PR No. 224 “ONE DAY WORKSHOP ON WATER QUALITY SITUATION IN SURFACE WATER BODIES OF PAKISTAN (RAVI & SUTLEJ)” Islamabad: September 28, 2016
The growing water scarcity is an issue itself but the management of used water in the form of domestic and industrial wastewater is fast becoming a serious hazard to the system said Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology. He was addressing the participants of inaugural session of one day workshop on Water Quality Situation in surface water bodies of Pakistan (Ravi & Sulej) in collaboration with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) organized by PCRWR.
He further added that the annual wastewater generation in Pakistan is more than 5.0 million acre feet (MAF) out of which hardly less than 1% are treated. The untreated wastewater is being disposed off into the river system which is a serious threat to entire ecosystem. As for handling the situation and improving waste water management he informed the audience about the present initiative of PCRWR envisages monitoring the quality of major rivers of Pakistan through a joint collaboration with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. This information would help to understand the health of the rivers and suggest strategic management measures accordingly.
On this occasion, His Excellency Mr Jurek Juszczyk, Acting High Commissioner of Australia in his remarks said that the Australian High Commission is pleased to have partnered with the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources to launch this groundwater report. This study has been conducted under the Australia Pakistan Indus Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP), a 12 year regional program focused on the Water-Food-Energy connection in the three large river basins in South Asia. Australia’s Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) scientists are working with Pakistan’s hydrologists to effectively manage Pakistan’s water resources. He hoped that the data collected in this report can be used not only by water managers but the broader community including for sewage management, agricultural development and industry.
Earlier Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman PCRWR said that intensive use of agro chemicals and untreated effluents from industry are potential source of environmental pollution, especially with respect to water quality. “Let us try to give our best and make individual contributions to not only developing new sources of water on sustainable basis but also to improve and protect the existing sources from undesirable pollutants to ensure a healthy and disease-free society, which can contribute positively to national development”. He added.
Participants from Academia, Provincial Environmental Agencies, WASAs, Public Health Engineering and Health Departments, Chemical Industries, Pak Commission on Indus Water, PINSTECH, UNICEF, JICA and US Embassy attended the workshop.