ISLAMANBAD - Pakistan’s water resources are rapidly plummeting and by 2035 its per capita water availability would decrease to lesser than 1,000 cubic meter, said experts at a forum.

The second symposium under Human Appeal International Forum (HAI-Forum) “Exploring Opportunities for Sustainability” held Thursday. The session was presided by Professor Imtiaz Ali Khan of Bahria University, a renowned scientist who has developed the technique of turning hard water into soft/drinkable form.

Professor Dr Zulfiqar Ahmad, Chairman Department of Earth Sciences at Qauid-e-Azam University, presented the overview on deteriorating condition of ground water reservoirs in Pakistan.

He said, “Due to climate changes the rainfall patterns have disturbed in our country. Reduced rainfall has affected ground water level which is in great depletion.”

He said only in the city of Rawalpindi, ground water has fallen to the third aquifer level, which is very alarming. In total there are four aquifers for any ground water resource. The major reason of this reduction is over pumping.

He also mentioned that WASA and WAPDA’s statistics show that our irrigation system alone loses 40 per cent of water which flows through it. “Our dams have no capacity to store excessive water due to heavy rainfall at times,” he further said.

On talking on solutions and way-outs he said that ground water reservoirs could be artificially recharged from specific areas. “We can identify certain areas in which ‘injecting wells’ can be used to recharge the ground water aquifers”.

The president of the forum Professor Imtiaz Ali Khan said that due to lacunas in our laws the implementation is very weak. “Though there are some laws regarding pumping of ground water but there implementation is hardly seen”.

He further added “there should be debates in schools, colleges and universities about this serious issue of water crisis after which civil society should pass a resolution to be sent to public sector organizations in order to make them realize the situation.”

Assad Ali Shah from Planning Commission of Pakistan appreciated the HAI’s effort of engaging the experts, professionals and public sector organizations at one platform.  “Sometimes we want to fund but real organizations who really work for the betterment of communities could not be identified. These type of forums provide public sector an opportunity to interact with grass-root level organizations to understand their real needs.”

At the end Nisar Ahmed, Country Director HAI-Pak thanking all the guest speakers said, “HAI wants to contribute in the betterment of this country no matter how small that contribution maybe.

At least it will create awareness among the people, especially those who will attend these sessions and if not here at HAI then maybe at some other forum, place or level they will someday improve the situation.”