STAFF REPORT IBD: Following the critical water shortage in Pakistan, speakers at a meeting stressed the need for adopting alternative irrigation systems and techniques for water conservation.

“If water availabilities are threatened, the subsequent socio-economic structure, particularly in rural areas, will be at greater risk”, Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC, said while addressing the annual review and planning meeting of the Project “Watershed Rehabilitation and Irrigation Improvement” here.

The Watershed Rehabilitation and Irrigation Improvement Project in Pakistan has been sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture and ICARDA launched the subject project in Pakistan in collaboration with PARC.

Dr Iftikhar said that PARC has introduced a number of water-smart technologies in the country over a period of time such as drip, sprinkler, laser land leveling and bed plantation.

However, the use of such technologies will remain suboptimal unless trained human resource is available in the country, he further added.

Dr. Iftikhar said that due to many reasons particularly improper water management at all levels, Pakistan is fast becoming a water-insufficient country.

In his remarks, Todd Drennen, representative from USDA, said that 90 per cent of total water in Pakistan is used for agriculture. It is thus a responsibility of the agriculture sector to find out means to protect the supply and better and more efficient ways to use it.

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