Utilization of flood water stressed

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a consultative meeting here on Thursday urged the provinces to preserve water, utilise floodwater and develop inter-provincial harmony to devise an effective strategy to meet future water requirements in the country.According to a statement, the fifth consultative session on water security issues was held here under aegis of Wapda in line with the directive of the prime minister.Besides high ranking officials of the provincial and federal government, the session was attended by representatives of various educational institutions including University of Peshawar, Agricultural University Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, Sarhad University of Engineering and Information Technology Peshawar and Iqra University Peshawar.The representatives of non-governmental organisations including Sarhad Rural Support Programme, The Change Foundation and Creative Community Development Programme also participated in the event and shared their views with the participants. Addressing on the occasion, Wapda Chairman Zafar Mahmood said that the consultative sessions were being arranged to interact with stakeholders and experts to finalise recommendations for prime minister’s initiatives on water security.He said that role of the provinces was becoming more important on water issues. Therefore, inter-provincial harmony was a must to devise an effective strategy for future water requirements in the country, he added.

The Wapda chief said that life depended upon water. “Water needs have been increasing rapidly due to fast population growth. Despite decreasing per capita water availability in Pakistan, we have been spendthrift in use of water,” he lamented.Mr Mahmmod said there was a dire need to think at national level about water issues, which was getting complicated with each passing day. After a brief introduction about water security in the country by Wapda Adviser Dr Izharul Haq, the stakeholders and experts had a detailed discussion on water issues. Pakistan Water Partnership chief executive office Sardar Mohammad Tariq gave a comprehensive account of water security in the country.Provincial Planning and Development Secretary Zafar Ali Shah expressed his views on water management, while Small Dams Director General Mujahid Saeed made recommendations about floods and droughts.

Cecos University Vice-chancellor Dr Riaz Khattak dilated upon utilisation of flash floods followed by the presentations made by Rab Nawaz Khan of agriculture department about impacts of climate on water resources in the country. Dr Inamullah of Agricultural University talked about crop zoning.Dr Hussain Ahmad of Environmental Protection Agency talked about climate change and adaptation of measures while Dr Bashir Khan from Azad Jammu and Kashmir apprised the session about emerging issues of water resources in AJK.Dr Mehboob Alam of Iqra University apprised the participants about importance of using global models for timely prediction of floods and droughts.Dr Zulfiqar Ali from University of Peshawar made a comparison of the social and environmental implications of small, medium and large dams.Eng Shafiq Ahmed of agriculture engineering department spoke about groundwater while Arsalan Haider presented a holistic approach to water issues.The session was attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Amjid Ali Khan, provincial secretaries of planning and development, population welfare, agriculture, environment, forestry and wildlife and public health engineering departments and representatives of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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