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Volume 3, Issue 4


Water Security in Pakistan:
Issues and Challenges

UNDP Pakistan

Development Advocate Pakistan provides a platform

for the exchange of ideas on key development issues DEVELOPMENT ADVOCATE
and challenges in Pakistan. Focusing on a specific

development theme in each edition, this quarterly
publication fosters public discourse and presents
varying perspectives from civil society, academia,
government and development par tners. The
publication makes an explicit effort to include the
voices of women and youth in the ongoing discourse.
A combination of analysis and public opinion articles
promote and inform debate on development ideas Disclaimer
while presenting up-to-date information. The views expressed here by external contributors or the members of the
editorial board do not necessarily reflect the official views of the
organizations they work for and that of UNDPs.
Editorial Board
Ignacio Artaza Zuriarrain Maheen Hassan
UNDP Country Director

Mr. Shakeel Ahmad Design and Layout

Assistant Country Director/Chief Hasnat Ahmed
Development Policy Unit
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Maryah Printers, Islamabad
Assistant Country Director/Chief
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United Nations Development Programme Pakistan
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Assistant Country Director/Chief
Environment and Climate Change Unit
For contributions and feedback, please write to us at:
Mr. James Littleton
Chief Technical Advisor
Strengthening Electoral and Legislative Processes

Ms. Fatimah Inayet ISBN: 969-978-8736-16-3

Communications Analyst
December 2016

Analysis 30 Prof. Dr. Abdul Latif Qureshi
U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W)
Mehran University of Engineering and Technology

02 Water Sector of Pakistan:

A Situational Analysis

Opinion Youth Voices

10 Water Management In The
Indus Basin: Critical Aspects
32 Farhan Laghari

Khalid Mohtadullah
32 Fatima Fazal
12 Water Governance in Agriculture
Nasar Hayat
32 Shahzad Hussain Dahri
15 Mainstreaming Women in the Water Sector:
Old Challenges, Possible Solutions
Simi Kamal, Kausar Hashmi 33 Ainulibad Shah

18 Impacts of Climate Change on

Water Resources of Pakistan 33 Gulnaz Aslam
Dr. Saeed A. Asad

33 Shahid Latif Bhutto

22 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH):
A case study on Pakistan
Mian Muhammad Junaid

26 Shams-ul-Mulk
Former Chairman
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

27 Muhammad Tahir Anwar

Director General
Federal Water Management Cell
Ministry of National Food Security and Research

28 Dr. Muhammad Ashraf

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR)
Follow us

29 Sadia Tariq Usmani

Head -Environment division

Youth Affairs Committee, DMC Central (Karachi) Saleem Mandviwalla

Secretary of Environment, Youth Parliament-
www Provincial nominee for NFC - Sindh
Sindh Cabinet (2016-17)
UNDP Pakistan
Water Security: Pakistan's most
Critical Development Challenge
Water is not only for life water is life. This quote by the United Over the years, there were several attempts at both Federal and
Nations Secretary-General re ects the critical importance of water as Provincial levels to delineate the government's commitment
a need that connects all aspects of human life. Peoples well-being towards combating water issues. The National Climate Change
and their economic development are profoundly linked to the Policy, for example, has provided appropriate action plans focusing
availability and usability of water. Too little water at a time when it is on enhancing water storage and infrastructure, better water
needed most, can mean drought and food insecurity. Too much resource management, enhancing institutional capacities and
waterin the form of oods or stormscan devastate an entire creating awareness. However, more is needed in terms of implemen-
population. Contaminated water, whether from human or industrial tation. Since the commissioning of the Mangla and Tarbela dams in
sources, claims the lives of children and aects the health of the 1960's and 1970's respectively, Pakistan has not developed any
communities worldwide, with far-reaching consequences. major water storage infrastructure. Consequently, water storage
capacity has often receded to less than 30 days against the minimum
It is in the context of this interconnection of water with other requirement of 120 days. Successful initiatives do exist, such as the
development challenges that the Sustainable Development Goals 'Clean Drinking Water for All' project launched in Punjab, providing
(SDGs) place great emphasis on ensuring availability and sustainable clean drinking water through installation of water ltration plants,
management of water. This includes achieving universal and but major initiatives for provision of water and sanitation remain
equitable access to safe and aordable drinking water, sanitation limited.
and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation with special
attention given to the needs of women and girls. But while that is Addressing water issues require interventions at individual and state
crucial, especially in Pakistan, water's place in the SDGs go well levels, focusing on both demand and supply. At an individual level,
beyond accesstaking into account critical issues such as inte- households and industries need to use water more eciently and
grated water resources management, eciency of use, water judiciously. This also holds true for the agriculture sector, whereby
quality, transboundary cooperation, water-related ecosystems, and ood irrigation and plantation of water intensive crop should be
water-related disasters. controlled and regulated. In this regard, public education campaigns
that focus on enhancing water usage awareness will be helpful. At a
Water associated problems are amongst the key challenges faced by broader level, an integrated water management system is needed
Pakistan. Pakistan's water pro le has changed drastically from being that promises ecient water distribution for all sub-sectors. This
a water abundant country, to one experiencing water stress. needs to be formally entrenched through an eective institutional
Between 1990 and 2015, per capita water availability declined from and legal system. While water related issues have been discussed as
2,172 cubic metres per inhabitant, to 1,306 cubic metres per part of the National Climate Change Policy and National Drinking
inhabitant. Pakistan extracts 74.3 percent of its fresh water annually Water Policy, a holistic national water policy is required. Water
thereby exerting tremendous pressure upon renewable water pricing to promote ecient use of water, building water storage
resources. Despite remarkable improvements in the proportion of infrastructure to store excess water, enforcing strict water quality
population using an improved water source and an improved management systems to curb water pollution, controlling popula-
sanitation facility, 27.2 million Pakistanis do not have access to safe tion growth and adopting a sustainable pattern of urbanization, are
water and 52.7 million do not have access to adequate sanitation all major issues that require immediate attention if Pakistanis are to
facilities. The repercussions on health are severe: an approximate have access to the water they need in the future. Bold actions are
39,000 children under ve die every year from diarrhea caused by needed to address this water crisis, otherwise not only will Pakistan
unsafe water and poor sanitation. Furthermore, with the increasing not meet the SDGs on water, but it future development will be
burden on water resources threats will increase to Pakistani's well- hampered.
being from unsafe or inadequate water supplies.

Increasing demand for water and its erratic supply together are
resulting in water shortages. Population growth, rapid urbanization,
water intensive farming practices and industrialization all contribute
to Pakistan's increasing demand for more water. Simultaneously, the
supply side is hampered by climatic changes that have made rainfall
more erratic, leading to oods in some years and droughts in others.
Excessive pumping of groundwater has raised major concerns over
its sustainability. Poor water infrastructure including limited storage
capacity and inadequate linings of canals further compounds the
situation of water availability. Pollution of available resources mainly
due to contaminated agricultural run-os and untreated industrial
and household waste being dumped in water courses, is another
factor leading to dwindling freshwater supply.

Water Sector of Pakistan:
A Situational Analysis
Note: Major analysis has been conducted by Dr. Shahid Ahmad, a Water Resources Development and
Management Expert.

Pakistan Water Vulnerability Table 1: Trend of Indus River historical ows in million acre feet (MAF)
No. Year Indus River Flows (MAF)
Water Availability
Water availability in Pakistan is largely from 1 1937-38 156.7
precipitation (rainfall and snow), river ows
from snow and glacier-melt and runo 2 1940-41 130.5
from summer and winter rains from the 3 1950-51 183.4
watersheds. Some of the water from
precipitation and surface water ows 4 1960-61 178.2
recharge the aquifer in terms of large
storage of groundwater in the Indus basin.
5 1970-71 128.3
Pakistan bene ts a great deal from all these 6 1980-81 134.7
sources of water and the availability of
precipitation and river ows, marked by 7 1990-91 163.5
unique temporal variability. For example, 8 2000-01 97.6
the variability in the historical maxima and
minima is 170.1 and 92.6 MAF, thereby 9 2010-11 157.0
indicating the distribution of oods and
droughts in the Indus basin. The extreme
10 2012-13 121.5
variability in river ows makes resource Average Flows 147.8
management quite complex. Similarly, the
recharge to the aquifer and availability of Minimum Flows 92.65
groundwater is also dependent upon the Maximum Flows 207.70
probability of wet and dry years. The trends
of water availability in the Indus basin
covering western and eastern tributaries
are presented in Table 1. Figure 1. Mean Annual Rainfall in Pakistan
64 68 72 76

Mean annual rainfall varies from less than
100 mm in parts of Balochistan and Sindh, 36 36
0 400 Km
to more than 1500 mm in wet mountains. In
Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), at altitudes exceeding
5000 m, snowfall exceeds 5000 mm and
provides the largest resource of water in the
32 32
glaciated zone (Figure 1). About 60 percent
of rainfall is received dur ing July- LEGEND
September. Contribution of rainwater to (mm)
crops in the Indus Basin Irrigation System > 1500
(IBIS) is 13.4 MAF, which is 13.5 percent of 1000 - 1500
28 28
the mean annual canal diversions in the
500 - 1000
post-Tarbela period. Extreme variability in
seasonal rainfall has direct impacts on the 300 - 500
river ows. Ninety-two percent of country's 200 - 300
area is classi ed as semi-arid to arid. 24 100 - 200 24

< 100
Glaciers and snow deposits
GB contains the largest area of perennial
64 68 72 76
glaciers outside the polar regions (22,000
km ) and estimates are that as much as 28 Source: Pakistan Met Department and WRRI, NARC, 1999

1 Ahmad, S. 2008a. Land and water resources of Pakistan A critical appraisal. Paper presented in 23rd Annual General Meeting & Conference of Pakistan Society of Development
Economists (PSDE). Broad theme of 'Natural Resource Management: Issues and Challenges'. Islamabad, Pakistan
2 Ibid

percent of the region is glaciated, and Figure 2: Probability of Indus basin river ows (MAF) during 1975-2013
winter snow cover occupies up to 30-40
percent of that area. More than a 100
180 170.1
glaciers stretch over 10 km in length, with 166.3
several extending beyond 50 km. Hence, 155.5
glaciers and seasonal snow constitute a 160
huge reservoir for freshwater in the area 134.7
and contribute vastly to the ow of the 140
121.3 118.6
Indus river.
Indus river system ows post-storage 92.6
era 100
Seasonal, annual and daily river ows in the
Indus river system are highly variable. River 80
ows are generally limited in the Rabi
season because of limited glaciers, snow- 60
melt and rainfall, with ows increasing by
almost ve times in the Kharif season. 40
During 1975-2013, western rivers contrib-
uted nearly 134.7 MAF of water in a median 20
year (50 percent probability). After the
construction of Mangla and Tarbela dams, 0
Maximum 1 in 10 2.5 in 10 5 in 10 7.5 in 10 8 in 10 Minimum
eastern rivers contributed 7.0 MAF of water
in a median year, of which 80 percent was in Source: IRSA 2016
the Kharif season. Total median annual
ows from both western and eastern rivers Flows to Arabian Sea downstream of diversions at Kotri and upstream com-
was 141.7 MAF (Figure 2). Kotri Barrage mands.
Annual variability of river ows down-
Variability in river ows during droughts stream Kotri barrage has been very high. In A clearer picture emerges with an analysis
has given rise to water crises and fuels inter- the median year, annual ow was 26.9 MAF made of the number of days per season
provincial water con icts. The Water during 1975-2013. In one out of ten years, when ows downstream of Kotri barrage
Apportionment Accord, based on the mean the ows below Kotri are almost negligible were zero. In pre-Kotri period (1956-61),
annual river ows of 143 MAF, indicates that (Figure 3). The construction of Kotri barrage there was not a single day with a zero ow.
the apportioned amount of water will not reduced seasonal and annual ows below I n post-Kotri period (1961-67), the
be available to provinces in one out of two Kotri owing to enhanced canal diversions. maximum number of days with zero ows
years. Seasonal and annual ows were further in Rabi season were 10. 1975-2013 saw the
reduced during the post-Mangla and post- highest number of zero ows in the Rabi
Tarbela periods due to increases in canal s e a s o n a t 1 8 0 ( Fi g u r e 4 ) . I n p o s t
Kotri/Mangla periods, zero ows were on
average 33 days in the Rabi season, whereas
Figure 3: Probability of river ows (MAF) below Kotri Barrage in the post-Tarbela period zero ows were
on average 81 days.
100 91.8
Per capita surface water availability and
Per capita designed live storage capacity
80 69.1 available in Pakistan is 121 m per person,
70 which is only higher than that of Ethiopia.
USA houses the largest storage capacity of
60 6000 m per person, followed by Australia
45.4 and China. When compared with a storage
50 capacity of 900 days in the Colorado River,
USA, Pakistan stands with a storage
26.9 capacity at a mere 30 days.

Groundwater recharge
Estimated annual recharge to groundwater
8.8 in the IBIS is 55 MAF, out of which 36 MAF
10 occurs in the freshwater zone. The 1979
basin-wide survey of WAPDA indicated that
0 the water table, covering a 42 percent area
Maximum 1 in 10 2.5 in 10 5 in 10 7.5 in 10 8 in 10 Minimum of IBIS, was below three metres and
Source: IRSA 2016 classi ed as waterlogged. Owing to

3 Ahmed, S. and M. F. Joyia. 2003. Northern Areas Sustainable Development Strategy. NASDS Background Paper: Water IUCN Pakistan, Northern Areas Progamme, Gilgit. xiv+67 pp.
4 Ahmad, S. 1999. Achievements and issues of irrigation in the 20th century. Proceedings of the National Workshop on "Water Resources Achievements and Issues in the 20th
Century and Challenge of the Next Millennium, Islamabad. PCRWR/UNESCO, June 28-30, p. 188-201.
5 The cropping season is classi ed into two main seasons-(i) Kharif and (ii) Rabi, based on the monsoon. The kharif cropping season is from July October during the south-west
monsoon and the Rabi cropping season is from October-March (winter).
6 WCD. 2000. Tarbela Dam and related aspects of the Indus River Basin Pakistan. Final Report: November 2000. Prepared for the World Commission on Dams (WCD) by: Asianics
Agro-Dev. International (Pvt) Ltd. Secretariat of the World Commission on Dams. Cape Town 8018, South Africa. Website:
7 Zuberi, F.A. and A.B.Su . 1992. State of art of groundwater exploration, exploitation, management and legislation. IWASRI, WAPDA, Lahore, 26 p.

