STAFF REPORT ISB: Water is a key element for socio-economic development in Pakistan as it ensures not only better health as well as environment but also creates better jobs. Water is a precious asset that requires to be conserved for better human consumption and agriculture usage.

These were the consensus points at an awareness seminar organized by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO), Unesco, Economic Cooperation Organisation Science Foundation (ECOSF), National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and Riphah International University to mark the World Water Day. The event focused on the theme better water – better jobs.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Science and Technology Fazal Abbas Mekan said that today, almost half of the worlds workers — 1.5 billion people — work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery.

He said the theme in 2016 was focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers lives and livelihoods, and even transform societies and economies.

Mekan said that water management and availability, accessibility, and affordability need to be discussed besides focusing on its availability and distribution issues.

He asserted that our main issue is distribution and not availability only. “We should change our behaviours and attitude in order to conserve water as we, the whole nation, has wasted water abundantly,” he maintained.

Riphah International University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad said that water issues are not only related to science, engineering, or economics; rather those are also founded on values, ethics, and the equal contributions of different cultures.

“Our problems are indigenous, therefore, the solutions cannot be imported,” he further remarked.

In his remarks, Dr. Manzoor Soomro, President ECO Science Foundation, said that water is life and more important in arid areas. He sought equal contribution on the part of all stakeholders for enhancing awareness about water conservation.

Science and technology can solve every problem, which is a simplest solution but we need some holistic approach on water which guarantees survival of life on the planet earth, he said.

Earlier, PCRWR Chairman Dr. Ashraf elaborated the importance of water in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

ICARDA Country Manager Dr. Abdul Majid highlighted the role of ICARDA in improving community based water services and provision of water related jobs.

The World Water Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.

Today, almost half of the worlds workers work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery.

Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. The theme in 2016 – water and jobs – is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

Guest of honour Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad, Vice Chancellor Riphah International University, said that the World Water Day is a global event, but we are only celebrating days not getting inspired by the objectives. “We need to change this psychology to handle water crisis.”

According to studies, one large tree provides oxygen for 16 person, one person uses 3 oxygen cylinders per day which cost about 180,000 – nature provide this amount free of cost. Similarly, 5400 litres of water is needed for every human being, whereas in Pakistan we have 1100 litres of water and this situation is deteriorating.

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