Water experts have emphasized on controlling the population growth and effective implementation of laws related to water and efficient use of water to avoid scarcity and related issues in future. It was discussed during a dialogue session on “Water Trends, Challenges and Sustainable Strategy for its Security” was held at U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W), Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro in collaboration with Government of Sindh, The Asia Foundation, Australian Government, Water Environment Forum and Hashoo Foundation. Addressing the inaugural session Chairman Water Environment Forum and former Federal Minister Nisar A. Memon said that Once upon a time Indus river was a mighty river but now it’s no more the same, the problem is of management because we have 7250 glaciers melting to provide water but there is no proper mechanism to manage them. Nisar A. Memon said that accountability is also a major issue and he has never seen such a case in which someone is punished for using water forcefully over and above their share. He further said that water is matter of life and death, we must stop politicizing this sensitive issue and struggle for its security. Vice-Chancellor MUET Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili said that as an academician we believe in reliable data for any water related problem in the country and USPCAS-W is performing exceptionally well to augment this need and suggesting workable solutions to the Government and other related organizations. He said that the key problem lies in implementation of laws & policies and improved water governance. Every individual has to fulfill its own responsibility in conserving and managing the water resources.
Director Programs Asia Foundation Farid Alam said that Pakistan is amongst the 36 most water scarce countries and experts have indicated that the country will run out of water by 2025. He said that rise in population and climate change together badly affect the availability of water in the region and the issue must be debated to find out sustainable solution. Director General Metrological Department Pakistan Dr. Riaz Khan said that rain is the main source of water in Pakistan and Sindh is rain deficit province. Project Director USPCAS-W Dr. Bakhshal Lashari informed that by now around 1.3 million tube wells have been installed in the country extracting about 50 million acres feet water, including brackish water that is adding to surface salinity. He said that transboundary dispute of water is badly affecting the regional water security. If Kishan Ganga and Baghliar Dams were built by the neighboring country, it will aggravate the water security situation in the country. Former Chairman of WAPDA Syed Raghib Shah said that misuse of technology is affecting the water management in the country. Head and principal researcher of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Dr. Arif Anwar emphasized upon rational allocation of available water for agriculture, industry and services for uplift and growth of the country’s economy. Focal person (CAS-AFS), UAF Dr. Ashfaque Ahmed Chatta, Environmental Expert Mustafa Ujjan, Water Specialist Dr. Zaigham Habib, Progressive Farmer Syed Mahmood Nawaz Shah, Dr. Kamran Ansari and Country Director Hashoo Foundation Ayesha Khan also spoke on the occasion in different technical panel discussions.