FPCCI expresses concern over depleting water resources

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Water reservoirs should be declared strategic assets: Rauf Alam

 

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday expressed concern over plummeting water resources, terming it the biggest threat to the country.

Scarcity of water is threatening the masses, agriculture and industry across the country but situation in Balochistan is especially precarious which can affect law and order and the economic corridor project, said FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam.

Balochistan is facing water table depletion at a rapid pace which must be stopped, otherwise it may take an ugly turn as half of the population of that underdeveloped province depends on agriculture, he added.

Alam said that scarcity of water has increased cost of agricultural and industrial production which the increased extraction of ground water has put additional burden on, fuelled in partly by government subsidies on tube wells.

Now, our agriculture sector is satisfying 40 per cent of its water requirement through tube wells which is not sustainable, he noted.

He said that Pakistan needed a dam of the size of Turbela every 10 years but this has been ignored resulting in costly electricity which in turn had compromised the ability of the export sector.

Climate change is a huge threat and it should get top priority, he said adding that water security should be part of our foreign, internal and economic policies.

The FPCCI president said we should have an agreed upon water policy, improved water diplomacy and the water reservoirs should be declared strategic assets, new reservoirs should be constructed immediately, otherwise our water economy will become weaker with the passage of every day.