Table 2. Population and water availability in Pakistan
drought and increased abstractions in
2003, the waterlogged area saw reductions Data at
from 42 to 32 percent. Although, data since Parameter Pakistan Level
2003 is unavailable, however waterlogging
is on a continual decline due to drought. Population 1998 (millions) 132.35
Population 2016 (millions) 189.87 8
In the IBIS, the total groundwater reservoir
of fresh and marginal quality water River Flows (MAF) 144.7 9
measures to 810 MAF (gross command area
Floodwater outside Indus basin (MAF) 10 22.0
of 16.7 million ha and depth of freshwater
of 15 m), equivalent to six times that of Floodwater outside basin but drained to Indus River System (MAF) 11 -10.7
mean annual river ows. Excessive
pumping in a few dry years will not have Total Available Water (MAF) 156.0
lasting negative impacts on the resource, Water Availability per Capita (m3/person/annum) 1014
rather it will create a space for excessive
recharge during wet years when ows are Sources:
more than two-fold (225 percent higher) of 1. Ahmad, S. 2008a. Land and water resources of Pakistan A critical appraisal. Paper presented in 23rd Annual General Meeting & Conference of
Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE). Broad theme of 'Natural Resource Management: Issues and Challenges'. Islamabad,
the lowest ows, and 45 percent higher Pakistan;
than the mean annual ows. 2. Ahmad, S. 2008b. Contribution to the Report of the Sub-Committee on Water and Climate Change. Task Force on Food Security. Planning

Groundwater abstraction
There are around 1.0 million tubewells
energized either with electricity (18.5
Figure 4. Zero ow days below Kotri Barrage
percent) or diesel (81.5 percent). The Rabi Kharif
abstraction of groundwater during 2013-14 200
was 50.2 MAF, which has remained
stagnant for the last 15 years (Figure 5). A
subsidy of PKR 28 billion per annum is 160
provided on electric tari for 30,000
tubewells in Balochistan (three percent of
total tubewells). This had serious impacts
No of days per season

o n l owe r i n g o f t h e w a t e r t a b l e i n
Balochistan and resulted in wasteful use of
water and energy. 80

Major issues with regards to abstraction
include, a) Majority of available ground- 40
water (90 percent) is abstracted and any
development beyond 10 percent will result 20

in rapid lowering of the water table; b) 0

Farmers are now abstracting groundwater 1975 - 76 1980 - 81 1985 - 86 1990 - 91 1995 - 96 2000 - 01 2005 - 06 2010 - 11
from brackish zones underlain by fresh
Source: IRSA 2014
groundwater which has resulted in
intrusion of brackish groundwater into Pakistan are domestic, agriculture, industry Water use in the agriculture
freshwater zones; c) Abstraction of and environment. Although agriculture is Current water use
groundwater is now resulting into the largest consumer of water, however, The largest infrastructural enterprise, the
redistribution of salts due to a lack of domestic water has been assigned a higher IBIS network, accounted for USD 300 billion
drainage; and, d) Rise in electric tari will priority, given that drinking water is a basic worth of investment and contributed USD
result in shifting to diesel-operated necessity, and has been identi ed as a basic 21.2 billion, nearly 19.8 percent, to the
tubewells as a result of which, the pro tabil- right as per the country's water strategy of country's GDP during 2015-16. Irrigated
ity of farming will be aected by diesel 2012. agriculture provides 90 percent of wheat
prices. and small grains, in addition to sugarcane,
The agriculture sector consumes around rice, cotton, fruits and vegetables, almost
In the last 40 years (1976-16), groundwater 91.6 percent of the total annual water use in entirely. Apart from crops, the network also
contribution to irrigated agriculture has the country; followed by environment at provides milk, meat and fuel-wood and is
doubled from 25.6 to 50.2 MAF and it is 3.3, domestic at 2.6 and industry at 2.5 home to a majority of bualoes.
currently stagnant. Groundwater now percent (Figure 6). Hence, water saving and
contributes 47 percent of surface water ecient utilization of water in the
Indus basin canal water supplies
available at the farm head. agriculture sector is crucial, given that this
Variability in annual canal diversions was
sector demands the highest amount of
from 111.1 to 76.2 MAF, representing a
Multiple Uses of Water water.
variability of 34.9 MAF between the highest
The major sub-sectors of water use in and lowest canal water diversions. Thus,

8 Based on estimates made by the NIPS.

9 141.7 MAF of average annual river ows at rim stations and 3 MAF of water used by Civil Canals at upstream of rim stations
10 Using a runo coecient of 26% instead of 18% used by the NESPAK (1998).
11 Using ows drained to Indus basin using current level of water use.
12 WAPDA. 2006. Waterlogging and salinity in the Indus basin. WAPDA, Lahore.
13 IWMI. 2010. Banking on groundwater in times of change. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 7p. (IWMI Water Policy Brief 032)
14 GOP 2016. Agriculture Statistics of Pakistan. Economic Wing of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Government of Pakistan.

Figure 5: Groundwater abstraction in Pakistan stochastic nature of river ows has a
60 pronounced eect on canal diversions,
instead of loss of storage capacity (Figure 7).
The loss of storage capacity also has
negative impacts on canal diversions.

The lowest canal diversion during 1975-

2013 was 76.2 MAF which had adversely
aected irrigated agriculture in the drought
No of days per season

year. According to the Water Accord, 114.35

MAF of canal water supplies was appor-
tioned to the provinces, considering that
the construction of new dams (Kalabagh
and Basha) will render additional storages.
20 Probability of canal supplies during 1975-
2013 indicated that apportioned water was
never available as per Accord. The canal
10 diversion in a median year was 101.84 MAF.

Current budget
0 Water conveyance eciency of the IBIS is
19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20
47 5 5 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 9 9 9 0 0
-48 1-51 5-56 9-60 3-64 7-68 1-72 5-76 9-80 3-84 7-88 1-92 5-96 9-00 3-04 7-08 55.3 percent based on canal and water-
course conveyance eciency of 79 and 70
Source: Agricultural Statistics of Pakistan, Statistics Division, 2014 percent, respectively. Field application
eciency is 75 percent. Thus, overall
irrigation eciency stands at 41.5 percent.
Figure 6: Water use by sub-sectors (2016) The net water availability for crop consump-
tive requirement is 79.89 MAF, whereas net
3.3% Domestic water requirement for crop consumptive
Agriculture use for existing cropping pattern in the IBIS
2.6% is 101.7 MAF. With rainfall contribution of
Industry 13.4 MAF, the shortfall stands at 8.41 MAF
(8.3 percent), and 21.81 MAF (21.4 percent)
Environment vice versa. The shortfall during dry years
continues to increase due to reduced canal
water supply and less rainfall. Farmers
adapt either by reducing cropped area,
de cit irrigation or enhanced abstractions
from groundwater (Box I).

Balance Water Available for Carry Over Dams

on Indus Main
The probability of balance water available
in the Indus basin is presented in Figure 8.
The probability indicates that a total of ve-
out-of-ten years' worth of water is available
for storage in the reservoirs constructed on
the Indus main. This would mean that in the
91.6% future, storage dams can be constructed for
storage of water for carryover dams. This
would imply that the water stored in these
dams during wet years, be provided in dry
Box 1: Budget of Agricultural Water Use in the IBIS years to reduce the impacts of oods and
droughts in the Indus basin. Such inte-
Canal Diversions to IBIS at 50% probability - 101.84 MAF grated eorts are needed to mitigate the
Water Conveyance losses - 45.52 MAF risks of oods and droughts.
Canal Water Available at Farm Head - 56.32 MAF
Pumpage from Groundwater during 2013-14 - 50.2 MAF Future Water Demand
The country's current population stands at
Net Water Availability at Farm Head - 106.52 MAF approximately 190 million (2016), due to
Field Application Losses - 26.63 MAF increase to 217 million by 2025, using a
Net Irrigation Water Availability for Crop Consumptive Requirement - 79-89 MAF growth rate of 1.5 percent per annum. Thus,
Rainfall Contribution - 13.4 MAF an increase of 14.2 percent in water
availability is needed to meet the require-
Assuming that rainfall is equivalent to amount required for leaching fraction to ment of the population in 2025. In order to
maintain salt in IBIS, net water available - 79-89 MAF
meet the net crop water requirement, the
Net Crop Water Requirement - 101.7 MAF demand of water would be 101.7 and
Shortfall in mean year at 50% probability without rainfall contribution - 21.81 MAF 116.14 MAF for 2016 and 2025, respectively.
Shortfall during mean year at 50% probability with rainfall contribution of 13.4 MAF -
8.41 MAF

Issues and challenges Figure 7: Canal diversion (MAF) during 1975-2013
Water Availability and Scarcity
Water availability in the post-Accord period
120 111.13 109.19
was signi cantly less when compared with
Accord entitlements of 114.3 MAF of canal 101.84
water supplies. Maximum amount of water 95.57 94.02
diverted to canals during 1975-2013 was 100
111.1 MAF, with median year supplies of
101.84 MAF, which is 12.2 percent less than 76.2
the Accord. Variability in canal water 80
supplies ranges between 76.2 to 111.1 MAF,
which is 33.3 and 2.9 percent less than the
Accord and is creating water disputes
among provinces.
The issue of sharing water shortages
among provinces then remains, especially
when they feel that their entitlements are as 20
per the Accord. Also of pertinent concern, is
the issue as to why water entitlements are
higher than the availability of water itself. 0
The reason is that these entitlements are Maximum 1 in 10 2.5 in 10 5 in 10 7.5 in 10 8 in 10 Minimum
based on the fact that additional storages
Source: IRSA 2016
will be constructed in the future, which
have yet to be initiated. Although there
have been past disputes on water distribu- Figure 8: Probability of balance water available for carryover dams
tion, however, the Indus River System on Indus Main in wet years
Authority (IRSA) was successfully able to
distribute water without any grievances, 100 55
referred to by the Council of Common
Interests (CCI). 90
The Indus Main houses an inadequate
storage capacity incapable to regulate
water supply ensuring that surpluses are 35
not wasted and there is sucient water to 60
meet needs in times of shortage. Pakistan's
water storage capacity ranges between 0 to 50
40 days of river ows during dry and wet 23
years, respectively. Storage availability is 40
around 18.6 MAF, which is insigni cant to
meet the future water demand and to 30
11 10
ensure availability of water to provinces as
per Accord. Pakistan's river ow hydrology 20
is such that there is no water to store during
10 0
the dry year, whereas the situation is
opposite during wet years.
Maximum 1 in 10 2.5 in 10 5 in 10 7.5 in 10 8 in 10 Minimum

Rising and Competing Water Demand Source: IRSA 2014

The water demand continues to increase
owing to a rise in population and a higher Balochistan have also been facing similar province of Punjab (upper riparian) remains
demand for multiple water uses. The water disputes (Khirthar and Pat Feeder Canals), insistent on using gures during the 1977-
demand for domestic and industrial sub- as Balochistan is a lower riparian of Sindh 82 period, in which, as per sentiments
sectors of water use will receive higher and is unable to utilize its due share of water expressed by the Sindh province (lower
priority and compete with water required owing to inadequate infrastructure. The riparian), adhoc allocations by the federal
for agriculture. In case no new water question to be addressed then is regarding government have favoured Punjab. This
resources are developed in the near future, the utilization of the share of Balochistan. looming mistrust regarding the propor-
rise in demand for domestic and industrial Provinces are not entitled to market their tionate distribution of water between lower
sectors would largely be met from water unutilized share of water as per the Accord, and upper riparians, is an issue which needs
allocated and used for the agriculture sub- which is a limitation and may be recti ed in to be resolved, with the former claiming
sector. the future. Transport of euents to that it has less water than its entitlement,
downstream and impacts of pollutants on and the latter bears reservations on the
bio-diversity and ecology of delta ecosys- authenticity of water losses data between
Inter-provincial Disputes and Water tems, is now a serious concern. the barrages of Sindh.
Apportionment Accord
Inter-provincial water disputes continue to Owing to a lack of enforcement of the The impact of reduced ows below the
prevail on the division of water as per formula for water distribution as per the Kotri barrage on the livelihood of people
entitlements and sharing of shortages. Accord based on a ten-daily average use, dependent upon delta ecosystems
Punjab and Sindh have been facing such system-wise and seasonally adjusted including livelihood sources of sheries,
disputes since pre-partition. Sindh and gures are still an unresolved issue. The mangrove forests, livestock and delta
farming, are increasingly visible and is from groundwater, energy is and would Pakistan's vulnerability to climate change
signi cant. Findings of the study on Water play an important role in maintaining and including, a) Erratic monsoon rains causing
Escapage below Kotri Barrage need to be sustaining the productivity and pro tabil- frequent and intense oods and droughts;
considered and approved by the IRSA and ity of agriculture. There has been a b) Projected recession of the Hindu Kush-
CCI. continual rise in the price of diesel-fuel and Karakoram-Himalayan (HKH) glaciers due
It is also worthy to note that with a rise in tari of electricity as there is no subsidy on to global warming and carbon soot
water demand owing to population growth diesel fuel. One thing is clear: ecient use of deposits from trans-boundary pollution
and economic development, the future will surface water will supplement the use of sources, threatening water in ows into the
see more national con icts between groundwater. The issue is how to maximize Indus River System (IRS); c) Increased
regions who have not been allocated any the eciency of canal water use so that siltation of major dams caused by more
share as per the Accord. These include the groundwater abstracted in the IBIS is frequent and intense oods; d) Rising
regions of Gilgit Baltistan, Federally reduced for maintaining an equilibrium in temperatures resulting in enhanced heat
Administered Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu & abstractions. Groundwater quality in upper and water-stressed conditions, particularly
Kashmir, and Islamabad. Sindh, southern KPK and Southern Punjab in arid and semi-arid regions, leading to
is brackish. Thus, long-term food security reduced agricultural productivity; e)
Environmental Flows (e-Flows) can be achieved only through conjunctive Increased intrusion of saline water in the
Environmental ows are essential for and ecient use of surface and Indus delta, adversely aecting coastal
providing water for nature. The most groundwater. agriculture, mangroves and the breeding
important e- ows in the IBIS are: a) Indus grounds of sh; and, f ) Increased stress
delta below Kotri barrage to maintain Management of Water Quantity and between upper riparian and lower riparian
ecosystem and habitats; and b) Three Quality regions in relation to sharing of water
eastern rivers owing to Pakistan with the The management of water in all sub-sectors resources.
right to ow in order to maintain river is a major issue in the country. Both aspects
ecosystems. The Water Accord provides of quantity and quality are important. The The climate change policy emphasized
entitlements for e- ows below Kotri and a storage of water available in the country is how water would have the largest impacts
study conducted estimated minimum e- at a bare minimum, with a capacity to store as compared to any other sector in Pakistan.
ows there. Priority allocations for e- ows Indus water equivalent to 30-50 days of Thus, six action areas were identi ed for
in times of droughts when water is not river ows in wet and dry years. Likewise, climate change adaptations in the water
adequate to meet the demand of the the eciency and productivity of water use sector including, a) Water storage and
agriculture sub-sector, is an issue that is extremely low owing to an almost infrastructure; b) Water conservation
requires addressal. Thus, provinces will not negligible pricing of water. For example, strategies; c) Integrated water resource
assign high priority for minimum e- ows. domestic water bills in most urban areas go management; d) Legislative framework; e)
The minimum e- ows for eastern rivers to as low as PKR 500 and below per month. In Enhancing capacity; and, f ) Awareness
Pakistan were not allocated and conse- agriculture, water fee for wheat varies from raising.
quently the river has lost the right to ow in PKR 50 to PKR 100 in dierent provinces for
almost 335 days in a year, and water is one acre of land, during the wheat growing International legal frameworks for water
available only during oods. This has had season. The cost of fertilizer utilized stands
resources management and Pakistan's
severe impacts on river ecosystems and the at approximately PKR 10,000 per acre. This
livelihood of local people. Even areas of dry delineates that water for agriculture is
Global and regional treaties, as well as non-
rivers are facing diculty in obtaining almost free.
binding instruments from international
access to water for multiple uses. The
organizations such as UNECE (United
resultant impact is the degradation of dry Quality is also a serious concern. Sewage
Nations Economic Commission for Europe),
beds of the eastern rivers that lie in and industrial euents in urban areas are
UNEP (United Nations Environment
Pakistan. mixed and the wastewater treatment
Programme), OECD (Organization for
facility is almost insigni cant, with few
Economic Cooperation and Development),
treatment plants in operation. Sewage,
Climate Change Impacts and the ILA (International Law Association)
industrial and agricultural euents
Rapid climate change and global warming constitute a edged body of rules that aims
ultimately drain in to freshwater systems-
will have major impacts on increased crop at preventing pollution of freshwater
canals and Indus River tributaries-and are
water requirement. This will hamper resources. In 1997, the United Nations,
ultimately used for raising fodders and
productivity owing to changes in crop through the draft articles of the ILC,
vegetables in peri-urban areas. With water
boundaries and reduced length of the developed a global framework convention
containing the presence of heavy metals,
growing season. Thus, the chances of for global protection of freshwater
nitrogenous compounds and bacteria, it is
reduced water availability during the dry resources entitled, 'The Convention on the
no surprise that the soil and produce also
years should be expected. Extremes will be Law of Non-Navigational Uses of Interna-
get impacted. Research studies conducted
more frequent and severe, which will have tional Watercourses'. This convention is
by the Pakistan Agricultural Research
negative impacts on productivity and recognized to codify customary laws
Council (PARC) and many others have
sustainability of irrigated agriculture. The relating to water. Fifty percent of the world's
identi ed the produce as unsafe for human
real question is how to develop and test river basins are shared by two or more
and animal consumption.
adaptations, as well as scaling up to states and provide the majority of the
mitigate the impacts of climate change on supply used by human activity. Thus,
productivity. Water Management and Gover- geographical and political reasons
nance constitute major factors in the making of
Nexus with Food and Energy Security Water as a main priority in the National international agreements relating to water.
Water and energy are major factors that Climate Change Policy Although Pakistan is bene ting from
aect food security. As almost half of water The National Climate Change Policy international legal frameworks for water
use for consumptive requirement in the IBIS identi ed threats, while describing resources management, yet, is largely

