ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 (APP):Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said additional water storages
were required to effectively tackle the challenges of Climate Change.
He said “The best way to meet the challenge of Climate Change is to build as many large and
small water storages as possible.”
He was chairing a conference on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management for
Sustainable Development and Businesses here.
He said “In years of floods, the dams store surplus water and reduce the impact of floods
whereas in years of droughts, the stored water can mitigate the effects of low rainfall”.
Sartaj Aziz said it is unfortunate that the construction of water storage dams has become
so controversial. But the challenge of Climate Change is so serious that it should persuade the
political leadership to achieve a consensus on water storages, not only for sustainable
development but for the very survival of the country, he added.
Addressing to the 4th International Water Conference at the Pakistan Council of Research in Water
Resources (PCRWR), he said that according to the recent census Pakistan’s population growth rate
is 2.4%.
In the 11th Five Year Plan (2013-18), the Planning Commission estimates for food security,
health and education was based on forecast of 2% population growth rate.
He said this new estimate is a cause for serious concern. At the time of partition per capita water
availability in Pakistan was 5000 cubic meters, which has now declined to 1000 cubic meters per capita
that classifies Pakistan as a water scarce country, he added.
He said, “The projected population on the basis of 2.4% will further jeopardize Pakistan’s water
security unless we conserve the available water by growing less water intensive crops, treating
effluence before discharge and giving up lifestyle and habits that waste water.”
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission said Vision-2025 attaches high importance to climate
change and water security. Part IV of the document, covering energy, water and food security
envisages access to an adequate supply of water for all and requires policies to correct the
demand and supply imbalances with sharp focus on both sides of the equation, he added.
Aziz expressed the hope that the recommendations, emerging from this conference, will be
useful in formulating policies and recommendations for water security in the 12th Five Year Plan.