SIALKOT  -  WWF Pakistan organised a two-day awareness session here on Friday to educate the students on water issues, risks and challenges.

The objective of the seminar was to make them become aware of the risk of water scarcity in Pakistan and ways to conserve deteriorating water resources in the country. Students from the Fine Art department in local universities and colleges also painted pictures in support of water conservation.

On the occasion, the senior officials of WWF Pakistan said that it was hosting a 10 litres water challenge, a short video competition for young generation, to commemorate the World Water Week. The aim of the competition was to make younger population understand what it was to be water poor.

Under the competition, the students will spend 24 hours by using only 10 litres of water. This will include water consumed in all daily activities including the water that is used for preparing the meals. The experience will be documented by the students and will make them understand how hard it is to spend a day with such little water and in ways the challenge will change perspective about freshwater, the officials added.

They told the participants that Pakistan was water stressed country and was nearing the threshold of water scarcity. With the current census estimating the country's population to be over 207 million, Pakistan's per capita surface water availability has declined from 5,260 cubic meters per year in 1951 to around 1,000 cubic meters in 2016. This quantity is likely to further drop to about 860 cubic meters by 2025 making Pakistan from a "water-stressed" to a "water scarce" country.

Water and ecosystems and their impact on human development require collective action and business ecosystem strategies. That's why this year, World Water Week's theme is "Water, Ecosystems and Human Development". World Water Week is a meeting place for scientists, policymakers, and private sector and civil society actors to network, exchange ideas and foster new thinking around the most pressing water-related challenges.

They revealed that the WWF Pakistan officials will attend the World Water Week 2018 to be held in Stockholm-Sweden, where freshwater initiatives taken by WWF-Pakistan will be presented. Sohail Naqvi from WWF-Pakistan along with officials from Arizona state University, Earth Genome and WWF-US will also present the BASIT tool, which is currently under construction. This tool shows an integrated approach of surface water and groundwater and supply-demand scenarios of Ravi Basin in Pakistan.

They will also share the findings of the work with Textile sector in Pakistan under International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan's SMEs (ILES) project funded by the European Union (EU) and will also explain the approach of engagement of local stakeholders for collective actions.