Water shortage is one of the most pressing issues that Pakistan currently faces. The country has the world's fourth highest rate of water use, and its water intensity rate, which is the amount of water used per unit of GDP, is the world's highest. Existing water resources in Pakistan are stressed due to rapidly growing population size, urbanization and subsequent unplanned land use changes. Water resources are inextricably linked with climate, and projected climate change has serious implications for Pakistan’s water resources and especially vulernable populations, agriculture, ecology, and local biodiversity. Freshwater resources in Pakistan rely on snow and glacier-melt and monsoon rains, both highly sensitive to climate change.
Pakistan has the world’s largest indigenous rainwater harvesting (runoff collection) system, known as the spate irrigation system, which diverts flood water through natural weir-regulated structures and irrigates roughly 0.3 million hectare of cultivated land. In some areas, the spate irrigation system is technically advanced. However, even though this technique is long practiced by several communities, it is often lacking in quality and sustainability. Most community-owned storm water harvesting ponds are poorly designed and vulnerable to contamination.
Rainwater harvesting for artificial groundwater recharge and flood control in urban areas uses a technique that involves the construction of an inverted well that channels flood water to help recharge groundwater, while also stopping urban flooding. This technique offers both an opportunity for urban flood management and increased drought resilience in areas dependent upon rainwater.
- Policy advocacy for technology transfer action plan of rain water harvesting and rain water harvesting for groundwater recharge at community and sub national level;
- Design of behavioral change communication campaign to raise awareness on the future negative impacts of climate change on water resources;
- Enhancement of key stakeholder participation, especially vulnerable communities such as young girls and women) during key stages of local decision-making processes;
- Strengthening of technical, institutional and organizational capacity of local administrative units for developing operational policies and procedures for participation of vulnerable community in technology adoption; and
- Collaboration for R&D to upgrade and scale up rain water harvesting technology adoption for adaptation
- Strengthened participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management;
- Increased ability of vulnerable communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change;
- Improved effectiveness and durability of adaptation actions;
- Increased resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems;
- Effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships for R&D to upgrade and upscale technology adoption; and
- Integrated ecosystems and biodiversity values into national and local planning, the development process and poverty reduction strategies.