Pakistan Agriculture News

Water vital for economic growth and food security of Pakistan

Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Lt. Gen Muzammil Hussain said that WAPDA being the biggest stakeholder is aware on water issues whereon economic growth, food security, development and security of Pakistan depend.

He added that Pakistan receives 145 million acre feet of water every year but only 14m acre feet of water is preserved. Due to soil gathering at the base of Tarbela and Mangla Dam, the storage capacity of the dam has decreased by 35 to 40 percent.

This was stated by Chairman WAPDA in his keynote address at a Roundtable on water scarcity in Pakistan at FPCCI Head Office Karachi, Capital Office Islamabad and Regional Office Lahore through Video conferencing. The discussion was organized by The Research and Policy Division of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

He said that at present the capacity of water storage is only for 30 days and 94 per cent of surface and groundwater is used for agriculture in Pakistan. He stated that lack of governance is the main problem as there are many anti-dams lobbies that are under control of donors. Pakistan need concrete steps for resolving of water issues like adoption of water efficient technologies, water safety and saving system in agriculture, as Pakistan ranked 46th out of 48th countries in water efficient usage country.

The aim of this roundtable was to discuss the water scarcity in Pakistan for minimizing risk and maximizing benefits. The session was graced by Lieut. General (r) Muzammil Hussain Chairman WAPDA and attended by Leaders of Business Community, Office Bearers of FPCCI, water research councils, stakeholders, representative of academia and trade bodies.

Earlier, in welcome address, Ghazanfar Bilour President FPCCI stated that Water scarcity presents a transnational and transboundary problem which seriously affects our agriculture and industrial sector productivity. He added that Pakistan has very little capacity of storage water compared to India, China and USA. Successful reforms in the water sector need to be accompanied by improvements in the agricultural production techniques, recycling plants and construction of small and large dams.

FPCCI Vice Presidents Mr. Tariq Haleem, Mr. Zahid Saeed, Mr. Waheed Ahmed, Mr. Karim Aziz, Mr. Arfan Yousuf, Mrs. SaeedaBano, Mrs. Shabnum Zafar and Mr. Shafique Anjum also highlighted water scarcity issues and emphasized on concrete steps for resolving the issues. In his remarks, S. M. Muneer Former President FPCCI stated that water scarcity is a serious issue in Pakistan which may dry-out Pakistan by 2025 because of over depletion, overexploitation and pollution of water resources.