LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and German development agency, GIZ are chalking out a strategy for the industrial reuse of around 395 billion litres of water, officials said on Monday.
“Water scarcity in Pakistan is now visible to all and it is high time to conserve this precious resource,” said Ahsan Bashir, chairman of APTMA Punjab zone, who also heads the trade body’s committee on conservation and efficiencies.
Most of the mills pump water from the soil at a high cost, he said, adding that the cost is increasing because the water level in their mill premises is going down due to high usage.
Most of the industrial water can be reused after treatment and processing, said Bashir. In fact, in several cases the entrepreneurs could recover most of the chemicals they use in their processes and save cost, he said. Currently, he said, several mills drain even the treated water, which could be reused for industrial purposes on very low investment.
The cost of pumping, said Bashir, would be much higher than the cost of making the water reusable for industrial purposes.
Mehmood Ihsan, senior vice chairman of APTMA Punjab Zone, said that 400 billion litres of water is a huge quantity, which after reuse would spare this precious resource for 18 million people of Pakistan.
The textile industry is only 38 percent of the total documented industry in Pakistan, he said, adding that similar exercise should be undertaken for other industries and steps for industrial reuse and conservation be initiated.
Seth Muhammad Akber, vice chairman of APTMA (Central), said that the association and GIZ under the banner of Sustainable Development Centre through a questionnaire send to the spinners, yarn processors, weavers and fabric processors collected data of water use. The data pertains to basic textile units, he said. Another exercise for value-added clothing and towels would be undertaken at a later stage, he said.
He clarified that the water use data was collected by SDC from APTMA member mills, while the production statistics are disclosed by relevant government agencies.
It was found out that one spindle consumes 5.5 litres of water per day, he said, adding that there are 12,000 spindles in the documented textile sector and their water consumption in 360 days they operate in a year comes to 237.66 billion litres.
The SDC also found out that 45 litres per kilogram of water is consumed in yarn processing. Of 25,000kg of yarn produced in the country per month around 10 percent is processed.
The survey also revealed that around 850 litres of water is used by each loom in the weaving sector. The official statistics show that there are 33,000 looms in the organised sector in Pakistan.
These include 7,000 air jet looms and 27,000 shuttle less looms. These looms need around 100 billion litres of water per annum.
Fabric processing needs seven litres of water per square metre, it said.
Pakistani documented sector produces nine billion square metres of fabric per annum. Of this only 10 percent is exported as grey cloth, while the rest is processed.
The remaining around eight billion square metres of fabric is processed by consuming 56 billion litres of water.