Understanding societal failure in providing clean drinking water

Venue: Conference Hall, CDPR

Date: 26th Jan 2018, Friday

Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm

Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) hosted its nineteenth Lahore Policy Exchange talk on “Understanding societal failure in providing clean drinking water.” Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. The country may run dry by 2025 if immediate action is not taken. Pakistan already crossed the “water stress line” in 1990 and the “water scarcity line” in 2005. Pakistan has the world’s fourth highest rate of water use. Its water intensity rate i.e. the amount of water, in cubic meters, used per unit of GDP remains the world’s highest. The country however has fewer than 1,000 cubic meters of water available per person. Moreover, it’s dams are only able to store water enough for 30 days compared to 220 for India. The issue has been exacerbated by climate change, poor water management, an exploding population, ill-planned urbanization and lack of political will to deal with the crisis. To find solutions, policymakers and citizens must come together. The event featured three speakers who expanded upon the multi-faceted causes leading to Pakistan’s water crisis and proposed solutions as well as discussed what is currently being done to manage Pakistan’s water resources. Dr. Syed M. Hasan (Assistant Professor in Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences) explained the clean drinking water crisis by describing what it is and the reasons that have led up to it. Capt. (Retd.) Muhammad Usman [Chief Executive Officer at the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (North and South)] – talked about the initiatives that the Punjab government is taking to address the crisis. Hammad Naqi Khan (Chief Executive Officer at the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan) – shared his experience in improving access to clean drinking water via local, community-based solutions.