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Water sector reforms imperative for sustainable development

09:22 AM | 6 Jun, 2023
Water sector reforms imperative for sustainable development

LAHORE – Speakers at a workshop have highlighted the role of water governance in fostering prosperity and sustainable development in the province. 

With the increasing impacts of climate change, Punjab is experiencing unpredictable rainfall patterns, which is increasing reliance on groundwater resources. "Through climate-smart interventions, IWMI Pakistan aims to guide farmers, industrialists, urban water users, and other stakeholders on sustainable water use, so that water scarcity can be addressed”, said Dr Mohsin Hafeez, Director - Water, Food and Ecosystems, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) while addressing the workshop at a local hotel on Monday. The workshop was arranged to mark the World Environment Day. 

Dr Hafeez also gave an overview of the implementation progress of Punjab-specific interventions introduced under the WRAP Programme Component 1: CRS-IWaG. It includes the implementation of a robust capacity-building programme for government departments and other stakeholders at the provincial and district (Okara) level; installation of Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) automated groundwater divers and soil moisture sensors in Okara for groundwater monitoring and assessing crop water requirements respectively; development of Water Accounting (WA+) and Irrigation Demand Management (IDM) framework, geotagging of groundwater monitoring sites for piezometer installation in Okara through Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and approaching academia in Punjab to develop a consortium of societies on environment and agriculture for students’ capacity building.

An early success has been the notification by the Punjab Irrigation Department (PID) confirming the adoption of PCA methodology introduced by IWMI under the programme. The field teams of the Irrigation Department have been instructed to install piezometer wells at locations identified through PCA. 

Dr Muhammad Javed, Director, Social and Environment Management, Strategic Planning and Reform Unit (SPRU), PID, briefed the participants on the role of water governance for prosperity and sustainable development in Punjab. According to him, “Punjab Water Act 2019 has been introduced to regulate groundwater abstraction, regulation of disposal of wastewater, and provision of sub-sectoral allocation of water. A licensing regime has been established through which any entity who wants to abstract water needs to get a license.” He also informed about the various initiatives of PID to improve water governance in Punjab. 

Engr. Malik Muhammad Akram, Director General, On Farm Water Management (OFWM) Punjab, highlighted the challenges faced by the agriculture sector and how improved management of water resources can contribute towards agricultural productivity in Punjab.

He said, “We need to benefit from each drop of water, each inch of land, and each unit of electricity. An integrated approach will allow government departments, research institutions, and academia to work together for improved water governance in Punjab. There is also a need to bring more area under cultivation, especially Potohar, Thal, and Cholistan areas.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 2 March 2024

Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against USD and other currencies in the open market on March 2, 2024 (Saturday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302.5 for buying and 305.5 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 354 for buying, and 359 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan – March 2, 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.4 282.3
Euro EUR 302.5 305.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354 359
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.3 77
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.5 75.3
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 737.97 745.97
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209.2
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.23 40.63
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 901.62 910.62
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 168.97 170.97
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.54 26.84
Omani Riyal OMR 725.68 733.68
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 27.13 27.43
Swedish Korona SEK 314.07 316.57
Swiss Franc CHF 314.07 316.57
Thai Bhat THB 7.74 7.89

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