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Karachi among world’s large cities heading to water supply shut off

28% of the world’s largest cities are moving towards Day Zero and 80% of the world’s waste water is released to the environment without treatment, IWMI experts highlight the importance of water reuse in developing countries at the fifth Karachi International Water Conference

11:12 AM | 2 Dec, 2021
Karachi among world’s large cities heading to water supply shut off

LAHORE - A panel of experts has stressed the need for boosting water productivity for better use in urban centres through latest techniques and joint efforts as the resource is depleting at an unprecedented rate. 

The experts spoke at length on Wednesday at a webinar held during 5th Karachi International Water Conference titled ‘Circular water economy in urban context’, moderated by Dr Mohsin Hafeez, Country Representative, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan and Central Asia.

In his opening remarks, Dr Mohsin said that Pakistan was using even less than 1% of wastewater after treatment. He said that use of wastewater after treatment should be the key priority. 

“We need to pump water back into the system after treatment to overcome the water scarcity in Pakistan,” Dr Mohsin said. 

The IWMI representative said that water productivity needed to be enhanced for generations to come. He said that untreated flowing wastewater was polluting the entire food chain. 

Dr Mohsin quoted the example of Australia where potable water was not used for flushing purposes and compared it to Pakistan where the use of potable water for flushing was very common.

In his address, Dr Pay Drechsel, research quality adviser at IWMI from Colombo, Sri Lanka, said that water reuse was the key component of a circular economy. He dispelled the impression that technology was pivotal to circular economy and said that business models and awareness was also needed in this regard. 

Deploring water scarcity at the global level, Dr Drechsel revealed that 28 percent of world’s large cities, including Karachi, were moving towards Day Zero, a reference to the water supply shut off.

The water expert said the situation was becoming severe on a global level as farmers in Cape Town had to donate 10 million cubic meter of water to the city. 

“The drawback of water swap was the low quality of reclaimed water,” he said.  

The IWMI official said that over 80 percent of the world’s wastewater was released into the environment without treatment. 

Dr Simi Kamal, chairperson of the Hisaar Foundation, admitted that policymakers already knew the solution to the burgeoning water crisis but adequate steps were needed. 

“We are used to wasting any commodity provided free of cost to us,” she said.

Citing the example of Pakistan’s southern metropolis, Dr Simi Kamal said that exotic gardens were being set up in Karachi at a time when the city was already water-starved. She laid stress on political, social and technological solutions to overcome the problems faced by metropolises across the world. 

One of the panelists, WWF Pakistan’s Sohail Ali Naqvi, said, “We needed to shift focus to water replenishment as concrete layers in cities prevent water from seeping through land.” He said the recharge Pakistan program was being implemented to tackle water scarcity. 

In his concluding remarks, Dr Mohsin said that Pakistan was a water-deficient country and efforts should be made to use unconventional sources of water for different sectors. He said that water pricing was not rational across the country. 

“We need to create awareness among different sectors,” Dr Mohsin said, and regretted that wastewater treatment was not available in Pakistan in bigger cities.

The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 26 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 26 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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