Experts advocate small water reservoirs

Call for modern irrigation techniques to avert scarcity

APP March 31, 2023


Speakers at a workshop organised by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on Thursday stressed the need of small water reservoirs to meet challenges posed by climate change.

They said Pakistan had been listed in top 14 countries facing water scarcity and 80 per cent of the available water was being used to irrigate the wheat and rice crops.

Modern techniques of irrigation would have to be used to avoid water scarcity.

The speakers said about 1.2 million tube wells in Punjab had badly disturbed the groundwater level that had rapidly declined in Lahore, Multan, Lodhran, Minchanabad, Vehari and some other areas in past 10 years.

The speakers explained the importance of water governance and how better management of resources could help ensure availability of water for different sectors, especially agriculture and industry.

They discussed the significance of the Punjab Water Act 2019 and challenges in its implementation.

They highlighted risks of climate change being faced by Pakistan, including the last flood resulting in $30 billion loss, 1,700 deaths and affecting 33 million people.

IWMI Pakistan Country Representative Dr Mohsin Hafeez said the organisation was working on reforms such as water accounting and resources assessment, data, allocation system, groundwater management information system and irrigation demand management to promote sustainable use of water in Punjab.

The IWMI through a UK Aid-funded programme has selected Okara as the pilot district for the implementation of water accounting and resources assessment reforms.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2023.


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