By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s top political leadership has approved the first ever national water policy to help the South Asian country wriggle out of the crisis it is facing in the form of dwindling water resources.
The Council of Common Interests (CCI) that met in the capital Islamabad on Tuesday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in chair, was attended by the Chief ministers of all the four provinces.
Salient features of National Water Policy include: Water use and allocation on priority ,Integrated planning for development and use of water resources, Environmental integrity of the Basin, Impact of climate change, Trans-boundary water sharing, Irrigated and rain-fed agriculture, Drinking water and sanitation, Hydropower and industry uses, Ground water resources,Water rights and obligations, Sustainable water infrastructure, Water related hazards, Quality management, Awareness and research, Conservation measures, Legal framework and capacity building of water sector institutions.
After deliberation, the CCI directed the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, Planning Commission of Pakistan and Ministry of Water Resources to reconcile net hydel profits in consultation with the provinces and resubmit the issue for decision in the next CCI meeting.
The prime minister along with the four chief ministers also signed the Pakistan Water Charter pledging commitment to the National Water Policy.