The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Lead Pakistan, Riphah International University, and the Eco-Science Foundation observed the World Water Day (WWD) at PCRWR Headquarters in Islamabad on 20 March. The program aimed to raise awareness about fresh water scarcity and wastewater production and management in Pakistan. Representatives from public and private organizations and educational institutions participated in the event. Mr Muhammad Azam, the Deputy Mayor of Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, sat as chief guest and highlighted problems related to groundwater depletion, water scarcity and water waste in Islamabad. Azam told the gathering there was hope for addressing these issues: “A committee has been constituted in this regard which has conducted more than 15 meetings. We want to resolve these issues with the coordination of government, opposition, and organizations like PCRWR”.
Experts from PCRWR, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the National Agricultural Research Centre, National University of Science and Technology, UNESCO, IUCN, LEAD Pakistan, ECO-Science Foundation and Riphah International University discussed the importance of World Water Day on various themes. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman of PCRWR, said, “We are polluting our water and poisoning our natural spring of life. If we conserve water we will be able to reduce our wastewater production, and its management will become easy”. Dr. Ghulam Rasul, Director General of PMD said water pricing and proper billing were the only way to stop its waste. Dr. Abdul Wahid Jasra, the Pakistan Country Representative from ICIMOD shared a message from Director General David Molden who extended his gratitude to all participants who made the event successful with their presence.
The event was complemented by a WWD portrait competition among students from various local universities.