, he bifurcated the issues in three categories namely demand-side management, supply-side management and water resource management.
Renowned water-sector experts and scholars briefed the session about various issues relating to water security in the country. While emphasizing upon the optimal utilization of water potential in the country, they termed water security and national security as synonymous. Water sector activist and former head of Parliamentary Committee on Water Resource Nisar A. Memon spoke about climate change and its impact on water security; eminent water sector expert and former head of Technical Committee on Water Resource A.N.G. Abbasi about efficient use of water; Riaz Nazir Tarar about water availability; Amjad Agha about water storages; former Member (Water) WAPDA Asif H. Kazi about climate change; former Member (Water) WAPDA Khalid Mohtadullah about ground water management; Member (Punjab) IRSA Rao Irshad Ahmad about water management; Additional Commissioner of the Permanent Commission of Indus Waters Sheraz Jamil Memon about trans-boundary water issues; DG (Monitoring) PIDA Muhammad Afzal Toor about maintenance of irrigation structures; WASA Director Abdul Qadeer Khan about domestic and industrial water issues; Dr. Allah Baksh Sufi about water pricing; NESPAK Head of Water Resource Division Tariq Altaf about management of hill torrents and Director on-farm Water Management, Punjab Agriculture Department Malik Muhammad Akram spoke about efficient use of water.
Apart from the speakers, representatives of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, Environment Protection Agency Punjab, Institution of Engineers Pakistan and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan also made valuable suggestions during the session.