The Daily Times
Published Date: Oct 6, 2017
Nestlé Pakistan Water Plan unveiled at LUMS
LAHORE: In a rare alliance between the corporate sector, academia, think tanks, development sector and government, the Nestlé Pakistan Water Plan was unveiled at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The coalition was led by Nestlé Pakistan in collaboration with: LUMS, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan, Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Punjab and Pakistan Agriculture Research Centre (PARC).
It was reported that one of the major issues Pakistan faced today is water scarcity. Pakistan ranked the third most water stressed country in the world, with its current per capita annual water availability at 1,017 cubic meters (down from 1,500 cubic meters in 2009). Some scientific guesstimates suggest that the country would run dry by 2025 if immediate steps were not taken.
The Nestlé Pakistan Water Plan aimed to bring together multiple partners to preserve and protect water resources by leveraging research and technology to reduce and recycle water, introduce sustainable agricultural techniques to reduce water use vis-à-vis increased yield, and provide access to clean and safe water within communities.
At the occasion, Nestlé Pakistan MD Bruno Olierhoek reiterated Nestlé Pakistan’s commitment to the water cause. He said, “Our Sheikhupura Factory was Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certified in 2017 and we aim to get the remaining three factories certified by AWS standards, by the end of 2019. We will increase the number of drinking water facilities to 7 in 2018 with a new installation in Kabirwala. Furthermore, we want to promote drip irrigation in other water efficient initiatives. By the end of 2017, drip irrigation will be implemented on 68 acres leading to water saving of 147 mio litres, which will be further extended to185 acres, resulting in savings of over 400 mio litres by the end of 2019.”
Nestlé EVP and Head of Operations Dr. Magdi Batato said, “Water is critical to every part of our value chain, from farm to factory. Being an industry leader company, governments and civil society expect us to play a leadership role in water management. That is why we have identified opportunities to optimize water use in factories, watershed, agriculture and communities.”
Dr. Syed Sohail Hussain Naqvi said, “LUMS is proud to play a role in addressing the water scarcity issue as it is imperative that we come together to resolve this for our present and future generations.”
Speaking at the occasion, SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Qaiyum Sulehri said, “There was a time when we thought we would never run out of natural gas and today it’s the same dire situation with water. Water is imperative for us in addressing our energy and food security concerns.”
Agriculture Department Secretary Captain (r) Muhammad Mahmood said, “Water is life. Currently, Pakistan has a water storage capacity of just 30 days. We have been struggling to maintain adequate surface water supply for the past 3 decades.”