Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Today, Hisaar Foundation launched the Recommendations of Pakistan’s National Water Policy Framework for the consideration of the government. This is a culmination of two years of consultations which included discussion sessions with various water stakeholders across the spectrum as well as two international water conferences that focused on water cooperation and water security. The recommendations are part of the first report of the Think Tank on Rational Use of Water. The recommendations focus on five main areas for further action. These include improving water access for the poor and landless, financing the urban and rural water value chain, safeguarding the Indus Basin and its infrastructure, improving water institutions and their management and governance and finally building a base for science, technology and social aspects of water.
The goals of the recommendations for Pakistan’s national water policy framework call for extending irrigation system to arid districts of Pakistan. It also calls for creating new storages and enhancing existing storages at different levels. The policy framework calls for improvement in water efficiency by 10 percent. It also calls for increasing productivity in agriculture. The policy framework recommends preserving, repairing and maintaining the existing water infrastructure. It also calls for a reversal in abiyana to realize the true value of water. The policy framework calls for control in groundwater withdrawals as well as generation of additional indigenous hydropower. The recommendations also call for increased coordination between water, agriculture and industry for maximum benefits. Finally it calls for making investment in water infrastructure and hydropower a core part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The policy framework was presented by Dr. Salman Shah, Member, Think Tank on Rational Use of Water. The panelists included notable personalities such as Mr. Abdul Basit, President FPCCI, Mr. Arif Nadeem, former Secretary Irrigation, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad, Director, WIT and Mr. Zohair Ashir, Chairperson Hisaar Foundation.
To conclude, Ms. Seema Taher Khan urged the Sindh government to adopt the policy framework for implementation at all levels. She also said that the policy framework will be launched in all the provinces. Over 90 participants attended the launch event which included stakeholders of the water sector, government, academia, business community, media etc.