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Pakistan facing water scarcity due to Ineffective policies: President Alvi

ISLAMABAD: Terming ineffective policies and mismanagement root causes of water scarcity in the country, President Dr. Arif Alvi said that Pakistan had been blessed with plenty of surface and sub-surface water resources.

The president said this during a presentation by the Secretary, Water Resources Irfan Ali and Chairman WAPDA Lt. Gen. (R) Muzammil Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Tuesday.

According to a statement released from his office, President Dr. Arif Alvi said that Pakistan had the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world and added that the great Indus river system had historically been the lifeline of the Indus valley civilization.

He said, “As per capita surface water availability has declined from 5,260 cubic meters in 1951 to around 1,000 cubic meters in 2016. He stated that this is likely to further drop to about 860 cubic meters by 2025 marking our transition from a ‘water stressed’ to a ‘water scarce’ country.”

Read More: Bakhtiar proposes establishment of inland water transportation network

The president pointed out that Pakistan was ranked among top ten countries vulnerable to climate change. He further added that water resources are inextricably linked with climate and the impending climate change scenario has serious implications for Pakistan’s water resources.

He noted that in the past comparatively less priority at political level was given to water sector projects, resulted in continuously dwindling allocations from as high as 13% of PSDP to minuscule 3.7% in fiscal year 2017-18.

Dr. Arif Alvi  urged that the strategic priorities set out in the National Water Policy (NWP) should be implemented holistically and efficiently to ensure country-wide integrated water resource Management. He stated that the quantifiable targets kept in the policy for the next twelve years, if achieved, should result into overall well refined water regime.

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