The Ministry of Science and Technology, through the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), in collaboration with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), is jointly organizing the Pakistan Water Week 2021 International Conference. The conference will take place in Islamabad, Pakistan from 6 - 9 December, under the theme ‘Needs for Sustainable Water Management in a Climate Crisis for Indus Basin.’
In 1980, Pakistan had a relatively abundant supply of water. In 2000, Pakistan had become water-stressed. By 2035, Pakistan is predicted to have become water scarce. Climate change and COVID-19 have only exacerbated the problems facing Pakistan and its use of water.
This is the first-ever event of its kind in Pakistan, and aims to bring together academics, government officials, NGOs, and policy experts from home and abroad to discuss the problems facing the country today. Some of these issues are the lack of data, over-extraction and depletion of groundwater resources, and disparate policies in the various sectors of water, food security and climate change that makes implementation more difficult.
However, the conference will also focus on climate resilient solutions, which includes both digital innovations and nature-based solutions. In addition, the role of women’s leadership and of the media in the context of water, will also be explored. The ultimate goal of Pakistan Water Week 2021 is to identify strategies to meet the competing water needs of different sectors, design a research plan that will guide investments in applied research and development, identify sustainable water management strategies that take climate change into account, and identify gaps in policies and practices that can be met with better scientific understanding.
In addition to high-level policy discussions, Pakistan Water Week 2021 will also incorporate a public awareness campaign which includes the use of social media, exhibitions highlighting the coordination between the private water sector and academic and public sectors, a poster competition for university students, and games and debate competitions to raise awareness among younger students.