Panel discussion on Pakistan’s Water Scarcity in the 21st century

The aim of the panel discussion was to understand the causes for the severe water crisis prevalent in our country, and discuss the best possible course of action to tackle the imminent threat.
The event was attended by students, faculty, environmentalists and media representatives.
Director KUL and Professor at IBA Dr Nausheen Anwar commenced the event by familiarizing the audience with the purpose of KUL which is to encourage critical thinking of urban issues, out of which water is a major one.
She highlighted the importance of water as a part of the urban landscape that not only connects to the cities but also to other terrains, which include ecology, conflicts, governance and institutional dynamics.
Journalist and Geographer Afia Salam with other esteemed panelists from Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (CST), Hisaar Foundation and NED UET began the panel discussion by focusing on the complex dynamics that have shaped Pakistan’s current state of water scarcity.
The panelists probed into how and why Pakistan has gotten to this stage, what kinds of policies and pragmatic solutions are viable for surmounting the challenge, and what should be a collective ‘water vision’ as we go forward.
An eminent hydrologist from CST, Dr. Hassan Abbas, gave an extensive account of the history of water management and water flow in Pakistan, since the Mughal era and the British colonial rule.
He talked about the historical engineering of the Indus River Basin, and its significance to water supply, distribution and management at different scales.
He also discussed the current policy focus on building dams.
Faisal Hassan, an award winning agriculturalist from Punjab, commented on the significant relationship between agriculture farming, water and climate change.

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