15 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (New York, 21 May 1997, in force 17 August 2014) UNTS I-52106 (hereinafter: UN
Watercourses Convention or UNWC).
16 Philippe Sands and Jacqueline Peel, with Adriana Fabra and Ruth Mackenzie, Principles of international environmental law (Cambridge University Press, 2012) 304

dependent upon the Indus Water Treaty for underway for the development of hydro- developing appropriate mathematical
resolving transboundary water con icts power with enhanced water storage on the models.
with India. Western River. Pakistan continues to face Provinces shall prepare drought
reduced ows from the Chenab owing to management plans for dierent
the recent storage of water in the Baglihar drought prone areas.
Tr a n s b o u n d a r y w a t e r r e s o u r c e s dam. Annual ows in the Chenab during It is recognized that small surface water
management and implications for wet years have continued to decline since carry-over storages do not provide
Pakistan 1958-59 with an increase in droughts since eective relief against drought because
For over 40 years, the Indus Water Treaty has 1937-38. Same is the case for River Jhelum of high evaporation losses of surface
proved to be an outstanding example of being controlled by India; being a major water bodies. It is therefore necessary to
con ict resolution. An increase in water source of irrigation and hydro-power for investigate feasibility of using ground-
stress in the basin states since the early 90s Pakistan, it would pose dire impacts for the water aquifers as water storage facility.
has brought the Treaty under strain. In fact, country if India chooses to close the gates In the drought prone areas, non-water
its survival appears weak, although there is of the Barrage. Although the Treaty limits related economic activities shall be
no exit clause. The Treaty fails to address Pakistan to prohibit construction of promoted and the available groundwa-
two issues; the division of shortages in the hydropower dams by India, it does ter resources be used largely for
dry years between India and Pakistan, when however, grant the right to voice issues domestic and stock water purposes. In
ows are almost half as compared to the regarding the developing strategy such cases, aquifer recharge facilities
wet years; and, the cumulative impact of concerning the storage of water during dry shall be promoted.
storages on the ows of Chenab River into periods.
Pak istan. The Wular Barrage and Balochistan IWRM policy 2006
Kishenganga Project on Jhelum and Reactive Stance of Pakistan Balochistan Integrated Water Resources
Neelam River present a similar problem Awareness regarding trans boundary water Management (IWRM) Policy of 2006
whereby water storage during the Rabi issues is a recent phenomenon and highlighted that inecient water use,
season is critical as ows are almost one- systematic studies are needed. Pakistan's wastage of surface water and indiscrimi-
fth of the Kharif season. Pakistan has gone negligence in conducting sound analysis nate abstraction of groundwater resources
as far as calling the Treaty an inecient and delays in presenting cases to the Indus coupled with water scarcity, have aggra-
forum for resolving water issues; elevating Water Commission or World Bank, have vated the current situation, thereby making
the water issue to being a core issue; and caused the issue to hang loose and remain management of water resources a complex
including it in composite dialogue, but unaddressed. and a dicult task in Balochistan. Only 36
India has refused to include water in percent of the total available water
composite dialogues because it is not ready Water Use Policies in Pakistan resources are utilized in an average year.
to discard the Treaty. The persistent drought during the period of
National Water Policy - Draft of 2015
eight years (1998-06) has resulted in
The latest draft of the National Water Policy
Water Entitlements of India on Western negative impacts on the availability of
was circulated on the directions of the
water and livelihood of rural communities.
Rivers and Interpretation of the Treaty Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2015 and
The Indus Water Treaty permitted India for identi ed twenty-three action areas, each
The IWRM approach was adopted in
creating storages on Western Rivers of 1.25, segmented further into individual targets.
formulating the Policy for sixteen Policy
1.60 and 0.75 MAF for general, power and It provides full support in areas of water
Thrust Areas, which are essential for
ood storages, respectively, amounting to a resources development using perennial
improving and sustaining the manage-
total permissible storage of 3.6 MAF. A clear and oodwater, water harvesting, water
m e n t o f s u r f a c e a n d g ro u n d w a t e r
ambiguity in the Treaty occurs in its management and groundwater recharge.
resources in the province. Policy thrust
allowance to be interpreted dierently, In addition, it also identi es the framework
areas were identi ed after evaluating issues
thereby creating con ic ts between for water related hazards covering
related to sub-sectors of water use instead
Pakistan and India. The Treaty also fails to droughts, oods, waterlogging and salinity.
of using the traditional approach focusing
clearly address India's share of shortages in
only on the sources of water (surface and
relation to storage dams on the Western A review of the draft national water policy groundwater). This approach would also
Rivers, an issue of major concern. further indicated that it endorsed the need help the stakeholders to own and imple-
to adopt basin as an approach for the ment the IWRM Policy pertaining to their
Water Scarcity and Emerging Con icts management of water in all environments, sub-sectors of water use. Along with the
on Apportioned Rivers including the environmental integrity of IWRM approach, the water-poverty-
As a consequence of climate change, hydrologic basins. Aspects related to environment framework was used as
shrinking glaciers and altering precipita- drought management were analyzed in criteria, while evaluating issues and
tion patterns render the need to address detail and the following policy guidelines formulating policy and reforms. Basin
issues of water scarcity and resources. were provided: approach is recommended for manage-
During oods, for example, majority of the ment of water in a holistic manner. For the
water runs into the rivers of Indus-Pakistan Pakistan Meteorological and other purpose of basin level planning, framework
which leaves the province of Sindh ooded. Departments and Agencies shall be of watershed-water-farming systems is
Such negative setbacks on the economy encouraged and supported in carrying recommended to enhance water produc-
will have eventual dire consequences if not out research work in reliably predicting tivity and to achieve sustainability of water
addressed. droughts in short and long term use. The Provincial Cabinet in its meeting on
perspective so that feasible counter- March 9th, 2006, approved all the policy
Impacts of Water Development in India measures can be taken timely through thrust areas except the Electric Tari for
on Flows of Western Rivers to Pakistan modi ed releases from reservoirs and Tubewells. The Fifteen policy thrust areas
With control of the Chenab river through plan other water management approved for the IWRM Policy are: a) Water
the Salal Dam, India has several plans strategies. Research shall aim at availability and potential for development;

17 GOP. 2015. National water policy. Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.
18 GOB. 2006. IWRM policy of Balochistan. Department of Irrigation. Government of Balochistan.

b) Water resources assessment and should be replicated in other areas as well. develop an inventory of water quality for
monitoring; c) Managing water demand; d) Likewise, the establishment of drip surface and groundwater to represent all
Linking water development with IWRM irrigation farming systems- a type of high the major ecosystems and environments,
approach; e) IWRM for agriculture; f ) value farming as a mix of creeper-type ranging from wet mountains to the Indus
Adjusting crops and cropping pattern with vegetables and high density orchards-in basin, Barani lands, deserts and the coast.
water availability; g) IWRM for other sub- areas outside the Indus basin where water Research is needed on how to use marginal
sectors (non-agricultural) of water use; h) is at premium, should be adopted by and poor quality groundwater for farming
Environmental water management; i) Cost farmers. in areas where freshwater is unavailable
recovery of irrigation infrastructure; j) Cost from rainfall and surface water resources.
eectivity of water conser vation Investigation of Watershed Networks
interventions; k) Promoting inter-provincial Watershed management is essential in Finally, there is also a dearth of research on
cooperation; l) Fostering participation; m) areas outside the Indus basin covering how to provide a cost-eective way of
Institutional restructuring and strengthen- mountainous regions, Barani areas and providing safe water of acceptable quality
ing; n) High eciency irrigation both for Balochistan. There is a need to initiate eld for human, livestock and freshwater
surface and pressurized irrigation systems; investigations in order to establish sheries. Some areas in the deserts, around
and, o) Groundwater development and programmes for watershed management the coasts, in the Indus delta, and some
management. and link them with groundwater recharge parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and
as well as livelihood generation to Sindh have brackish quality groundwater,
Policy and reforms are outlined under each encourage community participation. an issue that can only be addressed and
of the policy thrust areas, which are being Integrated land use practices including recti ed once there is thorough analysis to
implemented by all sub-sectors of water plantation of forest trees, shrubs, grasses identify loopholes and develop a proper
use. Along with policy and reforms, themes and arid fruit plants would provide surface addressal framework.
for research and feasibility studies and cover and also provide fuelwood, pastures
areas of capacity building have also been and arid fruits (mulberry, falsa, pomegran-
identi ed. ate, g, etc.).

The Balochistan IWRM Policy is the only Updating Academic Curricula to Address
approved water policy in the country and Ways to Engage in Sustainable Develop-
provides a comprehensive framework ment
which is relevant with the conditions The current curricula of water and
prevailing in the province, while addressing agriculture institutions are largely based on
issues of water development within the books that do not have much relevance to
context of the basin approach, water the water and agriculture landscape of
harvesting and groundwater recharge as an Pakistan. There is a need to revise this
integral part of watershed management, curriculum accordingly, and to introduce
and water management through inte- relevant courses at the Bachelors and
grate d m a n a g e m e nt o f o o d s a n d Masters levels relating to sustainable
droughts to mitigate the negative impacts development. Along with updating the
of these water-related disasters. curriculum, there is a need to develop
course materials, which have relevance
With the draft national policy lingering with the requirement of sustainable
since the last 11 years, the best option development in the country and various
would be that each province formulates regions. For example, universities impart-
their own water polices, which could then ing education in water and agriculture
all be integrated into one federal water located in each of the provinces cannot use
policy. similar curriculums when the problems are
dierent, including keeping the climate
Way Forward change variabilities into account.
Increase Public Awareness
Water has been highly politicized in Development of a Central Data Reposi-
Pakistan and there is an extreme de cit of tory and Website
trust among the provinces. This de cit of Past eorts in creating a single central data
trust is largely due to a lack of access to data repository have been unsuccessful owing
and information. Popular papers need to be to data collection being conducted by a mix
prepared along with posters and stickers of several agencies in the federation and
for creating mass awareness. The use of provinces. The solution to this lies in rst,
mass media in creating awareness at all developing a decentralized database by the
levels, including civil society at large, is also dierent agencies, followed by centralizing
integral. Without awareness, water cannot this database by using this data to feed into
be made as 'business for everyone'. one single central data repository. The
federal statistics division would be the
High Eciency Irrigation Systems pertinent authority to take charge of all
Current irrigation practices are inecient coordination and networking in this regard.
and water productivity is lowest in the
Indus basin irrigated agriculture. The More Research on Water Quality
development of laser levelling technology With an increase in the demand and variety
and furrow-bed irrigation has resulted in of water uses, its quality is now a growing
saving 30 percent of water and has led to an concern. Therefore, standards for water
increase in productivity by 25 percent in the quality need to be developed for all sub-
district of Okara, Punjab. Such a model sectors of water use. There is a need to

Water Management In The
Indus Basin: Critical Aspects

maximum of 30 days of ow, and only 11 investments in human and material

percent of the identi ed hydro-potential resources.
has been developed. This allows more than
30 MAF on average to ow into the sea Savings from the agriculture sector can
unregulated and unutilized, thus limiting easily meet future domestic, industrial and
the basins capacity to provide minimum environmental demands provided the
ows required for the Indus delta. Equally same level of prudence and good science is
important is the fact that it also limits the used in determining such use of precious
basins capacity to regulate ood ows as a water. There are several global examples
consequence of which, continued disaster that delineate how countries have utilized
in the wake of climate change, is brought water savings obtained from the irrigated
upon. Unfortunately, the storage issue has agriculture sector and invested them into
evolved into becoming highly politicized, meeting demands of other industries. India
to an extent that renders no room to and China are a case in point. These
Khalid Mohtadullah consider several viable options. The next countries are spending billions of dollars
best options however exist and need to be making water t for human consumption
Former Member Water, WAPDA vigorously pursued to provide much and industrial activity and transporting it
Senior Advisor, ICIMOD needed resilience in the system. for its end use. Hundreds of new treatment
plants and other infrastructure have been
However, increased storage capacity alone developed, along with their operating and
is insucient to solve the problem. More maintenance systems. Meeting this
The Indus basin has the worlds largest ecient use of water needs to be targeted. challenge with existing technologies is
contiguous irrigation system. Total irrigated The prevailing productivity per unit of already big business. For example, in China,
area is 19 Mha, with 4 Mha rainfed, whereas, water in Pakistan is among the lowest in the t h e m a r k e t fo r c u r re n t m e m b r a n e
total cropped area is more than 23 Mha. It world. Add to this the fact, that the irrigated technology used for cleaning waste water is
also has a highly transmissive and produc- agriculture sector consumes more than the growing at more than 30 percent a year and
tive aquifer that augments surface supplies, total annual in ows into the basin (after is projected to grow at even higher rates
and in recent years it has become a very adding the groundwater component), it over the coming few decades. Newer
important source of supply, particularly in becomes evident that such a gross level of technologies oer becoming even bigger
the Punjab province. ineciency in water usage is not businesses.
sustainable in the face of rising domestic,
The climate is tropically arid with mean industrial and environmental demands. In many advanced cities, the same sewage
annual rainfall of 238 mm and mean annual Therefore, bringing eciency in water use, system collects both residential and
temperature at 28 C. During summers, particularly in the irrigated agricultural commercial waste water, runo rain water
temperatures may soar up to 45 C, causing sector, is at the heart of sustainability for and snow. In the case of Singapore, for
high evaporation rates of 120 mm in the ensuring water, food and energy security in example, it collects dierent gradations of
north, and 2100 mm in the south. Its high the country. However, this does not imply discharged water separately and redirects
intra-and inter-annual variability makes that water use in other sectors can be some of it to uses requiring lower levels of
irrigation essential for crop growth. sidelined. Those have to be equally quality. From there, the water moves onto
monitored as well, to ensure the same level treatment plants and henceforth to other
More than 95 percent of the annual surface of prudence in water use. applications, thereby making waste water
water ow is appropriated for irrigation. If eectively utilized. Gulf States such as Abu
groundwater usage is added, then total For our climatic conditions, soil types and Dhabi, also have plans underway to recycle
irrigation allocations accumulate to more structure, plant type and irrigation as much as 80 percent of the water used by
than the total renewable surface water. This techniques are among the many factors some of the communities. Falling energy
is becoming untenable now because it that in uence the eciency and costs are also oering support in making all
leads to serious droughts, rising de cits due eectiveness of irrigation practices. It is of these approaches feasible.
to increased population, urbanization, and therefore imperative to make the right
d o m e s t i c a n d i n d u s t r i a l d e m a n d s. decisions regarding what crops to grow, As far as industry is concerned, the creation,
Simultaneously, climate change is causing adopt appropriate irrigation scheduling, adoption and availability of better
serious impacts upon demand and supply decide on the best irrigation methods, take measuring and monitoring tools is being
in the basin, thereby adversely aecting the appropriate soil enhancement measures developed by providers for improving
prevailing water balance. and use all available sources of water. At the water productivity. This is allowing
same time, decision makers have to be companies to improve their water tracking
Despite the basins massive infrastructure, mindful of the fact that all of the above does mechanisms and determine where and
the storage capacity stands limited to a not come without making the necessary how more eciency can be introduced.

