ISLAMABAD: Water management experts, farmers, public servants, and corporate executives from around the globe convened in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, to deliberate on workable solutions to the problem of water scarcity and to improve public awareness.
With the theme of “Transformative Pathways for Water and Food Systems in a Climate Resilience in Pakistan,” the international conference brought together a wide range of stakeholders to work together toward the common goal of realizing the important role that water plays in development and life.
With assistance from UNICEF and GIZ Pakistan, as well as the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) collaborated to hold Pakistan Water Week in 2023.
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The occasion proved to be a crucial forum for discussing the pressing issues of migration, fragility, conflicts, and water scarcity. In particular, IWMI played a significant role in drawing attention to how important it is to manage water resources and carry out research to lessen these difficulties.
Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI, told the reporters on the sidelines of the event, “It’s a great week where we had to engage with a lot of people from Pakistan and outside who’ve seen a lot of external speakers coming in and presenting their practice practices.”
This conversation was essential, particularly in a nation that lacks access to water. Our main objective is to make a significant contribution to building a resilient and sustainable future, especially in the areas of food, water, and ecosystems.”
Speaking at the closing ceremony, President Dr. Arif Alvi stated that in order to prevent the impending water shortage catastrophe, Pakistan must use more creative and water-efficient agricultural techniques like drip and spray irrigation.
“The agriculture sector consumes around 95% of the country’s water, requiring immediate planning and reforms to improve efficiency,” he stated.
He emphasized that the water crisis in Pakistan is a serious problem that is being made worse by illogical human behavior, urbanization, industrialization, population increase, resource depletion, and environmental issues.
In order to advance contemporary agricultural technology at the local level, the President placed a strong emphasis on research and technological innovation.
Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, Director of Water, Food, and Ecosystems at IWMI, stated that the conference will give government and policymakers important information on how to strengthen Pakistan’s resilience.
Dr. Hifza Rasheed, the Director General of PCRWR, stated that Water Week is an essential forum for promoting cooperation amongst various stakeholders. “As we reflect on its significance, it becomes evident that this annual event not only provides opportunities for meaningful dialogue but also lays the foundation for sustainable water management practices.”
Held for the third time in Islamabad, the five-day event featured almost 10,000 participants in person and virtually from 15 nations, including the champions of categories for essay writing, debate, posters, and the water board game.
Attendees took part in workshops and side events all week long, such as “Technologies and Innovations: Responding to the Challenges of Water and Food Security,” which highlighted state-of-the-art inventions and technologies that provided answers to Pakistan’s difficult problems.
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