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March 29, 2019

Australian experts, CM discuss 1991 water accord modelling

Karachi

March 29, 2019

The river stem model of the Indus basin being used for the 1991 Water Apportionment Accord’s modelling is useful for exploring different interpretations of provincial water sharing arrangements as well as understanding the potential impacts of climate change and dam sedimentation on Sindh’s water security.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this on Thursday while discussing the 1991 water accord modelling with a delegation of water experts of the Australian Aid led by Australian High Commissioner Margret Adamson.

The Australian delegation informed the CM and senior government officials about collaborations between the Pakistani and Australian governments after they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on water.

One of such collaborations is a river stem model of the Indus basin in Pakistan and the associated tools for modelling of the water accord. The CM appreciated the efforts of the Australian experts and said such tools would be useful for exploring different interpretations of provincial water sharing arrangements.

The meeting also discussed a report made by a task force on water. The report outlined a range of significant pressures and issues facing the Indus basin in Pakistan. It emphasised the existing needs for a repeatable system/evidence base to quantify the major water balance terms, objective plans for climate change, infrastructure development, water sharing according to the interprovincial water accord, food and economic security, and secure and sustainable cities.

The Australian experts also called for building knowledge and capacity of the relevant officers and recommended the implementation of Australian water management technologies and associated capacity building.

It was pointed out in the meeting that the integrated water resource assessment, data management, modelling and capacity building were necessary to support water planning and policy development on a national level.

The experts maintained that while finalising any policy on water, factors of agricultural production, food security, water use and livelihood outcomes under changing climate, increasing population and infrastructure development should be incorporated.

The Australian authorities have recommended that the Indus Integrated Modelling Framework (IIMF) be adopted in Pakistan under which they have suggested that allocation of surface water should be made after working out seasonal forecast by assessing climate and rainfall patterns.

The surface water allocation should be made keeping in view the amount of water required for irrigation, hydropower and environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, trends of water availability and use, agriculture production and population growth should also be analysed.

The CM asked the water experts of the Sindh irrigation department to engage with the Australian experts to work out further details of the model so that it could be implemented in the larger interest of the people of Sindh.