One of the key issues in our case is that science based analysis, policies, training for (IWRM) approach ensures water food and
water is not valued properly, and therefore best practices and research inputs are energy security, all at the same time. In our
any associated investment decisions get grossly lacking at each step of the way. case, in doing so, national security is also
mired by economic distortions. Unless this strengthened because of the nature of our
issue is satisfactorily resolved, proper Suce to say for the purposes of this economy.
incentives to save water cannot be discussion, it is reasonable to expect that
meaningfully determined and imple- engineers have a collective responsibility to Finally, it is important to keep in mind that it
mented. Therefore, the rst and foremost improve the lives of people, and therefore is the single basin in which our surface and
requirement is the correct pricing of water. engineering education should re ect that ground water and also our monsoons
sense. Whether that is happening or not is happen to occur. While its integrated
Once this is done, several other variables in still in some ways an open question, and my management requires comprehensive
the water management equation automat- own view is that it is very poorly followed. planning, critical monitoring, prudent
ically fall into place, and water manage- policy formulation and implementation
ment becomes more readily amenable to Our country continues to become more and eective stakeholder participation, yet
good scienti c and economic analysis, populated, more crowded, more consum- as of now, there does not exist an institution
resulting in sound policies that can get ing, more polluting, more connected and in which is fully responsible for its integrity
meaningfully implemented. many ways less tolerant than at any time in and particularly its water resources. Unless
our history. It is also broadly recognized issues of water management are addressed
Another important issue is meeting the that we are altering our natural systems in on an urgent basis, the impending eects of
challenge of climate change. Pakistan is various ways and various scales at all levels climate change will unleash an economic
recognized to be a front liner among at an unprecedented rate. However, with chaos whose impacts will be far and wide.
nations that are likely to be severely endorsement and commitment towards
impacted by climate change. Since most of the MDGs and the SDGs, the challenge is to Whether our centers of learning and work
the manifestations of climate change are be able to satisfy the needs of a population places are transitioning to the new vision,
re ected in water, therefore Pakistan, being that is increasing exponentially while remains an open question, although it
a water based economy, is high at the end preserving the carrying capacity of our appears that we are way behind. But surely,
of the vulnerability spectrum. Unless water ecosystems and biological and cultural the expectation of achieving sustainable
management policies re ect urgency and biodiversity, and deciding what is it that development and management of our
importance, even national security may be should be done now and in the near future natural resources, particularly water
jeopardized. Such is the grave signi cance to ensure that basic needs for water, resources, cannot be met unless the
of the matter for Pakistan. sanitation, nutrition, health safety and transition is made soon enough, because
meaningful work, are ful lled for all. engineers in some ways hold the key to
The logic is simple: climate change for us is success. Maurice Strong (Secretary General
an existential threat, and the key to water These problems and the ones we will face in of 1992, UN Conference on Environment
security in practical terms is to improve to the near future require that the engineering and Development) said, Sustainable
the best possible extent, the management profession revisit its role and adopt a new development will be impossible without
of our water resources. This implies that mission, one that focuses on building of a the full input of the engineering profes-
while climate science is still evolving and more sustainable, stable and equitable sion.
the situation needs to be monitored on that society. In the past, little attention was paid
end, the focus should in the meantime, be to socio-economic and environmental
critically on water management so that the impacts on natural systems. The 21st
country is better prepared to absorb those century, however, requires transition to a
shocks when they hit. That is also the same more holistic approach to engineering. For
underlying philosophy that China has this to happen, a paradigm shift, from
adopted. controlling to working with nature, is
essential. At the same time, it requires more
The third and nal point, is to assess where awareness of ecosystems, ecosystem
the country stands with respect to human services and preservation and restoration
re s o u rc e s a n d w a t e r m a n a g e m e n t of natural capital. Finally, it also requires a
institutions. There are two aspects to this; mindset of the mutual enhancement of
one being educational and the other, work nature and humans that embraces the
environment, both either strengthen or principles of sustainable development,
weaken institutions. Unfortunately, a great renewable resource management and
erosion of quality has taken place in both appropriate technology.
areas. Educational standards have fallen in
institutions of learning and a growing Modern engineering looks at water
apathy to absence of recognition of merit, management in a very comprehensive way.
and declining motivation in the work place Not only does it focus on technology but
has led to capacity and competence de cit. places equal emphasis on socio-economic
This has led to limiting our implementation and environmental aspects, making it a
capacity of development activities. This balanced mechanism of an integrated
article will chie y address engineering process. In this way, harmony is achieved in
education in that respect. designing water systems for development
that simultaneously cater for the
Contemporary challenges and the tools we sustainability of water sources, its ow
use to deal with them seem poles apart. regimes and its ecosystems. Such inte-
Modern engineering education, good grated water resources management

1 Engineering Sustainable Development for the Future We Want. Available at

Water Governance in Agriculture

decline. Per capita water availability has Pakistan is very interesting. Despite the
decreased to 1,032 cubic meters in 2016 investment (more than USD 300 billion)
from 5260 cubic meters in 1951. pumped into infrastructure development
that dealt predominantly with increasing
At such rapidly plunging rates, water the supply of water, the demand side and
security is becoming a rapidly growing the weaknesses and ineciencies of the
problem that needs to be tackled on an established water management systems in
emergency basis. Food production and agriculture and in other sectors remains
livestock farming have already not grown at ignored. Inconsistent policies and a lack of
an exemplary pace. With increasing water focus on critical problems such as climate,
security issues, the threat to Pakistan's food water and ecology form the core of
security is real and critical. A country with Pakistan's water management woes. The
more than 200 million mouths to feed and a recent China Pakistan Economic Corridor
rapidly growing population growth rate (CPEC) initiative houses the opportunity to
Nasar Hayat cannot survive long-term water shortages. bring massive infrastructure development
Water security aects not only the to the country and this has the possibility of
Assistant Representative economic sectors but also the social fabric aecting the agricultural sector positively.
Head of Programme of the society, especially in rural areas. Although CPEC does not include exclusive
United Nations Food and Agriculture agriculture development funds, but the
Organization, Pakistan Being an agro based economy, Pakistan trickle down eects will be immense for all
derives 22 percent of its National Gross sectors including agriculture. Increase in
Water is one of the most important Domestic Product (GDP) from agriculture tractor production, better roads for farm to
elements of nature that sustains life and which supports 65 percent of the rural market access, exports to China or the
maintains the ecological balance of our population, directly or indirectly, and world along with foreign investment into
world. It is also one of the most important provides employment for 43 percent of the the sector, are main aspects of such a
natural resources for any country in terms of labor force. The impact of water scarcity on positive impact. In addition, the dams
economic, social, political and strategic the country's economy and primary sector being constructed will provide water
perspectives. Its importance becomes employment will be devastating, eventu- storage for irrigation along with cheaper
more pronounced given the fact that ally causing spill over eects in other electricity for farmers and a better energy
around 800 million people suer from sectors. A total of 54 million acres (71 supply as well. Agriculture, especially
chronic hunger and the world needs to percent of the total arable land) is under livestock farming such as poultry, has
produce 60 percent more food by the year cultivation and 82 percent of the cultivated greatly been aected by power outages
2050 to feed humanity. Water is essential in land is irrigated either from surface or and high rates of energy supply. Nonethe-
agricultural productivity and against a groundwater sources. Irrigation water less, it would have been very prudent on
backdrop of increasing water scarcity, food remains the central input for sustaining and Pakistan's part if a separate chunk of CPEC
shortages in the future are a grim reality expanding the agricultural economy and would have dealt with increasing agricul-
that the world needs to focus on, both in dominates water use in Pakistan. tural productivity in the country and
the short and long term. strengthening the primary sector that
Eorts have been made in the recent past to forms the backbone of the economy.
Water is one of the most important study the issues and challenges surround-
components of food production systems. ing water governance in Pakistan. Being a It is also important to remember that the
Without water availability and improved country that takes pride in agriculture Sustainable Development Agenda 2030
eciency in allocation of water resources, being the backbone of the economy, it goes formally adopted by the UN member states
sustainability of our food production without saying how important water de nes the Goals within which Pakistan can
systems and their potential to provide for governance is for the national economy work to improve agriculture, water
an ever-increasing population will become and the society itself. Water governance is a governance and food security. These
a multidimensional threat for the survival of concept largely missing from Pakistan's include, SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms
human communities. Access to water and national development and legislative everywhere, SDG2: End hunger achieve
its eective utilization has the potential of narratives. food security and improved nutrition and
evolving into a crisis given that its per capita promote sustainable agriculture and, SDG
availability around the world continues to The critical aspect of water management in 6: Ensure availability and sustainable

1 World Food Programme, 'Hunger Statistics'. Available at

2 Government of Pakistan, Economic Survey 2009-10, 'Chapter 2: Agriculture'. Available at http://www.
3 Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (2016), Labor Force Statistics. Available at; Agriculture Statistics Tables. Available at
4 Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (2016), Agriculture Census Tables. Available at

management of water and sanitation for all. productivity, and equity in water resources quality remains lowest on the list of water
The Goals can help de ne development management in agriculture. The current sector priority actions. The focus of
targets, indicators, and their speci c i n s t i t u t i o n a l f ra m e wo r k a l s o f a ce s governments on urban areas for develop-
roadmaps on the way forward for the next weaknesses concerning clearly de ned ment funding and mega infrastructure
15 years. Through inter-sectoral communi- long-term goals expressed as water policy, projects has pushed problems such as
cation and collaboration, government can non-existent incentive structure (reward water quality into oblivion. Water misman-
achieve the SDGs related to agriculture and and punishment) and reformed framework agement has led to dumping of minerals
natural resources management. By for stakeholders to change behaviour for and waste in catchment areas, extremely
adoption and aligning national and achieving maximum bene cial end use of low water tables and a lack of conservation
provincial planning with these SDGs, food water, ambiguous application of laws and mechanisms. This, along with problems
security and water governance in Pakistan regulations, and inadequate executional such as water logging and salinity, has

Figure 1: Freshwater Availability (2007)

Freshwater availability,
cubic meters per person and per year, 2007.


Data non available

0 1 000 1 700 2 500 6 000 15 000 70 000 684 000

Source: FAO, Nations unies, World Resources Institute (WRI)

can be improved. capacity from national to local government rendered thousands of acres unsuitable for
level. cultivation. Pakistan's future food security,
Water governance has been an area of economic stability and employment for
investment in the past with the involve- Pricing is another issue. Price of water for labor is threatened due to these critical
ment of both donor communities and the agriculture is extremely low; a farmer in issues that are nowhere on policy makers'
government working to achieve this goal. Punjab, home to 70 percent of the agendas.
An example would be when in 2013, 12 agriculture production in the country, pays
international donors came together to PKR 135 (USD 1.3) per acre, per year for These issues raise a number of questions on
prepare a position paper on Pakistan's canal water. Also, the reforms for farmer water governance. Let's examine some of
water issues. Since then, the group has held institutions and participation in irrigation these issues in the context of Pakistan.
six meetings hosted by dierent partners. system management, initiated in 1997
Although there appears hope, however, (Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Act Although controversial, but can we revisit
individual donors might continue to follow 1997), have not delivered consistent the inter-provincial Water Accord and
their own strategies of cooperation and improvements. The irrigation departments shares for agriculture? At the national level,
conventional investment plans, but in the provinces are largely ineective and how will we reach a decision regarding
governance related interventions should rely on procedural rules set up by the British irrigation standing as a priority to make
be made a complementary part of larger in the colonial era. Corruption among sure that Pakistan keeps producing enough
eorts to achieve the overall objectives of o c i a l s, wate r t h e f t by i n u e nt i a l food to support its population? Possibly
secure, productive and sustainable water landowners and a general lack of mainte- even surplus to export to the world?
management in agriculture in Pakistan. nance of canal infrastructure are the core
reasons behind the non-delivery of the Surface water and its governance at the
Here is a brief look at major water manage- reforms. provincial level is also of primary concern-
ment issues. The water resources sub- what is it that should be done dierently in
sector lacks updated policy, law, regula- In addition, groundwater governance and an agenda of institutional reforms and of
tions, rules, guidelines, and enforcement management is not a subject of interest in enhancing self-reliance and the account-
c a p a c i t y f o r a c h i e v i n g e c i e n c y, most investment decisions and water ability of provincial stakeholders?

