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Water Crisis and How to Cope with it By Dr Abdul Majeed National Water Expert and Head Balochistan Programme, IUCN Pakistan.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Crisis and How to Cope with it By Dr Abdul Majeed National Water Expert and Head Balochistan Programme, IUCN Pakistan."— Presentation transcript:


2 Water Crisis and How to Cope with it By Dr Abdul Majeed National Water Expert and Head Balochistan Programme, IUCN Pakistan



5 Global 1950 – 16,800 cubic meters per annum 2000 – 6,800 cubic meters per annum Reduction:60 % in 50 years Pakistan 1947 – 5,800 cubic meters per annum 2000 – 1,200 cubic meters per annum !!!! Reduction:79 % in 53 years Balochistan 1947 – 6,000 cubic meters per annum 2000 – 2,000 cubic meter per annum Reduction:66 % in 53 years Critical limit 1,000 cubic meters per person per annum

6 Pakistans agrarian economy with stress on water (25% of GDP - 95% water used by this sector) Severe water availability constraints (Additional water requirements by 2011 estimated at 48 BCM) No major water development project since Tarbela Groundwater exploitation has risen to almost 90% of potential in Indus Basin raising problems of water quality and depletion In Balochistan groundwater in many river basins over-exploited with disastrous consequences

7 Demands on water increase because of 3 reasons: Population increase (Would cause greater demand for agriculture and drinking Industrialization Urbanization Solutions tried: Development of groundwater Higher investment in water supplies In Balochistan problems of water supply particularly during summer and greater vulnerability to drought continue


9 Water conservation Definition:the socially beneficial reduction of water use or water loss – A cost-benefit framework Implication of Socially beneficial:Trade-off between the benefits and costs of water management action. Example in Balochistan Context:Water management action leading to trickle irrigation to conserve water. The question is whether the benefit of water saved by the action outweighs the cost of trickle irrigation. Difficult to answer as water has no cost at present in monetary terms

10 Blueprint for action for global sustainable development into the twenty-first century set out by UNCED of 1992: "Water is needed in all aspects of life. The general objective is to make certain that adequate supplies of water of good quality are maintained for the entire population of this planet, while preserving the hydrological, biological and chemical functions of ecosystems, adapting human activities within the capacity limits of nature and combating vectors of water-related diseases".

11 The Dublin statement on water and sustainable development: Scarcity and misuse of fresh water pose a serious and growing threat to sustainable development and protection of the environment. Human health and welfare, food security, industrial development and the ecosystems on which they depend, are all at risk, unless water and land resources are managed more effectively in the present decade and beyond than they have been in the past.

12 Water management is basically wise choice of appropriate actions from a set of different options and alternatives available to meet water demands An analysis of world experience in water management and conservation leads us to the conclusion that demand management is the most viable option of water management aimed at achieving water conservation and consequently sustainable development Advantages of demand management summed up by Postel:only by managing water demand, rather than ceaselessly striving to meet it, is there hope for a truly secure and sustainable water future.

13 Economic Instruments: Put a value to water and let users pay for what they use. Sends a signal to consumers and producers of water about economic value of water Apply monetary incentives and disincentives like: Rebates /subsidies on technology adoption Tax credits/soft loans for better seeds Spiraling pricing structure for water rates Penalties and fines for overuse and stealing/selling water for other purposes than originally licensed In Pakistan/Balochistan economic instruments, though very powerful, are not being effectively used

14 Technical and operational Instruments Technical/Engineering:Bring about changes in existing practices/structures to achieve better control over demand. Examples:Installing meters, control valves, recycling, irrigation application methods, cropping patterns, etc. Operational:Action by users to modify existing water use procedures aimed at control demand. Examples:Leakage detection, repairs, rationing on water use, etc. In Pakistan technological instruments are being extensively used. In Balochistan, the pace on adopting these is slowly picking up.

15 Socio-political Instruments: Aim at obtaining public cooperation and include policy and related measures for public agencies to promote water conservation. Examples:Mass awareness programmes, laws and regulations, economic and fiscal policies, and public education. Much effort has been made in these instruments but much more is required to be done particularly on implementation side.

16 What are the win-win approaches?? Ideas in Balochistan scenario Reducing irrigation water use! But will it be acceptable to large farmers as a social obligation or as an unnecessary activity? Rationalizing water and electricity charges! But will it be acceptable and change water use patterns? Ensure equitable distribution! How and can village communities on their own ensure equitable distribution of water? Implement groundwater use regulation! How can these be better implemented?

17 Successful efforts to curb per capita water demand invariably include some combination of water-saving technologies, economic incentives, regulation, and consumer education. These measures are mutually reinforcing and are most effective when implemented jointly. Higher water rates for example encourage consumers to install water saving devices in their homes and (or agricultural fields) apartments and to opt for native landscaping w when purchasing a new home. Education is crucial to gain support for conservation and to make people aware of the easy and cost effective ways they can save water (Postel 1985).


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