President stresses holistic implementation of National Water Policy

ISLAMABAD, Mar 19 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed on efficient and holistic implementation of the strategic priorities set out in the National Water Policy (NWP).
The president said this during a presentation here at the at the Aiwan-e-Sadr given by Secretary Water Resources Irfan Ali, and Water and Power Development Authority Chairman Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain on integrated water resources management in the country.
He said Pakistan was blessed with plenty of surface and sub-surface water resources along with the the largest irrigation system in the world. Currently the country was facing water shortage due to lack of effective policies and management, he added.
Dr Alvi said the quantifiable targets set in the policy for next 12 years, if achieved, would result into an overall well refined water regime.
He said the great Indus river system had historically been the lifeline of the Indus Valley civilization. However, today Pakistan’s water economy, he added, was in acute danger of running dry, as per capita surface water availability had declined to around 1,000 cubic meters in 2016 from 5,260 cubic meters in 1951.
It was likely to drop further to about 860 cubic meters by the year 2025, making the country from “water stressed” to “water scarce” one, he said.
The president said Pakistan was ranked among top 10 countries, vulnerable to climate change. The water resources were inextricably linked with climate and the impending climate change scenario had serious implications for Pakistan’s water resources, he added.
He said in the past less priority was accorded to water sector projects at political level, which resulted in continuously dwindling allocations from as high as 13 percent of Public Sector Development Programme funds to minuscule 3.7 percent in the fiscal year 2017-18.
Highlighting the salient features of the NWP such as water uses and setting of priorities, development of water resources, environmental integrity of basin, impact of climate change and trans-boundary water sharing, the president emphasized for special focus and timely implementation of the policy to augur fruitful outcome for the communities.