Governance of water sources on a micro or being put back into the water bodies. public and private service providers to
level is also an issue that has a large impact Moreover, awareness of new technologies, adapt to their institutional capacities and
upon agriculture. What will be helpful here, water conservation and protection of water ensure delivery of sustainable services to
private investment or updating the sources is equally important in ensuring water users. The government and donors
Irrigation and Drainage Act (1997)? How Pakistan attains water security in the near should work together in exploring private
can we protect groundwater and use it future. sector investments in canal irrigation
more eciently for drinking water, and systems management.
nally, what could be done to manage Donor groups also need to play their role
environment ows in a better manner? more eectively: an example could be by The task of improving governance and
collectively recognizing and articulating a management of water resources to help
These questions present to us an opportu- coherent case for parallel development of Pakistan's agricultural sector and food
nity. If an agreement can be reached on infrastruc ture and governance and security needs, might appear daunting but
answers to these questions, the solutions investing in both aspects so that water can as they say where there is a will, there is a
will become clearer. The solutions can be be controlled, delivered, and used for way. It is just that solutions require a
wide ranging and far reaching. They can maximum sustainable bene t to society. paradigm shift in water resource develop-
include Public Private Par tnerships, Mixed and contradictory messages should ment and management strategies for
Government run projects, public infrastruc- be avoided. A higher priority should be sustainable agriculture in Pakistan.
ture development schemes, NGOs, donors given to the formulation and implementa-
as well as the citizens. A greener and tion of problem-oriented water policies and
ecologically friendly narrative in terms of strategies. This can be achieved by
water policy needs to be peddled among providing technical and nancial support
the population so that wastewater from and by setting timelines to achieve policy
industries, homes and cities is treated objectives that are tied to investment
properly before being reused for irrigation decisions. Moreover, they can support

UNDP Pakistan
Mainstreaming Women in the Water
Sector: Old Challenges, Possible Solutions

remained more or less the same over the

past 15 years, the percentage of house-
holds with access to piped water or tap
water has reduced over time. The percent-
age of households with access to tap water
fell from 34 percent in 2005 to 32 percent in
2010, and to a further 27 percent by 2015.
Sanitation facilities also show a similar
picture, where the percentage of house-
holds with a ush toilet has increased from
52 percent to 73 percent between 2005 and
2015, but the proportion of households
that have a ushing toilet connected to a
piped sewerage system is still less than one
Simi Kamal Kausar Hashmi
Global Gender Issues in Water and
Senior Group Head Grants Operations Manager, Research and Documentation
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Hisaar Foundation
Where Pakistan Stands
Chair Academic Committee, Globally, men have a single role in society-
Hisaar Foundation the productive role or earning an income.
Women on the other hand, have the burden
In his monumental book called the Pakistan ranks 147 on the Gender Develop- of four roles -productive, reproductive,
'Revenge of Geography', Robert Kaplan says ment Index (GDI), and 121 on the Gender societal linkages and care giving. They are
that a good place to understand the Inequality Index (GII) , while its Gender very often tied to homes because of their
present, and to ask questions about the Empowerment Measure (GEM) is only multiple roles, so that their presence in the
future, is on the ground, traveling as slowly 0.377. According to the 19th Annual water sector is seen as being 'domestic'-
as possible. And when we travel slowly Human Development in South Asia Report carrying and storing water for home
through Pakistan from the mountains of 2016, the region ranks in the bottom with consumption, cleaning toilets, doing
the north, through the Indus basin and on respect to the female human development kitchen gardening etc.
to the coastlines in the South, we see the index in the world, only better than Sub-
gender gap in all its manifestations. And Saharan Africa. A number of surveys carried out in the
nowhere is it so stark as in Pakistan's decade of 2000 carried data on the number
resource base and its main economic In the Global Gender Gap Report 2016 of hours women spent in fetching water,
assets-land and water. Integrating a gender produced by the World Economic Forum 6, however, this kind of data collection has not
sensitive approach to development and Pakistan ranked 143 out of 144 countries, been repeated since. These sur veys
conservation of water requires an under- down from 112 in 2006. While it ranked con rmed that rural women, especially in
standing of the link between gender much better in terms of political and 'water stressed' communities, spend a high
equality and sustainable water manage- economic participation, Pakistan's gender proportion of their time collecting water.
ment. However, it needs to be stated at the gap is signi cant and alarming, re ecting The Pakistani Rural Household Survey of
outset, that Pakistan's main regular the low status of women in Pakistan's 2001 found that 25 percent of women
demographic, economic, development and agriculture-based economy-an economy reported fetching water during the week
human development surveys and reports heavily dependent on water. There are no prior to the survey; and, in water stressed
do not carry data on water and related areas regular and periodic gender disaggregated communities, the percentage of women
disaggregated by gender to allow a trend regular reports on the use of water, spending time collecting water increased
analysis. The latest report of the Social sanitation, irrigation and related areas. signi cantly to up to 60 percent in rural
Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) Baluchistan and 40 percent in rural Sindh.
published in 2016 has some information on The situation in terms of rights and access Research shows that when access to
urban water but it is not disaggregated by to water and sanitation, is nothing better. drinking water services worsen, women,
gender . Although the number of households with not men, bear the higher time costs and
access to an improved water source has according to one study, households in

1 Kaplan R D, The Revenge of Geography, Random House, 2012, pp xiii.

2 Social Development in Pakistan, Annual Review 2014-15: The State of Social Development In Urban Pakistan, SPDC, 2016.
3 Human Development Report 2015, UNDP 2015,
6 Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, 2016, pp 284-285.
7 Pakistan Development Update-Making growth matter, The World Bank-IBRD.IDA, Nov 2016.

some rural communities could save as pro ts are expropriated by the 'system' or the agriculture sector.
much as 1,200 hours per year if water was by the men of their families. This state of
available within the home. Dicult access aairs aects how women can engage with Women's Status in Pakistan and
to water increases women's work load and water sectors, especially agriculture and their Rights and Roles in Water
reduces time that could be allocated to food production.
other productive activities. In particular, in
Pakistan, putting water sources closer to A large portion of the world's food output The Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Article
home has been associated with increased originates in the hands of women farmers 25 states as follows:
time allocated by women for market work. All citizens are equal before law and are
and women provide over half the agricul-
tural workforce (if we add home farming as entitled to protection of law
well). Homestead production, backyard There shall be no discrimination on the
Another World Bank study (which used
primary data collected especially for the production and kitchen gardening etc, basis of sex alone
study) delineated that if a once daily contributes to household food security by Nothing in this Article shall prevent the
frequency is assumed for women carrying providing direct access to food that can be State from making any special provision
water, it would mean that more than 200 harvested, prepared and consumed within for the protection of women and
hours a year were being spent in fetching living space. Women in Pakistan are not children
water. The gures for one village under only careful users of water but also the
study showed 1.73 hours spent in carrying custodians of this knowledge and practice. In spite of this, Pakistani women face many
water twice a day, totaling to a yearly water gender inequalities which often determine
collection time of 1,260 hours. If time spent Women in Pakistan also face discrimination their access to water and their participation
in waiting and lling water containers was in the way their labor is viewed and i n w a t e r r e l a t e d d e b a t e s , p o l i c y,
also added, that would mean a further 300- recorded. 74 percent of women in rural programmes and community-based
400 hours per year. If looked in a nutshell, areas are economically active, yet only initiatives. Many contradictions remain.
between 380-630 hours and up till 30-50 seven percent of women workers working
tonnes of water carrying eort was an 50 hours and more are recorded as 'full- While 19.7 percent of parliamentary seats
approximate number for the majority of time'. A full-time worker is de ned as one are held by women, only 19.3 percent of
villages. The study clearly illustrated that adult women have reached at least a
this load fell predominantly on women secondary level of education compared to
members of the households.
The percentage of 46.1 percent of men. For every 100,000 live
households with access to births, 170 women die from pregnancy
Many development sector programs refer tap water fell related causes and the adolescent birth rate
is 27.3 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-
to women as bene ciaries of water related
interventions, as half or close to half. For
34% 19. Women's participation in the labor
market is 24.6 percent compared to 82.9 for
example, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation
Fund (PPAF) estimates that of the 14.7
32% men.
million people availing its infrastructure
and water projec ts, 49 percent are
27% Because of the dominant view in Pakistan
that women's role in the water sector has to
women. Yet, the amount of women being
actively engaged in the water sphere, be it The percentage of do largely with domestic water, the core
through participating in the workforce or households with a ush issues of ownership and control access are
voicing out concerns, stands as a stark seldom in the forefront of research or
toilet has increased planning. The area of 'water rights' is very
reality. However, recent years have
witnessed an increase of women in water
advocacy, water NGOs, media and among
52% blurred in Pakistani law, and land owner-
ship is usually a proxy for access to, or,
water practitioners. entitlement to water. This means that other
than water for drinking, sanitation and
The toil of women, whether at home, at
work or in public is not seen a 'work', if non-
73% domestic needs, the only way to have water
entitlement, is by owing land.
remunerated. Women form an overwhelm-
ing part of the world's non-remunerated who does only agricultural work and thus, In the recent report of the World Economic
labor force, especially in agriculture, but most women fall into the part-time Forum on the Global Gender Gap 2016 ,
own a tiny part of the world's agricultural category as they do household work also. Pakistan scored worst in terms of access to
lands. Lack of property rights and tenure Therefore, there are probably more full- land use, control and ownership. Moreover,
i n s e c u r i t y re n d e r s wo m e n f a r m e r s time women agricultural workers than the Pakistan Demographic and Health
powerless. This is especially true of Pakistan, suggested by a recent survey on employ- Survey 2012-13 depicted that a higher
where land ownership is also a requirement ment trends. proportion of men than women in Pakistan
for right to water. own land. Only four percent of women own
In Pakistan, women in rural areas do 4.9 land either alone or jointly, as compared
Women have unequal rights, in some cases hours of unpaid care and domestic work with 31 percent of men. Given the
their human rights are severely violated. per day, compared to only 0.5 hours for interplay of formal and customary laws in
Pakistani women face discrimination and men. Only two out of every ten working age inheritance to the disadvantages of
violence across the board. There are huge women are in the labor force, compared to women, they have perfunctory ownership
constraints on women participating in seven out of every ten men, and three out of in a majority of cases with little control to
collective action groups. Their incomes and every four female workers are employed in buy or sell .

8 Pakistan Rural Household Survey 2001, World Bank.

9 Kamal S, Women and Water: Issues of Entitlement, Access and Equality, World Bank, 2005.
10 PPAF, Brochure Women at the Heart of our Work why inclusion matters, 2016.
11 For a review of women in the water sector, see Situational Analysis of Women Water Professionals in South Asia, SaciWaters, India, August 2009.
12 See Annual Report on Violence Against Women in Pakistan, Aurat Foundation, 2014.
13 Pakistan Employment Trends, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Division Ministry of Economic Aairs and Statistics Government of Pakistan, 2011.
14 Human Development in South Asia 2016: Empowering Women in South Asia, HDC and Mahbub ul Haq Research center, LUMS.
15 Human Development Report 2015, UNDP 2015,
16 Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, 2016, pp 284-285
17 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, USAID, National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS), Islamabad Pakistan, 2012-13.
18 Kamal S, Use of Water for Agriculture in Pakistan: Experiences and Challenges presented at conference on The Future of Water for Food, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, 2009.

claiming entitlements to water. For are key to improving water management
In 2011, a study from Aurat Foundation's example, women's use of common and have developed Women and Water
USAID-funded Gender Equity Program property resources has been crucial in Networks across Pakistan, as well as other
(GEP) found that while Pakistan's agricul- maintaining household water and food programs to support women farmers and
tural policies appear to encourage the security, but gender disparities distort home-based agriculture. Rural support
inclusion of women in the sector, they do access to land and water. Existing social and and poverty alleviation programs have
not recognize them as registered farmers. cultural biases, inequitable inheritance e n s u re d wo m e n ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n a s
According to a land tenure and property laws and the inadequacies of legal bene ciaries and active partners in water-
rights pro le on Pakistan, In general, there structures further limit ownership and related infrastructure development.
is little acceptance under customary and control by women.
religious law for women's ability to control
Conclusions and Way Forward
a n d m a n a g e l a n d . Th e co u nt r y ' s While water is crucial to Pakistan, the nexus
agricultural policies promote cash crop The importance of empowering women
of women and water is largely seen in terms
farming for export, with support to farmers across the board and mainstreaming
of romantic depiction and some attempts
who hold more than ve acres of land. women in the management and gover-
have been made at addressing women's
Because the majority of Pakistani women nance of water, has been recognized at the
practical needs through domestic water
fall outside of this category, they are not global level since the 1980s. Pakistan is a
management and small scale water
recognized or registered as farmers. In signatory to the relevant declarations and
projects. They remain largely invisible in
addition, the agricultural census does not commitments. The global commitments
water institutions, water policies, strategies,
consider women as full-time agricultural covering water do not speci cally address
programs and conservation initiatives. As
workers, because they also work at home. the issues of equitable division of power,
Pakistan faces a bleak future in terms of work, access to, or ownership of, environ-
This means that all the work of women in water availability, high population growth
growing food in and around their homes is mental entitlements (including water)
rates and the depletion and pollution of its between men and women. Combining the
not recognized as 'agriculture' and water bodies and systems, women are
therefore neither remunerated nor valued. gender equity and equality commitments
generally not recognized as an especially with water-related goals can, however, give
vulnerable group in terms of impacts, nor as a solid boost to gender mainstreaming in
The Tenth Five Year Perspective Plan (2010- a legitimate group to engage in the eorts the water sector in Pakistan and ensure that
15) speaks of a focus on women under rural to ward o the impending water-related the speci c needs and concerns of, and
development strategies. It states special crises. They are not recognized as a party to impact on, men and women from dierent
emphasis accorded to women as playing a the current debate in the country on dams, social and economic groups, are identi ed
vital role in agriculture, and of incentives to water infrastructure, water distribution, and addressed. The new Sustainable
be provided to women (i.e. provision of irrigation, agriculture and competing Development Goals have the potential to
land for landless, soft loans for purchase of demands for use of water. Given that the combine and build synergies to put women
equipment, seeds, fertilizer etc). However, water sector is considered outside the squarely in the middle of water develop-
there has yet to be an assessment to see if purview of women as such, there are few ment, conservation and management.
these incentives were ever provided and women in Pakistan who have become
what the results were. prominent in this area as visionaries, While there is no one-size- ts-all solution,
scientists, planners, managers, technicians, the emerging technologies and credit lines
A review of research studies on water in researchers and professionals. in the water sector can be made more
Pakistan has shown that very few actually
suitable to women's needs and emerging
attempt a gender analysis or speak of Women water engineers and water agricultural value chains can break down
gender impacts. Gender-disaggregated professionals face the 'glass ceiling', beyond traditional gender divisions of labor. We can
data is very rarely available or is very which, their careers and professional design interventions in water supply,
rudimentary, if available. The regular advancement opportunities are closed to irrigation, agriculture and municipal
demographic and statistical reports have them. The 'feminization of poverty' is a sectors that explicitly target women and
little reference to the water sector in depth, reality in Pakistan and visible in both urban get the 'buy-in' of men in these interven-
or refer only to drinking water and and rural areas. tions, so they do not block the advance-
sanitation (but not disaggregated by
ment of women. There is need to promote
gender). Given that in Pakistan land ownership is a collective action among women and
proxy for water rights; and few women own cultivate women's orientation to income,
Women's Entitlement and Access to agricultural lands, they have limited say in rather than subsistence only, that is, to
Water how water is distributed. So the bene ts of move from kitchen gardening to produc-
The poor in Pakistan are concentrated in irrigation infrastructure and rehabilitation, tive agriculture-and protect women's
environmentally fragile ecological zones, funded by the government, have directly control over their economic gains. Such a
where they face oods, droughts and enriched male landowners. Land values shift will require the recruitment and
dierent kinds of environmental have increased about 30 percent in the past training of more women as ser vice
degradation, including polluted water decade and these male landowners are providers, professionals and experts.
bodies and fast-depleting water sources. likely to continue to receive the lion's share
Some serious analytical work has been of the bene ts of low water charges and And nally, Pakistan must accept explicitly
done on the idea of 'entitlements', and the infrastructure improvement. that it must invest in women as drivers of
linkages between poverty and environ- water management and conservation,
ment, including water. This work shows In spite of these diculties, there have been agricultural growth and food security.
clearly how women are consistently more some good practices and examples in
disadvantaged than men, when it comes to Pakistan. Some NGOs believe that women

19 USAID. 2010. USAID Country Pro le: Property Rights & Resource Governance. Pakistan. Available at les/country-pro les/full-
reports/USAID Land Tenure Pakistan Pro le 0.pdf (page 8)
20 Ibid. Page 10.
21 The Tenth Five Year Perspective Plan-Investing in People, 2010-15, Planning Commission GoP, Islamabad, pp 87.
22 Ibid, pp 89.
23 For example, the Pakistan Labour Survey, Pakistan Economic Survey, Household Integrated Economic Survey and Agricultural Census.
24 Kamal S, Use of Water for Agriculture in Pakistan: Experiences and Challenges presented at conference on The Future of Water for Food, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, 2009.
25 Proceedings of the International Water Conference on Securing Sustainable Water for All 2015, organized by Hisaar Foundation, 17th and 18th November 2015.
26 These include Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, national and provincial rural support programs.

