Hyderabad: Speakers at a two-day conference on water and the environment expressed concern that the situation relating to water shortage will worsen due to inadequate water sector management and contribution to insanitation, insufficient water supply, and contamination of the environment.

Pakistan may face a water shortage by 2030 due to a lack of policy implementation and inefficient management. On Monday, they spoke at the ‘Young Researchers’ National Conference on Water and Environment with a Focus on Urban WASH,’ which was co-hosted by the Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) and the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCASW) at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) in Jamshoro.

MUET Vice-Chancellor Dr. Aslam Uqaili, speaking at the conference’s opening session, said that the water and environment sectors needed concerted efforts. Legislators, politicians, industrialists, and those in the agriculture industry, he said, will have to work together to improve water and environmental management.

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According to the VC, the USPCASW is now accepting students and working staff from various provinces for advanced training on water and environmental issues. That helped the university’s credibility, he said, adding that the current state of the water sector had turned into a political problem that needed to be handled at all levels.

He said that the country was not short of talented individuals, but that they were simply not motivated to work in the right direction. He characterized the expulsion of Tariq Banuri, the chairman of the Higher Education Commission, as “uncivilized.”

Water, he said, had a higher economic value. There would be a shortage of water if polluters and violators were not punished.

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