HYDERABAD: Only a knowledge based society can bring socio-economic development with a people-centric approach where our National Water Policy 2018 and Climate Change Policy 2013 is thoughtfully and meticulously implemented and this is the way forward for us to be not only secure but sovereign country. This was expressed by Nisar A. Memon, the former Federal Minister & Senator, speaking as the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of Two-Day 2nd Young Researchers’ National Conference on Water and Environment, held at U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) at Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET) Jamshoro on Friday.

He said that water and environment is part of un-conventional security along with the energy and food; as such it requires national focus like the conventional security i.e. defence and defence production. He opined that globally, the water-environment-food nexus had assumed importance due to its role in the wellbeing of the people and living beings. “The security of people of Pakistan requires greater investment in all water environment institutions and infrastructure with merit based governance.” he added.

Nisar Memon said that Pakistan currently has the largest youth population of its history and quoting the United Nation’s Human Development Report said that, it has 64% of its 207 million population below the age of 30 and 29% between 15-29 years. “But our challenge is to nurture the youth and offer them the opportunities.” he observed. He said that the conference paved the way for the youth researchers to present their research work, learn from peers and participate in national research endeavors.

He further elaborates the exercised youth scientists will preserve, protect and promote the water and environment assets of about 7,250 glaciers and Indus basin the largest irrigation system in the world. He continued and said even though we contribute less to global warming of the environment, but we are a 10th most vulnerable country in the world regarding climate change affects. He also participated in a different technical session of the conference and appreciated the efforts of MUET Water Center for organizing such vibrant conference.

Dr. Bakhsha Lashari, the project director USPCAS-W MUET presented thirty two (32) recommendation of the two-day conference recommending develop policies for regulating the use of ground water, effective implementation of national water policy be made, to bring improvement in the irrigation system which can save water equivalent to one dam. While sharing the recommendation, he stressed on the institutional audit of the water resources be conducted on a periodic basis to help planners and administrative bodies to make informed decisions and on irrigation infrastructure be modernized and equipped to manage water resources properly. He also recommended for the promotion of behavioral change to reduce wastage of water by raising public awareness through media campaigns and incorporating water conservation lessons in syllabi/curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. He further recommended that all the industries should install their waste treatment plants and water Conservation Technology may be adopted to save the water.

Earlier to the closing ceremony, in plenary session Muhammad Abid, World Bank Water Resource Specialist delivering his presentation on Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project said that before implanting of the project one has to design and then refer the Project Development Objective (PDO). He said that under the World Bank titled project the 100 small dams are being development in different location in the province as to provide water for domestic and agriculture use.