Impacts of Climate Change on
Water Resources of Pakistan

combat the impact of climate change, new the capacity to eliminate the entire world's
targets appear to be developed including glacier mass. Even the least damaging
ensuring that developing countries receive scenario whereby the temperature increase
an annual allocation of USD 100 billion until is at 1C accompanied by increase in rainfall
2020 in order to aid them in mitigating the and snow, glaciers would continue to
impacts of climate change. retreat over the 21st century. The Hindu
Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya (HKH) glaciers
It has been documented that climate are particularly vulnerable to climate
change has direct impacts on the drivers of change indicators. This ice-bound water
the economy including agricultural may result in the danger of Glacial Lake
outputs and worker productivity. In a O utburst Floods (GLOF) and cause
recent scienti c study, researchers found unpredictable in ows to rivers supporting
that by the year 2100, unmitigated climate one third of the worlds population in the
change could reduce the global Gross downstream. Resulting from increased
Dr. Saeed A. Asad Domestic Product (GDP) by 23 percent. For glacial melts, sea level is projected to
South East Asia, where the economies rely increase at 0.2-0.4 mm annually during the
Assistant Professor heavily on agr iculture and natural current century thereby mounting a
Centre for Climate Research and resources, the impact of global warming is challenge of erosion, salt water intrusion in
Development (CCRD), expected to be worse. Climate change, to fresh water aquifers and compromised
COMSATS Institute of Information
Technology, Islamabad.
therefore, would be a ver y serious water security for millions of people, as well
challenge hindering sustainable develop- as biodiversity in the coastal habitats.
Global Scenario ment and poverty eradication goals in the
It has been scienti cally proven that climate region. Mitigation measures for climate National Scenario
change is aecting every country in the change are imperative to achieve various According to the Global Climate Risk Index
world, impacting both natural and man- SDGs including those for sustainable (2016) Pakistan ranks 8th (high risk) in terms
made systems. Climate change indicators economic growth, poverty and inequality. of its vulnerability to climate change. This
have accelerated the melting of polar ice vulnerability to climate risks has amply
shields resulting in a gradual rise in sea The global temperature is projected to been demonstrated in recent years by
levels. Some regions are facing extreme continue rising dramatically if no policy severe drought (1999-2002), and oods,
weather events such as unprecedented interventions are made to limit the Global including the very devastating one in 2010
rainfalls, while others are experiencing heat Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. With which aected 20 percent of Pakistan's
waves and droughts. The current changing rising temperatures, resulting in acceler- population. The country's economic
climate scenario presents a high risk to the ated glacier melting and consequently structure is predominantly dependent
achievement of water and food security. increase in sea levels and the frequency of upon the agricultural sector, which
This is especially true for developing oods, millions of people are put at risk, contributes approximately 22 percent of
countries, who, owing to their limited particularly those residing in coastal and the national GDP along with being an
adaptive capacities, are more vulnerable to low-lying areas. Although melting glaciers important source of livelihood to 67
the risks posed by climate change. has been an occurrence since the end of the percent of the rural population. Climatic
According to UNDP, an annual investment ice age, however, the past few decades have parameters like increase in temperature,
of USD six billion is required for disaster risk witnessed an increase in the melting of rainfall intensi cation, frequent episodes of
management of natural disasters such as these fresh water reservoirs-70 percent of drought and oods, and heat and cool
ooding, tsunamis and earthquakes. With the world's freshwater is frozen in glaciers- waves etc. all render the agro-based
the worldwide adoption of the Sustainable at rates that cannot be explained by economy of Pakistan more vulnerable.
Development Goals (SDGs), whereby Goal historical data. Empirical simulations
13 deals speci cally with taking action to project that a temperature rise of 4C has Climate change is expected to amplify

1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2014). Climate Change 2014Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Regional Aspects. Cambridge University Press.
2 UNDP, Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 13 Climate Action. Available at:
3 UN. (2015), Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Available at:
4 Hsiang, S. M., Burke, M. & Miguel, E. Global non-linear eect of temperature on economic production. Nature 527, 15725 (2015).
5 IPCC, 2014: Summary for policymakers in Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to
the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
6 World Wide fund for Nature (WWF), Climate Change: Glaciers. Available at change/glaciers
7 Kreft S., Eckstein D., Dorsch L. & Fischer L., Global Climate Risk Index (2016). German watch, Munich ReNatCatService. Available at
8 Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Annual Report 2011: Building Resilience to Disasters-Delivering Results. Available at

water stresses in Pakistan. A growing threat the country's eorts to increase its water, precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin and a
of GLOF, increased glacier melting because energy and food security has been decline in the lower portion of the Basin.
of rising temperatures, seawater intrusion, acknowledged by the Government of
intense and unpredictable rainfall and Pakistan. Glaciers respond quickly to changes in their
changes in monsoon are just some of the surrounding climate by gaining or losing
ways in which climate change is expected Projected Changes in the Climate mass in the form of snow and ice, and
to aect Pakistan's hydrologic resources. and Indus Basin hence, are extremely susceptible to climatic
Any climate change triggered events The Indus Basin receives its water ows variations. According to empirical
accelerating/decelerating the snow and ice from rainfall, snow and glacier melting. evidences, glaciers of the HKH region are
melts in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram- Changes in the climatological parameters rapidly losing mass and strongly retreating.
Himalaya (HKH) mountains have the will have an impact on the distribution and However, several studies in recent years

Figure 1: Water demand scenarios in Pakistan

194.69 199.75 197.83
186.8 183.19 189.92
200.00 180.41 175.8 172.8 178.69




2015 2030 2050 2030 2050 2030 2050 2030 2050 2030 2050

moderate Business as
Strong demand usual scenario
Business as demand Climate change
management with exceeded
usual scenario management scenario
scenario extrapolation

Industry 2.30 2.65 2.73 2.65 2.73 2.65 2.73 4.70 5.80 2.65 2.73
Municipalities 5.11 7.15 9.96 7.15 9.96 7.15 9.96 8.22 11.45 7.58 10.66
Agriculture 173.00 177.00 182.00 166.00 170.50 163.00 166.000 177.00 182.50 187.60 206.20
Total 180.41 186.8 194.69 175.8 183.19 172.8 178.69 189.92 199.75 197.83 219.59

Agriculture Municipalities Industry

potential to cause serious repercussions on timing of precipitation (rainfall and have also repor ted the 'K arakoram
water ows in the Indus Basin. This would snowfall) and on the melting of snow and anomaly' of expanding or neutral glaciers
ultimately have implications for all sectors ice. The impact of climatic changes in the in the Karakoram region. Such paradoxical
of economy especially agriculture, given period leading up to the year 2050 is more trends within the same glacial region
that 90 percent of the total agricultural likely to be re ected in changes in the support the hypothesis that changes are
produce depends on the Indus Basin timing of peak ows and increased more likely to be controlled by local
Irrigation System. Along with these risks, variability in ow levels, primarily due to dynamics than by regional or global
m a n a gi n g gro u n d wate r re s o u rce s greater unpredictability in the rainfall trends.
continues to be a major challenge in the (monsoon) regime. Precipitation levels in
I n d u s B a s i n . Th e m o n s o o n s e a s o n , the Indus Basin will increase during the In uenced by climate change indicators,
especially, swells up waterlogging and summer period (June to August) over its accelerated glacier melting resulting in sea
salinity when tube wells tap in to brackish upper, central-eastern and southern level rise is a major threat to coastal habitats
ground water. These risks amplify an regions and hence the ows. Certain and mangrove forest ecosystems globally.
already problematic situation given that regions over the Indus Basin have a According to the Intergovernmental Panel
Pakistan is amongst the most water- predicted increase of 10-25 percent on Climate Change (IPCC, 2013), frequency
stressed nations in the world. Per capita precipitation between 2021 and 2050, and severity of extreme weather events
access to surface and groundwater sources compared with the baseline period of 1961 have been predicted to surge globally.
is expected to continue to decline in the to 1990. Temperatures in the Indus Basin Prolonged ooding and intrusion of sea
decades ahead, driven largely by demo- will continue to rise in the coming decades- water may cause plant death or alter
graphic changes and urbanization. The in both summer and winter-and there is a species composition thus hindering
potential for climate change to jeopardize possibility of an increase in mean annual mangroves productivity. As per recent

9 Qureshi, A. S. (2011). Water management in the Indus basin in Pakistan: Challenges and opportunities. Mountain Research and Development, 31(3), 252260.
10 Government of Pakistan (2012). National Climate Change Policy. Islamabad: Ministry of Climate Change.
11 Shrestha et al. (2015). The Himalayan Climate and Water Atlas: Impact of Climate change on water resources in ve of Asia's major river Basins. ICIMOD, GRID-Arendal and
CICERO, Kathmandu, Nepal.
12 Ibid
13 The Karakoram anomaly refers to the observation that glaciers in the Karakoram Mountain range have either remained stable or even increased in size in contrast to glaciers in
the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountain ranges, as well as other glaciers worldwide, which have receded in recent decades due to climate change.
14 Singh et al. (2011). Climate change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas: the state of current knowledge. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

recorded increases of 3.2 mm/year in sea energy production and public health. For projected change in peak run-o and
level, coastal ooding appears a major instance, the likely consequences on increasing temperatures could lead to
possibility with sea level projections agriculture could be less water availability, con icting water demands between
showing a rise by 0.98 mm by the year shifts in cropping patterns and crop dierent users. It is therefore imperative
2100. Frequency of Atlantic hurricanes rotations accompanied by signi cant yield that the resulting growing trade-os
may double up, as a direct result of human reductions of Pakistan's main cash crops- between other water users and energy
induced climate change triggered extreme wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize. generation are considered and changes in
La Nia events , however, storm formation Pakistan's expanding thermal power water allocation rules are carefully
and length would be spatially variable. production is highly dependent on water assessed.
Mangrove position in relation to storm and sensitive to temperature increases.
track and wind velocity would play a critical Projected increases in air temperatures may Described as climate change 'hot-spots', the
role in determining the vulnerability of aect thermal power plants by decreasing river basins of South Asia experience
these Rhizophora. Rainfall patterns and the eciency of the thermal conversion regular occurrences of extreme weather
rising temperatures, among other climate process, resulting in a loss of production or events, which are projected to occur more
change indicators, would in uence electrical output. Similarly, for gas frequently and with greater magnitude
mangrove distribution, extent, growth rate, turbines, a rise of 5.5C in ambient air expected to cause dire economic, social
species composition, phenology and temperature may reduce output by and environmental consequences. The
productivity. In Pakistan, the mangroves approximately three to four percent. Such National Climate Change policy has failed
loss is momentous, where expanding conditions may fuel the competition for to address the implications of climate
erosion and sea water trespassing has increased water resources in order to meet change on critical sectors such as water,
resulted in the extinction of numerous the growing needs of these installations. and issues like widening gaps between the
mangrove species. Due to a rise in sea Hydroelectric power installations may also supply and demand of water. It is impera-
levels, erosion is approximately 61 be aected by greater variability in water tive to integrate such climate change
meters/year totaling a loss of 0.1 million ows. A greater risk of negative health measures whilst planning national
hectares of fertile land to erosion, coupled outcomes due to poor water quality is also a strategies and policies, so as to have
with approximately 75 percent of a loss of likely outcome, as the increase in heavy preparedness measures for climate related
Pakistan's mangroves in the last three rainfall events, oods and droughts is calamities. Capacity building for mitigation
decades. The erosion and intrusion directly proportional to the increase in and adaptation in climate changes,
continue to escalate with every mm rise in climatic variations. awareness raising and technological
sea level, shrinking mangrove ecosystems advancements for early warning systems
and exposing the country and coastal areas Increased Water Demand In uenced and impact reductions would simply be a
to tropical cyclones like Yemyin (2007) and by Climate Change dream without giving thoughtful consider-
Phet (2010). Climate change, inecient use of water for ations to climate change at policy and
irrigation, and resultantly, groundwater research levels. Unfortunately, all these
Climate change is projected to intensify the overexploitation limits the country's water repercussions would jeopardize the
risks to already vulnerable coastal security. During the last two decades, country's ability to attain the sustainable
communities globally. This is true especially demand has increased by eight percent for per capita economic growth and meet the
for developing countries who possess cropping only. Whilst the supply might not target of minimum seven percent GDP
limited resilience and adaptive capacities to have serious impacts, however, the annual growth by 2030, as de ned under
coastal oods. By 2030, an approximate 46 demand will increase signi cantly under the SDGs.
percent of the global population will be dierent scenarios (Figure 1). Climatic
abiding within a 100 km radius from the variations may increase cumulative water Thus, there is a growing need to increase
coast, almost twice the present distance. demand by up to 13 percent by 2050, for all capacity in Pakistan to anticipate and
Currently, coastal ooding impacts a economic sectors. These increases in water minimize the impact of climate change on
population of nearly 10 million, a gure demand are triggered by higher tempera- water resources by:
expected to rise up to 50 million by the end tures particularly in the plain areas of the Deepening knowledge and action on
of the 21st century. Consequently, coastal country. The immediate threat posed by water demand and ways in which to
communities will also be victim to various climate change to Pakistan's water sector promote more ecient water use;
socio-economic rami cations including therefore, is on the demand side rather than Strengthening research capacity in
land loss, outbursts of marine-related availability. Any change in water ows or climate change adaptation; and,
infectious diseases, infrastructure and loss ever increasing demand of water triggered Taking concrete measures to incorpo-
of biodiversity rich coastal habitats. by climate change could have serious rate these adaptation mechanisms at
Although dierent regions will encounter repercussions on the country's economy. the policy level, a notion currently being
dierent level of impacts, however, the Per capita economic growth is already at suggested as the main impetus behind
economic vulnerability of delta cities is low to medium scale and its sustainability the country's future line of action in the
imminent under the current scenarios of would be hard to achieve unless serious water sector.
climate change. attempts are made. As far as hydropower
production is concerned, given that An amalgamation of multiple elements
The impacts of climate change on water changes in water ow patterns in the Indus including technical advancements and
sources will have consequences for other River Basin will not necessarily result in any social considerations is required in order to
sectors as well, including agriculture, implications for large hydro projects, a combat the far reaching impacts of climate

