Experts call for action to deal with water issues
LAHORE: WWF-Pakistan hosted its second “Environmental Journalists Quarterly Meeting” at its head office in Lahore on Tuesday, which aimed to shed light on the water pollution of Lahore. Dr. Ejaz Ahmed, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan welcomed the participants and gave an overview of WWF-Pakistan’s work on water.
Ali Hasnain Sayed, Manager Water Security and Stewardship, WWF-Pakistan briefed the participants about WWF-Pakistan’s water stewardship initiative in the country. He said that WWF-Pakistan audited 35 production units from four major sectors of production: textile, paper, pulp and leather, as a part of its European Union funded project City-wide Partnership for Sustainable Water Use and Water Stewardship in SMEs in Lahore, Pakistan for the implementation of Best Water Management Practices (BWMPs) in an effort to reduce overall water consumption levels and pollution load in industries in Pakistan. He further added that three training sessions have been conducted for industrial staff in Lahore and Faisalabad and more are in the pipeline.
He highlighted that based on calculations of BWMPs implementation in 35 production units, the project is expected to result in water savings of 2.8 million cubic metre/annum and energy savings of 6MW/year. The estimated pollution reduction due to implementation of BWMPs is 10-30%.
While talking about WWF-Pakistan’s report Situation Analysis of the Water Resources of Lahore: Establishing a Case for Water Stewardship, which was launched in November 2014, Sayed informed participants that the total surface water diverted to Lahore is 6.02 million cubic metres per day (MCM/day) and groundwater is largely used for domestic and industrial purposes.
He further added that on an annual basis, 247 MCM of groundwater is abstracted in excess of recharge, which is equivalent to 0.55 m groundwater table drop per year.
He suggested water risk assessment, water footprint reduction and installment of treatment technologies for sustainable water management in businesses. He also suggested that groundwater exploitation must be regulated and groundwater protection zones must be established.
Uzma Khan, Director Biodiversity, WWF-Pakistan informed participants about the latest issues in illegal wildlife trade and steps required to curb wildlife trafficking for the protection of species.
Finally, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan summed up the meeting and stressed the need to preserve our natural environment for future generations.