Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) organized a Technical Session Water Accounting Results at Provincial Level for Sindh and Punjab from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017. It was held in Islamabad on December 9, 2019. It was attended by participants from the world bank, and Agriculture Departments of different provinces including FAO technical experts.
Pakistan faces an acute water shortage which is compounded by high climatic variability. In light of the growing concerns to address the water crisis, sustainable management of water resources merits urgent attention and remains a key government priority. In an effort to promote judicious management of water resources and informed policymaking, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations conducted a water accounting exercise for improved management of water resources.
A team of experts, both national and international, have analyzed the status of water availability, water demand and uses, and responses required for future factoring in the population growth and climate change in Pakistan. The analysis was carried out using Remote Sensing technology based on satellite images, public sector data and information available at the basin and provincial level.
Water accounting is an invaluable tool to resolving water problems and guiding sustainable management of water resources. It is an inclusive tool which brings together water users from different sectors and creates a common “water” language for understanding among water managers and stakeholders. Water management experts from the government and the development sector were invited to share feedback critical for the finalization and validation of the results.
FAO representative Mina Dowlatchahi said that ‘this is the time to support the paradigm shift from irrigation to water management in Pakistan. For this, a defined methodology for water accounting is a key milestone. Today is the opportunity for a technical review to ensure timely finalization of the results, which are critical for coherent and informed policy and decision making on water, in a context of exacerbated climate change impacts in the country.’
FAO Water expert Dr. Robina Wahaj stated that in “light of increasing climatic variability and stressed water resources, water accounting merits urgent attention as it is a precursor to developing informed water policies, which directly impacts food security of the country.”