15 Church, J.A., P.U. Clark, A. Cazenave, J.M. Gregory, S. Jevrejeva, A. Levermann, M.A. Merri eld, G.A. Milne, R.S. Nerem, P.D. Nunn, A.J. Payne, W.T. Pfeer, D. Stammer and A.S.
Unnikrishnan, 2013: Sea Level Change. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
16 Cai et al. (2015). Increasing frequency of extreme El Nio events due to greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change 4:111116.
17 Rhizophora is a genus of tropical mangrove trees, sometimes collectively called true mangroves.
18 Gilman et al. (2008). Threats to mangroves from climate change and adaptation options: a review. Aquatic Botany 89:237250.
19 Ibid.
20 Makky, M. and Kalash, H. (2013). Potential Risks of Climate Change on Thermal Power Plants. Available at
21 Asian Development Bank (ADB). (2012). Climate Risk and Adaptation in the Electric Power Sector. Available at

change. First, an integrated water resources Moreover, a coherent national water policy the post-secondary level to build capacity
management approach encompassing with due consideration to climate change to undertake research and action to reduce
both surface and ground water, is the need should be nalized at the earliest. Only vulnerability to climate change impacts,
of the hour. Second, thorough studies at integrated planning is not sucient and accompanied by an increasing role of
provincial levels incorporating vulnerabil- the planning trajectory of top-down while government in the promotion of water
ity assessments, need to be carried out to neglecting local concerns, has often demand reduction strategies. Finally,
fully understand how climate change will yielded non-satisfactory results in the past. increased focus on the implications of
aect their water resources and the Now is the time to strategically connect growing water demand and the impacts of
associated socioeconomic consequences local NGOs and national action plans, with climate change in energy planning is of
of these changes, as well as identify priority neighboring NGOs and governments. paramount importance.
climate risk management strategies. Third,
fostering the development of a climate Last but not the least, Pakistan's climate
change community of practice in Pakistan change and water polic y needs to
is highly recommended. strengthen climate change education at

UNDP Pakistan

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH):
A case study on Pakistan

euents and indiscriminate applications of country. Provincial level comparisons

agrochemicals in agriculture, are the main delineate that the number of households
factors contributing to the deterioration of using tap water as the main source of
water quality. Microbial and chemical drinking water is highest in Sindh (41
pollutants are the main factors responsible percent) followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
exclusively or in combination for various (KP) (35 percent), Baluchistan (33 percent)
public health problems. and nally Punjab (18 percent). I n
Islamabad, only 20 percent households are
Safe water remains a key challenge as with using tap water as the main source of
the majority of the water available in the drinking water.
country, less than 20 percent is safe for
drinking. 16 million people in Pakistan Threats to drinking water quality include
have no choice but to collect unsafe water unsafe handling and storage in households:
from unsafe sources and it is ranked in the water drawn from safe sources may be
Mian Muhammad Junaid top 10 countries (Table 1) with the greatest contaminated by the time it reaches and is
number of people living without access to ultimately consumed by households. In
Manager Basic Services safe water. Three million people suer from some areas of the country, the availability of
UN-HABITAT Pakistan water borne diseases every year , and water is scarce. Poor governance, environ-
Pakistan is among the ve countries that mental degradation, over-extraction and
have the highest rate of diarrheal deaths. climate change are further diminishing
Current Situation
Water related issues Table 1: Top 10 countries without access to safe water
Pakistan is culturally and linguistically
diverse, with an equally varied set of Country Population
political viewpoints and cultural mores. The
India 75.778 Million
country depends heavily on annual glacier
melts and monsoon rains. Water from these China 63.167 Million
sources ows down the rivers and out to the
sea. En route, there are seepages into the Nigeria 57.757 Million
ground, where water-bearing rocks or
aquifers absorb and store this water. Most Ethopia 42.251 Million
parts of the country receive scarce rainfall
and have little or no access to surface water. Domestic Republic of Congo 33.906 Million
According to a report published by the Indonesia 32.286 Million
Asian Development Bank, the country's
storage capacity is limited to a 30 day United Republic of Tanzania 23.239 Million
supply currently, which is well below the
recommended 1,000 days for countries Bangladesh 21.088 Million
with a similar climate scenario as Pakistan.
Water pollution is one of the major threats Kenya 17.206 Million
to public health in Pakistan. Drinking water
Pakistan 08.6 Million
quality is poorly managed and monitored.
Drinking water sources, both surface and
groundwater, are contaminated with According to the Pakistan Social and Living already scarce freshwater resources.
coliforms, toxic metals and pesticides Standards (PSLM) survey 2014-15, a Improvement of drinking water quality,
throughout the country. Various drinking national shift has been observed from tap such as point-of-use disinfection, can lead
water quality parameters set by the World water to motorized pumping in the last few to a 45 percent reduction of diarrhea
Health Organization (WHO) are frequently years. The use of hand pumps has episodes .
violated. Human activities like improper decreased, however, tap water is still the
disposal of municipal and industrial main source of drinking water in the Over the years, Pakistan has developed

1 Pakistan council of research Water quality status in Rural Areas of Pakistan (2010). Available at ttp://
2 Wateraid, Water at what cost? The state of World's water 2016. Available at
3 PRI Million sick due to lack of water in Pakistan. available at
4 Pakistan Social and Living Standards Survey 2014. Available at les//pslm/publications/PSLM_2014-15_National-Provincial-
5 Center of Disease control and prevention. Global WaSH facts. Available at]

comparisons of 2014-15 results delineate
Figure 1: Water demand scenarios in Pakistan that Punjab has the highest percentage of
households reporting no toilets (16
Main sources of drinking water in the country (PSLM) percent), followed by Baluchistan (13
40 percent), KP (12 percent), and nally Sindh
(7 percent).

30 Pakistan is one of the only two countries in

the world (other being Afghanistan) which
25 has failed to stop transmission of polio and
there are still substantial challenges to
overcome before the prospect of a polio-
15 free future for the children of this country
becomes a reality. As long as a single child
remains infected with poliovirus, children
5 in all countries are at risk of contracting the
disease. In areas with poor sanitation, the
poliovirus virus easily spreads from feces
Tap Water Hand Pump Motor Pump Dug Well Others into the water supply, or, by touch, into
food. In 2015, Pakistan recorded 82 percent
2010-11 2012-13 2014-15
fewer cases as compared to 2014. The
number of children paralyzed by polio at
policies of Water and Sanitation, however, out vital segments of urban society in terms the end of June 2016 has been reduced by
policy formulation has lacked consistent of service delivery and also lead to poor 60 percent over a year. However, the virus
review and eective implementation. The resource identi cation. remains active in three core reservoir
proportion of the budget for WaSH as zones-the Khyber-Peshawar corridor,
compared to other social sectors, is Almost half of the country inhabitants live Karachi and the Quetta block, as well as
dismally low at 0.2 percent of the GDP. In below the poverty line (earning less than areas outside of the core reservoirs zones
addition to this, the allocated funds are USD 2 per day) and almost 21 percent of the like northern Sindh and Bannu district in
either not eciently utilized or remain total population is classi ed as extremely KP.
unspent. Strong coordination between poor (earning USD 1.25 per day). They
dierent WaSH sector partners in the bear the brunt of WaSH deprivation as only At present, 91 percent of Pakistanis have
country is inevitable to help recognize 13 percent of the poorest have access to access to improved water, and 64 percent to
clean water and sanitation as a basic human improved sanitation as compared to 80 improved sanitation. This is built on
right in the constitution of Pakistan. percent amongst the richest. Open encouraging examples of community-led
defecation is when people go out in elds, sanitation services by adopting the
Sanitation related issues forests, open bodies of water, or other open Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation
Pakistan's population is expected to reach spaces rather than using a toilet. It is (PATS) leading to a large number of
230 million (presently at 190 million) by incredibly dangerous, as contact with communities attaining status of open
2030, with its urban population increasing human waste can cause diseases such as defecation free (ODF). Currently, there is a
from 38.3 percent (2014) to 46.6 percent, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, diarrhea, dearth of new or improved WaSH technol-
with about 17 cities containing inhabitants worm infestation and under nutrition. An ogy options in both rural and urban realms.
exceeding one million. In urban areas, estimated 25 million people defecate in the However, there is an opportunity to bridge
providing sanitation for all is a notoriously open with variations between urban and this gap by bringing in national and
complex challenge, especially when trying rural areas: 21 percent in rural and one regional best practices on aordable
to nd alternatives to expensive sewerage percent in urban. The country is ranked technologies. A number of academic and
systems. Fecal sludge management (FSM) is ninth in the top ten countries with most research institutions exhibit research
gaining more attention as a crucial link in people defecating in the open which is 32 capacity, but lack the focus to generate
delivering on-site sanitation because both people per square km, whereas ranked practical WaSH technologies. This is a great
its collection, through pit emptying and its fourth in the top ten countries with the opportunity to link academic and research
treatment, are usually expensive, neglected most improvement in access to sanitation institutions with the private sector.
and poorly developed. Data gap in the between 1990 and 2015.
urban sector in Pakistan is one of the key Hygiene related issues
limitations for sustainable urbanization and Overall, there were only 13 percent In Pakistan, every year 39,000 children
it compels planners and decision makers to households in 2014-15 that did not have under the age of ve die due to diarrhea,
take decisions based on estimates or even sanitation facilities as compared to 15 out of which 88 percent is attributed to
guesswork. Without sucient knowledge percent in 2012-13. This varies greatly unsafe water supply, inadequate sanitation
of the demographic, economic, cultural, between urban and rural areas; one percent and hygiene. Education and communica-
physical and environmental dynamics of of urban households have reported no tion are impor tant components of
Pakistan's cities, urban WaSH solutions sanitation facility as compared to 21 promoting hygiene, however education
designed by city authorities tend to leave percent of rural households. Provincial level alone does not necessarily result in

6 World Health Organization Glass 2014. Available at]

7 Government of Pakistan Poverty safety social net survey (2014-15). Available at http://
8 UNICEF Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water updates (2015) Available at
9 World health organization and United Nations Children Fund 2015 25 years of progress on Sanitation and Drinking water 2015 update and MDG assessment, Joint
Monitoring programme for Water supply and Sanitation
10 WaterAid, 'It's no joke. State of the world toilets 2015'. Available at
11 UNICEF Pakistan. Available at
12 World Health Organization Glass 2014. Available at
13 World Health Organization Global Health Observation Data. Available at

improved practices. An estimated 46 WaSH and Health The Ministry of Education is the lead agency
percent of the population does not have a Water, sanitation and hygiene are funda- for the implementation of WaSH in schools
handwashing facility at home with soap mental to health. Despite progress on child programming. One out of every three
and water. 57 percent households in mortality, infectious diseases still pose the schools has no drinking water. Several
urban and only six percent households in largest threat to the health of young studies conducted in Pakistan re ect the
rural areas have a garbage collection children. An infection such as diarrhea is the lack of access to facilities required by
system. Promoting behavioral change is a third biggest killer of children under ve adolescent school going girls to maintain
gradual process that involves working and almost 90 percent of cases of diarrhea menstrual hygiene. These include the lack
closely with communities, studying are caused by poor WaSH. 50 percent of of private and clean toilets with sucient
existing beliefs, de ning motivation under-nutrition is due to a lack of WaSH, water and soap, and free or subsidized
strategies, designing appropriate commu- and under-nutrition is an underlying risk sanitary napkins or any mechanism for
nication tools and nally, encouraging factor for around 30 percent of under- ve providing awareness on appropriate
practical steps towards positive practices. deaths. Repeated episodes of diarrhea can menstrual hygiene management (MHM)
Research shows that regular handwashing make under-nourished children predis- practices.
with soap can reduce the number of posed to pneumonia. A lack of hygiene
incidents of diarrhea, a disease which can and sanitation and the associated diarrhea WaSH and Gender
be deadly for children, by around 50 also contributes to stunting and inhibited A lack of access to WaSH aects women and
percent. cognitive development in millions of girls disproportionally, due to biological
children worldwide. Globally, 2.5 billion and cultural factors. Women are often
Eorts are needed to develop strategies people still lack access to sanitation, vulnerable to harassment or violence when
and tools to encourage handwashing causing water sources, homes and they have to travel long distances to fetch
promotion by community health and surrounding environments to become water, use shared toilets, or practice open
outreach workers and work with schools to contaminated and contributing to poor defecation. Women and girls often wait
empower children as hygiene ambassadors health and non-preventable child deaths. until nightfall to defecate, which increases
and agents of change within their families the risk of assault. Many choose to 'hold it'
and communities. One of the biggest WaSH and Education or limit their consumption of food and drink
challenges to ending open defecation is Ful lling every child's right to water, to delay the need to relieve themselves,
not just providing clean and safe toilets, but sanitation and hygiene education remains which can increase the chance of urinary
changing the behavior of entire communi- a major challenge for policymakers, school tract infections. The shame and indignity of
ties. A large part of the WaSH sector administrators and communities in many defecating in the open also aects women's
working on ending open defecation should countries. Each year, children lose millions self-esteem.
focus on generating awareness, sharing of school days because of water related
information and spurring behavior change illnesses, of which majority are lost due to Lack of access to WaSH at home and school
in an eort to bridge the gap between diarrhea alone. More than 40 percent of has a negative impact on children's
building toilets and their proper use. diarrhea cases in schoolchildren result from education, particularly for girls. Opportuni-
transmission in schools rather than ties for learning are lost when children have
Linkages of WaSH with other homes. Improving WaSH conditions in to spend time collecting water or nding a
schools can also help to prevent worm safe place to defecate or urinate in the
infestations, of which 100 percent of annual open; this is especially a problem for girls
WaSH and Climate Change cases globally can be attributed to poor due to their additional burden of MHM. A
Glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to sanitation and hygiene. By integrating cost- lack of access to drinking water and toilets
increase ooding which will aect water eective and sustainable WaSH solutions during the school day aects the learning
resources within the next two to three with education programs, dramatic environment for both students and
decades. Endemic morbidity and mortality decrease in child morbidity can be teachers. Adolescent girls in particular are
due to diseases primarily associated with achieved while improving access to and disinclined to use school toilets that are
oods and droughts are expected to rise. eectiveness of education. Cost-eective, dirty or lack privacy, especially when they
Increases in coastal water temperatures scalable and context-relevant interven- are menstruating, and this aects their
would exacerbate the abundance of tions, handwashing with soap and attendance.
cholera. The impact of climate change will integrating hygiene education into
also aggravate the existing social inequali- curricula are key elements to improving With improved access to WaSH, women
ties of resource use and intensify social WaSH in Schools. have more time to undertake income
factors leading to instability, con icts, generating activities. WaSH programmes
displacement of people and changes in In Pakistan, there is neither a National Plan also provide women with the water needed
migration patterns. of Action for WaSH in Schools, nor a national to carry out economic activities and can
budget allocation in schools programming. create opportunities for paid work. Easier

14 World health organization and United Nations Children Fund 2015 25 years of progress on Sanitation and Drinking water 2015 update and MDG assessment, Joint Monitoring
programme for Water supply and Sanitation
15 Country paper on sanitation, Pakistan. South Asian Conference on Sanitation VI. 2016
16 Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) 2012
17 World Health Organization (2008) Safer water, better health: Costs, bene ts and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. Available at:
18 World Health Organization (2008) Safer water, better health: Costs, bene ts and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. Available at:
19 World Health Organization (2012) Children: Reducing mortality. Fact sheet 178. Available at:
20 Schlaudecker E P, Steinho M C and Moore S R (2011) Interactions of diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition in childhood: Recent evidence from developing countries. Current
Opinion in Infectious Disease, vol 24, no 5, pp 496-502
21 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) (2013) Progress on drinking water and sanitation, 2013 update. Available at: leadmin/user_upload/resources/JMPreport2013.pdf
22 WHO/UNICEF (2010). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Retrieved []
23 Alif Ailaan regional factsheets 2014. Available at
24 WaterAid post 2015 toolkit. Available at

access to water can, for example, enable a
woman to water a k itchen garden,
improving her family's food security and
providing an opportunity to earn money by
selling the surplus. Women's involvement
in decision-making about water resources
and in WaSH programmes is critical to their
empowerment, but it is important that they
are not overburdened with additional
unpaid work on top of their existing
responsibilities. In general, WaSH is
essential for the social and economic
development of women, contributing
towards gender equality and the realization
of their rights.

