LAHORE Pakistan is celebrating the 2011 World Water Day on Tuesday (today) by raising awareness and encouraging policy makers to look into sustainable development initiatives in our cities as a support to lessen stress on urban water systems. This year, the international World Water Day is being celebrated with the extended theme of 'Water and Urbanization. Around the world, countries are pledging to work on finding better managed solutions to rapid urbanization and the stress it puts on sourcing and supplying water to our cities. In a developing country like Pakistan, the factors impacting continuous supply of water to millions who live in cities include unchecked development, impractical architecture, climate change and industrialization. As our cities grow beyond previously defined boundaries, many industrial units that were previously outside city limits are being assimilated into the urban centres. The proximity to these industrial areas, coupled with unsustainable development, is critically destroying urban water systems. We need to take a two-pronged approach towards identifying threats to our accessibility to water, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director Programmes at WWF Pakistan said. We need to preserve and safeguard our natural, freshwater sources, and then we need to concentrate on infrastructural and urban development initiatives that limit stress on urban water requirements. For the first, we must focus on our forests and on climate change, for the second, active governmental and civil society involvement is needed. The need to concentrate on finding meaningful ways to limit water usage in urban areas and making the most of our supply is more pronounced than ever as Pakistan is an agriculture driven economy. One of our chief crops, cotton, is a 'water thirsty crop. It requires large quantities of water to grow. By properly managing our current water resources, a balance can be achieved in urban and rural water distribution.