Addressing Climate-Induced Water Challenges in Pakistan through Integrated Water Resources Management

The challenges of food and water security in Pakistan have become increasingly complex due to the impacts of climate change. Experts emphasize the need for a multidimensional approach to manage water resources sustainably and improve water governance. A recent training workshop organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Okara district sheds light on the significance of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in tackling these issues.

Building Capacity for Better Water Allocation 

The workshop aimed to empower mid-career professionals and government officials at the district and tehsil levels with the skills necessary for improved water allocation practices through the IWRM approach. Dr. Cheema emphasized the role of real-time data provided by CTD divers in ensuring sustainable groundwater reserves and informed decision-making.

Tackling Climate-Induced Water and Food Insecurity

Engr. Saeed Ullah Alvi, Deputy Director of the Office of the Farm Water Management (OFWM) in District Okara, acknowledged the pressing issue of climate change-induced water and food insecurity. Collaborating with IWMI, they aim to share technology and scientific research with Water User Associations in the district to enhance irrigation demand management.

Real-Time Data for Informed Decisions 

Hafsa Aeman, Senior Research Officer at IWMI Pakistan, emphasized the significance of decision-making based on real-time scientific data and water assessments. This approach ensures that actions taken in water resource management are well-informed and effective.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion 

Kanwal Waqar, Gender and Youth Specialist at IWMI Pakistan, stressed the importance of integrating Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) into water resource management. She highlighted the critical role of female participation in decision-making processes to enhance water governance in Pakistan.

Ensuring Climate Resilience

Mr. Mubashir Ali, Deputy Director of the Water Resources Zone (WRZ), emphasized the need for an Integrated Water Resources Management approach to address climate-driven water shortages. This approach, advocated by IWMI, is essential for building climate resilience in Pakistan.

Collaboration Across Sectors

The Punjab Irrigation Department (PID), Water Resources Zone (WRZ), and Environment Protection Department (Okara Office) collaborated on this initiative. Faculty and students from Okara University and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad sub-campus Okara also contributed to the workshop, showcasing the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration in tackling water security challenges.

The workshop organized by IWMI in Okara district underscores the urgency of addressing climate-induced challenges to food and water security in Pakistan. Through a multidimensional approach and collaboration with various stakeholders, including government bodies, academia, and communities, the Integrated Water Resources Management approach offers hope for a more sustainable and resilient water future in the region.

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