Way forward
There is a need to develop and promote
both physical and approach based
models to deliver WaSH services,
especially for most vulnerable
communities of Pakistan.
Promote sustainable technological
assistance to the government to make
their programmes inclusive and more
sustainable and strengthen institu-
tional capabilities for delivering
inclusive WaSH services eectively and
Launch campaigns with collaborative
eorts on Hygiene behaviors, engaging
all relevant stakeholders, culminating
into a moment for change in social
norms on WaSH behaviors.
Promote wider understanding between
stakeholders, highlighting roles and
responsibilities that pave the way
towards sectoral reforms and more
eective delivery, targeting the poor
and marginalized.
Collaboration with counterparts from
other social sectors, par ticularly
education, health, nutrition and gender,
to demonstrate the bene ts of joint
working approaches and collaboration.
Undertake joint sectoral reviews and
provide evidence and sector blockages
and opportunities for better coordina-
tion. Support sector coordination to
encourage partners to undertake joint
p l a n n i n g, r e v i e w, l e a r n i n g a n d
High impact advocacy champions at
senior levels of government and
political leadership supported by
evidence based knowledge materials
and technical backstopping towards
WaSH r ights legislation and for
development, as well as scal
prioritization. UNDP Pakistan

say that again
...We need to educate the users and
public, the farmers, and other consumers
on what are better ways to utilize this
limited resource.

Former Chairman
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

Is there sufficient awareness, especially among key policy However, the major problem that continues to exist is the extreme
makers, regarding the impending water crisis in Pakistan and its variability of river flows season-wise; 84 percent of flows in summer
repercussions on the social and economic landscape? What and only 16 percent in winter. With a Kharif to Rabi ratio of 2 to 1, our
should be done to enhance awareness and increase commit- seasonal needs are about 66 percent in summer and 34 percent in
ment of policy makers in this important issue? winter, showing surpluses of 18 percent in summer and shortages of
18 percent in winter. The surpluses of summer create floods,
Our key policy makers have acted like absentee landlords of water in inflicting major damages to the infrastructure in the Indus Plains,
Pakistan. We need to educate the users and public, the farmers, and and shortages in water disable Rabi crops from its optional yields.
other consumers on what are better ways to utilize this limited Owing to the lack of a strong government, this disability continues to
resource. Because of this absentee landlordism, water has become hurt Pakistan and its economy.
the property of the landlords and the poor users simply do not get
their share. A range of other factors, including water theft, further
exacerbates these issues. The worst example of it is in Sindh. In
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the 'Pushtoon' society is still a lot more
egalitarian, so the problem is not as pronounced, but it still exists. In
general, the landlords would not want the poor to become economi-
cally self-sufficient, as that would enable them to challenge the
landlords. So, this water issue is also very political in nature.

Is water management a priority of Pakistan's overall policy

framework? What policies need to be adopted to ensure
sustainable use of water resources?

Pakistan's water policy does not exist. The Minister of Water and
Power wanted to frame it, and we discussed the possibility. In 2001, a
committee was formed which was headed by me and a draft was
framed at the expressed request of the Ministry of Water and Power.
It was a very comprehensive document. It is most unfortunate that
Pakistan's cabinet has simply never allocated the time for its review
and approval.

What are the coordination issues within provinces and amongst

sectors of the economy with regards to the distribution of
water? What should be done to improve water resource
management in the long-term?

It was in a marathon meeting of the four Chief Ministers of Pakistan

that a joint memorandum of Water Rights of the provinces was
agreed. A document, called Apportionment of the Waters of Indus
River System between the provinces of Pakistan was signed on 16th
March, 1991. The apportionment accord was agreed to be imple-
mented by an institution named as Indus River System Authority
(IRSA). IRSA was established through an Act of the Parliament in
1991. It has successfully carried its functions to the satisfaction of all

say that again
...Access to information and knowledge
networking is a key factor in effective
water resources management.

Muhammad Tahir Anwar

Director General
Federal Water Management Cell
Ministry of National Food Security and Research

Is there sufficient awareness, especially among key policy What are the coordination issues within provinces and amongst
makers, regarding the impending water crisis in Pakistan and its sectors of the economy with regards to the distribution of
repercussions on the social and economic landscape? What water? What should be done to improve water resource
should be done to enhance awareness and increase commit- management in the long-term?
ment of policy makers in this important issue?
There hardly appears any coordination with regards to the distribu-
There is not sufficient awareness among key policy makers, at federal tion of scarce water resources, further threatened due to climate
as well as provincial level, regarding the impending water crises in change. Under the 1991 Water Apportionment Accord, IRSA has
Pakistan, which is posing a threat to the country's security, stability been playing an effective role for the distribution of irrigation water
and environmental sustainability. Policy and decision makers face to the provinces. However, it lacks the capacity to address water
considerable barriers in access to accurate and crucial water issues arising as a result of the changing climate. In order to improve
resources information. Access to information and knowledge water resources management in the long-term, it is imperative to
networking is a key factor in effective water resources management. bring together all relevant sectors of the economy on a common
There is a need to develop and launch a water information portal platform and for an integrated policy framework to be developed.
that can provide accurate information on water resources in a format Institutional framework at the federal and provincial levels for
easily comprehendible by policy makers. Apart from this, organizing integrated management of water resources needs to be strength-
seminars for enhancing awareness and enabling an understanding ened, along with proper identification of the roles of federal and
of water issues among key policy makers and all other relevant provincial stakeholders in order to enhance understanding and
stakeholders, is also an integral component. develop sustainable water resources management in the long-term.

Is water management a priority of Pakistan's overall policy

framework? What policies need to be adopted to ensure
sustainable use of water resources?

Water management has not been given due priority in Pakistan's

overall policy framework. Much emphasis has perpetually been
placed on the management of river basin waters, whilst manage-
ment of groundwater and rainwater/hill torrents have not been
given due consideration. As river water supplies become erratic
owing to low storage capacity and climate change, there has been
significant increase in the use of groundwater for irrigation purposes
resulting in a negative groundwater budget on an overall basis.
Further, 18 MAF worth of rainwater/hill torrent potential has not
been realized in the overall policy framework. It is therefore
imperative that a comprehensive policy framework (inclusive of river
basin, groundwater and rainwater/hill torrents) be developed and
adopted to ensure sustainable use of scarce water resources. It is also
imperative that the National Water Policy be finalized and approved
at the earliest.

say that again
...A mass awareness campaign needs to
be launched on the importance of water,
its impacts on all sectors of economy and
promoting efficient water management

Dr. Muhammad Ashraf

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR)

Is there sufficient awareness, especially among key policy Commission (NWC) that will not only ensure implementation of the
makers, regarding the impending water crisis in Pakistan and its water policy but will also coordinate with the provinces. A mass
repercussions on the social and economic landscape? What awareness campaign needs to be launched on the importance of
should be done to enhance awareness and increase commit- water, its impacts on all sectors of economy and promoting efficient
ment of policy makers in this important issue? water management practices and technologies to all stakeholders -
right from the policy makers to the end users.
According to all indicators, Pakistan is fast becoming a water-scarce
country. However, there is little awareness of this looming disaster
amongst stakeholders, particularly policy makers. They cannot
foresee the real picture of its repercussions on social and economic
fronts. The following actions may help in awareness raising of policy

Engaging them through scientific-based evidence so that the

seriousness of the situation is realized;
Large scale mass awareness delineating the role of each sector of
the economy; and,
Synthesizing the latest methods of diffusion and adoption and,
scaling up of promising water management practices.

Is water management a priority of Pakistan's overall policy

framework? What policies need to be adopted to ensure
sustainable use of water resources?

Water management is a part of Pakistan Vision 2025 which envisages

improving the efficiency of usage in agriculture by 20 percent.
Similarly, it is also part of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030
Agenda for which Pakistan is a signatory. Water should be managed
at all levels including domestic, industrial and agricultural. The Draft
National Water Policy should be approved which provides policy
guidelines for sustainable management of water resources.
Moreover, provinces should develop their own strategies within the
framework of the National Water Policy.

What are the coordination issues within provinces and amongst

sectors of the economy with regards to the distribution of
water? What should be done to improve water resource
management in the long-term?

The Pakistan Water Apportionment Accord 1991 provides a

framework regarding the distribution of water among provinces,
with the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) conducting the job
reasonably well. However, there is not a single institution at the
federal level that can coordinate with the provinces on water-related
issues and the different sectors of the economy. Nevertheless, the
Draft National Water Policy proposes to establish a National Water

say that again
...the obstacle is not that the system is
not massive enough, in fact, the obstacle
is that it has not been effectively utilized.

Sadia Tariq Usmani

Head - Environment division
Youth Aairs Committee, DMC Central (Karachi)
Secretary of Environment, Youth Parliament-Sindh Cabinet (2016-17)

Is there sufficient awareness especially among key policy Is water management a priority of Pakistan's overall policy
makers regarding the impending water crisis in Pakistan and its framework? What policies need to be adopted to ensure
repercussions on social and economic landscape? What should sustainable use of water resources?
be done to further enhance the awareness and increase
commitment of policy makers to this important issue? Had water management been a priority, then water scarcity would
not have been a present challenge for the country. We should look
I believe that policy makers are well aware of the impending water towards how developed countries have tackled the issue and work
crisis and its repercussions, however, this is not an area of focus as far towards adopting similar strategies locally.
as policy is concerned. Serious thought needs to be invested as to
how in the face of diminishing resources, Pakistan can develop What are the coordination issues within provinces and amongst
sufficient storage capacities for the future. In 1950, Pakistan had sectors of the economy with regards to the distribution of
around 5,000 m per capita per year of freshwater resources, which water? What should be done to improve water resource
shrunk to 1,500 m by 2012. To put it in perspective, a country is management for the sustainable use of water?
declared water scarce when this figure stands at around 1000 m .
The major coordination issue is the inability of policy makers and
One projected methodology is to introduce water usage fees, other stakeholders to assemble on a single platform and seriously
particularly for those that use irrigation to water their crops. As of assess the issue. Apart from this, the building of more dams and
2005, the World Bank estimated that the water usage fee for Punjabi reservoirs is also crucial in terms of saving and storing water. Pakistan
farmers should be around 1,800 PKR per hectare. The real rate was is rapidly moving towards water scarcity and if this issue is left
close to around 150 PKR per hectare. Implementing a proper pricing unaddressed, it will soon lead to water wars.
system will not only raise revenue for the maintenance and repair of
irrigation infrastructure, but will also compel large landowners to
think twice before wasting water. This market oriented system can
also work in urban areas. Studies have shown that the cost of a
modern municipal water system is less than the economic costs of a
poor water system.

The real solution lies in changing the mindset and strategy. Whilst
focus in the past has always been on building infrastructure to
combat water shortages, the real problem lies in the actual shortage
itself. Therefore, focus should be placed on including the topic in
curriculums taught throughout the country in order to enhance
awareness, and also to increase conservation of water resources
itself. Focus on recycling existing water and reusing it is the need of
the hour. In a country that houses one of the most important
contiguous irrigation systems in the world, the obstacle is not that
the system is not massive enough, in fact, the obstacle is that it has
not been effectively utilized.

1 Introduction. Running on Empty: Pakistan's Water Crisis. Ed. Michael Kugelman and Robert M. Hathaway. Washington, D.C: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2009.
5-27. Web. 16 May 2014
2 World Bank. 2005. Pakistan - Country water resources assistance strategy: water economy running dry. Washington, DC: World Bank.
3 Altaf, Samia. "Public Health, Clean Water, and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet." Running on Empty: Pakistan's Water Crisis. Ed. Michael Kugelman and Robert M. Hathaway.
Washington, D.C: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2009. 169-75. Print.

say that again
...The water must be distributed
judiciously not only at the provincial level,
but also at the main canal, branch canal,
distributary canal, as well as at the minor

Prof. Dr. Abdul Latif Qureshi

U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W)
Mehran University of Engineering and Technology

Is there sufficient awareness, especially among key policy

makers, regarding the impending water crisis in Pakistan and its
repercussions on the social and economic landscape? What
should be done to enhance awareness and increase commit-
ment of policy makers in this important issue?

There is no issue of awareness among policy makers regarding the

upcoming water scarcity, the only restrictions are of political will and
priorities. There is a dire need for coordination amongst relevant
legislators dealing with Water and Power, Environment, Climate
change and Economic affairs, to mobilize and advocate the cause in
assemblies, as well as, motivate other legislators to follow suit as well.
Mass awareness among people should be increased to exert
pressure on elected representatives. Research and development
institutes and academia should also be streamlined and urged to
take up the matter on priority basis.

Is water management a priority of Pakistan's overall policy

framework? What policies need to be adopted to ensure
sustainable use of water resources?

No concrete efforts are visible to understand water management as

a priority in Pakistan.

What are the coordination issues within provinces and amongst

sectors of the economy with regards to the distribution of
water? What should be done to improve water resource
management in the long-term?

There are very serious concerns and disputes amongst provinces,

especially on water regulation and distribution. The upper riparian
holds all head works for water control, which creates a sense of
disloyalty and mistrust between the provinces. There is a serious
need to develop trust in provinces in the lower Indus region. The
water must be distributed judiciously not only at the provincial level,
but also at the main canal, branch canal, distributary canal, as well as
at the minor level.

UNDP Pakistan
Youth Voices

Lack of accountability and rampant corruption

signi cantly impacts upon the distribution of
water. Reducing the in uence of politics in water
governance is paramount in achieving solutions.
Moreover, the introduction of learning programs
in rural areas and research is mandatory in
dierent application methods.
Farhan Laghari

Majors in Water Studies

The inversely proportional relationship of supply

verses demand is likely to be the root for many
problems that will erupt in the future. While the
world progresses in technological innovations,
Pakistan seems to be regressing. Focus on better
engineering technologies that oer automated
solutions, as well as better early warning systems
are steps for mitigation that require more
planning and research.
Fatima Fazal

Majors in Water Studies

Unsk illed management for agr icultural

awareness programs, ineective management to
transfer farmers' knowledge for agricultural
practices and unnecessary wastage of water are
major issues. Eective and optimum utilization of
water, increased awareness programs and proper
record keeping regarding water applications and
utilization, are required to curb water issues in
Shahzad Hussain Dahri Pakistan.

Majors in Water Studies

Youth Voices

Siltation in canals and water losses due to the

unequal leveling of water courses results in an
almost 60 percent loss of water. New engineering
tactics and techniques should be applied to
decrease seepage losses and proper law and
order procedures must be used to control these
Ainulibad Shah

Majors in Water Studies

How can you talk about issues when the basic

understanding is not even there? Awareness is an
ever building issue-something as small as
turning o the tap while brushing your teeth can
help save so many gallons of water. Sustainable
long term planning is key. Currently, there is not
much emphasis placed on integrating better
water policies and practices. It is the thinking at
the top levels that needs to change in order to
Gulnaz Aslam create a domino eect of sorts.

Majors in Water Studies

Illegal supply of water and water hydrants are a

major issue of utility. There is need for small dams
to enhance capacity for storage. Moreover, water
salinity is a major problem for agriculture as well
as drinking thereby impacting health. Filter
plants and drop and sparkler systems should be
Shahid Latif Bhutto

Majors in Water Studies