National Water Policy of Pakistan awaiting approval

National Water Policy of Pakistan awaiting approval

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday said that National Water Policy will be announced after approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

In a written reply in the senate, the minister said that National Water Policy was sent to the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination on January 13, 2017 for seeking approval of the Council of Common Interests and after the said approval, the policy will be announced.

He said that the first draft of National Water Policy (NWP) was initially prepared in 2005 after long process of review and consultations with all major stakeholders. It was processed for approval of Federal Cabinet, but could not be approved.

He added in 2010, it was decided to update NWP by taking stock of the latest developments in the water sector, especially the climate change and its impact on water resources. Subsequently, a joint Committee headed by Adviser MoWP, with members from WAPDA, PEC and WCAP was constituted to finalize the NWP document.

After detailed consultations and deliberations, and also review of the Report of Friends of Democratic Pakistan — Water Sector Task Force, the finally edited NWP document was sent to Ministry of Law and Justice in October 2012 for vetting and advice.

He added the Ministry of Law and Justice advised that "Legislative List of the Constitution, 1973 (4th Schedule) does not possess any such provision with regard to water policy, etc. As such it is evident that it is a provincial subject and Federal

Ministry, if considers necessary, may issue this policy, in consultation with provinces through Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination.

He said updated NWP was circulated to all major stakeholders in July 2015. A one day brainstorming national seminar on NWP was held in Islamabad in December 2015. Draft NWP was again circulated to Provincial Chief Secretaries and related organizations in August 2016 for review and comments. Comments received from stakeholders have been incorporated in the refined NWP in November 2016 by water and policy experts.

In order to finalize the NWP, in view of stakeholder’s views Ministry of Water and Power organized a consultative seminar on November 28, 2016 at WAPDA Staff College, Islamabad. During consultative session, further view points from different stakeholders were taken and accordingly incorporated in final format of draft NWP.

All the stakeholders have shown positive response and consensus for approval and finalization of NWP from competent forum, he added.

To another question, the said that WAPDA has completed feasibility studies and pre-feasibility studies on the eight Run of the River Projects.

He said that the installed capacity of Warsak Power Station has been decreased to 185 MW due to severe erosion of turbines, guide vanes etc. resulted from heavy sediment load carried by water of Kabul River. He said in order to restore Warsak Power Station to its original installed capacity, PC-I amounting to Rs.

22,254.235 million was approved on November 27, 2015 for its rehabilitation.