"Round Table - on “Karachi --The Uroos-ul-Bilaad: Water Crisis Management"

Round Table - on “Karachi - The Uroos-ul-Bilaad: Water Crisis Management"

The Centre for Peace, Security and Developmental Studies (CPSD) hosted a roundtable discussion on “Karachi -The Uroos-ul-Bilaad: Water Crisis Management" as the first of several roundtables to be held on the broader theme. The proceedings included one presentation and were chaired by Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui (Sitara e Imtiaz). Participants at the event included members of the academia, experts and policy practitioners.

The program initiated with a recitation of the Holy Quran. Afterwards, the stage secretary handed the proceedings over to the Member Board of Governors CPSD Habibullah Dadabhoy who gave a welcome address.

He elaborated on the significance of Karachi for Pakistan and also stressed that Water was a core issue for the city. He expressed his hope for a solution oriented approach towards the crisis to take root from such intellectual discussions.

The Chair of the proceedings Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui then elaborated on the water crisis inflicting the nation. He gave an overview on how the crisis started. He termed the lack of work on the Indus Water treaty and lack of trust between provinces as the main reason for the crisis. However he stressed that solutions were present and needed to be utilized.

The first speaker Dr Bashir Lakhani gave a presentation on the topic of Karachi’s Water Emergency: A Demographic Perspective and Possible Solutions. He opined that there was enough water for drinking and household purposes but the problem lay in supply for industrial and agricultural usage. He stressed that proper water management such as even distribution of water and rehabilitation & repair of water machinery as well as groundwater exploration, legislation and implementation of self-water generation, recycling.

The second speaker was Member Board of Governors Hisaar Foundation Zohair Aashir who discussed A Vision for Karachi: Water Conservation and Innovation in the Future. He explored the option of grooming individuals for future role as water experts as a viable solution. He opined that the future was dark but manageable as Pakistan still has more water available than other water stressed countries. There is a need for individual initiatives and citizen awareness to tackle the water crisis.

Senior Advocate Supreme Court Shahab Usto followed the speakers with a talk on Water Crisis in Pakistan: A Macro-Analysis of Water Scarcity and Security. He highlighted many causes of the water crisis such as mismanagement, political tussles, distrust between provinces and climate change.

The end of the talk was followed by an open house discussion. The debate was very lively with all the participants indulging in intellectual discussion. Participants stressed on the ways to bridge the gap between the demand and supply.

The roundtable ended with an Iftar arranged for all the participants.

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