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Pakistan’s scarce water can bring more value to people and economy: World Bank

11:07 PM | 4 Feb, 2019
Pakistan’s scarce water can bring more value to people and economy: World Bank
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan can get more economic, social and environmental benefits from its water, subject to urgent reforms to improve water use efficiency and service delivery, says a new report from the World Bank.

The report, Pakistan: Getting More from Water, states that while Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is well-endowed with water, water availability per person is comparatively low. Water wastage is high and agricultural yields are low compared to most countries.

Although climate change and trans-boundary issues are a significant hindrance for Pakistan’s water sector, the greatest challenges and opportunities are internal, not external, to Pakistan.

So, improving water-use efficiency and productivity, delivery of water services in cities and in irrigation, and addressing environmental sustainability are the most pressing needs, according to this new analysis.



“Water security in Pakistan is reaching a critical point that demands urgent attention and reform,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Boosting irrigation productivity, while paying more attention to the social and environmental aspects of water management, is critical.

This will require strong collaboration between federal and provincial governments and other stakeholders. The objective must be to strengthen water governance and strategic water planning, to build resilience in the face of a changing climate and growing water demands.”

While irrigation dominates water use in the country, the four major crops (rice, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton) that use 80 percent of water contribute only 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).



Poor water management is conservatively estimated to cost 4 percent of GDP or around $12 billion per year. These costs are dominated by inadequate domestic water supply and sanitation, but also include the costs of floods and droughts.

Poor sanitation and a lack of wastewater treatment cause water-borne diseases that kill 40,000 children each year. Rivers, lakes and the extensive Indus Delta are severely degraded undermining important ecosystem services.

“New dams can help improve water security but will not address the most pressing water problems that Pakistan faces,” says William Young, author of the report. “Irrigation systems need modernizing; hydromet systems should be expanded; and urban water infrastructure, especially for wastewater, requires major investment. The National Water Policy provides a sound basis for reform, but provincial water policies need much attention, and the underpinning legal framework is incomplete and needs strengthening.”

Reaching upper-middle income status by 2047 is an ambitious goal for Pakistan and will require a significant change in the structure of the economy. However, water scarcity need not limit growth.

Irrigation water use can increase to meet growing food demands if efficiency improvements are made.

Changes in the diet with increasing wealth will have significant impacts on commodity demands and crop choices.

Agricultural subsidies must be reformed to reflect the real value of commodity exports and of water. Without reform, irrigation water use will limit water access by industry and services sectors, constraining economic growth. Attention must be given to increasing flows below Kotri Barrage both for the health of the delta and for Karachi water supply.

https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/headline/pakistan-gets-first-ever-national-water-policy-to-tackle-crisis/

The report was prepared by the World Bank with external contributions from local and international water experts, including the International Water Management Institute and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

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.

On Saturday, Euro 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 - 24 February 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 2.10 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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