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Transforming wasteful public attitudes must for water conservation: Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan

Islamabad, April 05, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, has urged federal and provincial public-sector institutions to play their part in coping with present and future water challenges.

Continuing with unsustainable habits regarding use of water at agriculture, industrial and domestic, particularly in the context of negative impacts of climate change on the country’s water resources, would continue to put efforts and initiatives for achieving sustainable development goals at stake, the minister warned.

“However, promoting efficient use of water and its management is must for achieving socio-economic sustainable development goals in the country, particularly boosting productivity of agriculture, which is mainstay of Pakistan’s economic,” he underlined.

In a press statement issued here on Sunday, the minister Mushahid Ullah Khan has pressed on need for transforming the public attitude towards the rapidly depleting natural resource through massive awareness campaigns at all scales including educational institutions and media.

Pakistan is ranked among the few top countries, where public perception of the water is not encouraging and termed as the most wasteful water user nation in the world, Mushahid Ullah Khan pointed out. The federal minister Mr. Khan said, “Experts have already flagged water as one of the foremost security challenges that confront Pakistan today, on a par with the threat of terrorism.

He added that rapidly urbanizing population, evolving unsustainable/wasteful consumption patterns and now the climate change are serving to exacerbate the country’s water crisis and added that there is a lack of equity in the surface irrigation system, and that hydro and engineering investments were the prime solution to Pakistan’s water-related challenges, Mushahid Ullah Khan said that declining water quality is a serious matter for concern.

“Rapidly declining water quality – more than quantity – raises major social, economic and environmental hazards for the country,” he explained and added that the quality of Pakistan’s national waterways had fallen shockingly because of unchecked discharge of city and municipal waste into the Indus and Ravi rivers. Discharge of agricultural wastewater contaminated with pesticides has only worsened the water quality issues of open water bodies.

He highlighted that climate change poses a host of challenges [facing the country], which are not fully understood because of data-gathering deficits. However, there is need to improve data collection to assist public policy interventions, he stressed. Groundwater recharge is another focus area that merits further research, the minister said.

He said that additional water available to the country thanks to floods and the melting of glaciers is an asset that can be saved by constructing additional water storage infrastructure. Increasing population, inadequate storage capacity and extremely high water losses were the root causes of decreasing per capita water availability, the minister argued.

He said that it is also a matter of concern that two-thirds of all water flowing through the Indus Basin is lost in transmission network. “But, such massive loss of precious water can be checked through improved water conservation strategies,” Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan suggested.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565
E-mail: moccpakistan@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.mocc.gov.pk/

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