CSC and AMRDO acclaim new water policy, but with concerns

HYDERABAD: Water experts, academia and water right activists lauded the newly announced national water policy 2018 and asked Sindh government to establish a high-level think tank to support the government to protect Sindh’s interests of water on the long term basis.

Centre for Social Change (CSC) and AL-Mehran Rural Development Organization (AMRDO) organised a civil society dialogue entitled ‘Review of national water policy 2018- consensus and concerns’.

The speakers resolved that federal government has recognised critical concerns of Sindh including implementation of the Water Accord-1991 in letter and spirit, water flow to the downstream of Kotri, assessment and regulation of ground water. The house appreciated the federal and provincial government to achieve a consensus on policy through the Council of Common Interest (CCI), a constitutional body to resolve the disputes of power sharing between the federation and provinces.

Abrar Kazi, a veteran water expert, suggested the conservation of water through emphasis crop pattern changes, Biosaline Agriculture and water recycling process.

Water flows in the streams for only three months, so new dams are not required but a review towards water governance paradigm. Despite irregularities, this policy has given opportunity to Sindh to capitalise its water share.

Centre for Social change executive director, Zulfiqar Halepoto, explained the objective of dialogue and appreciated the policy and said that transboundary issues were supposed to be dealt by either foreign office or security agencies but for the first time water issues with India and Afghanistan are being recognised as an agenda of federal and the provincial government.

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