LAHORE: World Water Day was celebrated at Governor House Lahore. Perveen Sarwar, Wife of Governor Punjab, Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, Col (R) Hashim Dogar, Dr Akhtar Malik, Siddique Ahmed Khan, Ayesha, UNDP Assistant Country Head Shakeel Ahmed, Rabia Zia, Akhuwat Chairman Amjad Saqib, water experts and members of national and provincial assembly attended the event. Awareness stalls were also established.
Addressing the ceremony, Perveen said clean drinking water has become major need of populace. 80 per cent patients in hospitals are due to water born diseases while 30 per cent deaths are due to contaminated drinking water.
Hepatitis has become major cause of deaths due to unavailability of clean drinking water. Previous governments made proposals to address issue of clean drinking water but they were never translated into reality.
An NGO has installed 150 water filtration plants to address issue of unavailability of clean drinking water. Water filtration plants are being installed in prisons as well. We are targeting areas where clean drinking water is unavailable and more than 50% people are diagnosed with Hepatitis.
Mian Aslam said Prime Minister Imran Khan is focusing on welfare of masses by acknowledging the issue of water scarcity. Col Hashim said PMLN did nothing in their tenure and now criticizing for serving the people by providing them clean drinking water. Dr Akhtar said, we have to make commitment today that everyone will work towards preserving fresh clean drinking water. Siddique said they were contributing towards nation by disseminating awareness regarding water scarcity. Challenge is big but they will keep striving to resolve it.
UVAS: In connection with the World Water Day, the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) organised a seminar and a walk at the university’s campus.
Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Regional Director Zamir Ahmad Soomro spoke about major water challenges in Pakistan, water management, water conservation and water conservation techniques and national water policy.
He said access to safe water was a human right but it was not available to all in our country. He said although Pakistan was 35th at the list of water richest countries yet per capita water availability was very low. He called for increasing water productivity, its economical use and saving it from being wasted.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha stressed the need to create awareness among the public about the importance and conservation of water. “We should make joint efforts, use social media and other means of communication to spread awareness about water conservation,” he added. He said it was very unfortunate that we wasted a lot of water in our daily routine. He stressed the need to use latest techniques of irrigation like drip irrigation system and precision farming, etc, to save precious water.
river situation: The following rise in temperature in the catchment area, river inflows started to increase. There was visible rise in the flows of almost all rivers on Friday.
As the rise in river inflows, water impounding at both Mangla and Tarbela dams also seems possible early this year. According to the water report issued by Wapda, the position of the river inflows and outflows at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma along with the reservoirs levels and the barrages is: Rivers; Indus at Tarbela, inflows 20,200 cusecs and outflows 21,900 cusecs; Kabul at Nowshera, inflows 18,300 cusecs and outflows 18,300 cusecs; Jhelum at Mangla, inflows 30,700 cusecs and outflows 45,000 cusecs; Chenab at Marala, inflows 15,500 cusecs and outflows 6,500 cusecs. Barrages: Jinnah; inflows 47,900 cusecs and outflows 42,900 cusecs; Chashma, inflows 34,700 cusecs and outflows 32,500 cusecs; Taunsa, inflows 30,700 cusecs and outflows 30,500 cusecs; Panjnad, inflows 4,100 cusecs and outflows Nil cusecs; Guddu, inflows 23,600 cusecs and outflows 19,500 cusecs; Sukkur, inflows 18,900 cusecs and outflows 4,800 cusecs; Kotri, inflows 3,000 cusecs and outflows Nil cusecs. Reservoirs (level and storage): Tarbela; minimum operating level 1,392 feet, present level 1,392.00 feet, maximum conservation level 1,550 feet, live storage on Friday 0.000 million acre feet (MAF); Mangla, minimum operating level 1,050 feet, present level 1,121.75 feet, maximum conservation level 1,242 feet, live storage on Friday 0.834 MAF; Chashma, minimum operating level 638.15 feet, present level 638.15 feet, maximum conservation level 649 feet, live storage on Friday 0.000 MAF.