ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s dependence on a single river system is extremely risky whereas the country must put in the effort to fight water shortages, promote reforestation, maintain water infrastructure, harvest more rainfall, and strengthen its water management.
These views were expressed by Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Resident Representative Dr Steffen Kudella during a day-long conference “Water Security Challenges and Conservation Strategy for Pakistan” jointly organised by the HSF and Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) here on Tuesday.
“Water is also a vital topic of regional dialogue. Regional dialogues on water need to be prepared by discussions on national level first,” he said.
Addressing the conference, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) former chairman Dr Yusuf Zaraf, said that water security is Pakistan’s most critical development challenge.
He said that around 95 per cent of water goes to agriculture, adding that “We have used water for 70 years to use water for electricity. It is expected that water scarcity will be much higher by 2025.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan is one of the most naturally arid countries in the world with an average of only 240 mm rainfall per year. Around one fourth of the country’s land area is cultivated whereas most of this agriculture is water-intensive and dependent on man-made irrigation systems.