In observance of World Water Week, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Nestlé Pakistan joined forces to host a panel discussion centered on innovative irrigation solutions aimed at reducing water wastage and enhancing agricultural productivity. World Water Week, spanning from the 20th to the 24th of this year, serves as a platform for global discussions on water challenges and strategies for responsible water management, aligning with this year’s theme focusing on innovative solutions for a water-wise world.
Dr. Abu Bakr Muhammad, Director of the Center for Water Informatics & Technology (WIT) at LUMS, emphasized the urgency of prioritizing water in action plans and policies, stating, “Communities, companies, and governments must urgently develop innovative solutions to secure water resources and strike a balance between people and nature.”
Mr. Mohsin Leghari, former Senator and Minister of Irrigation in Punjab, stressed the need for collective action to address Pakistan’s agricultural challenges. Over 90% of Pakistan’s water resources are allocated to agriculture, with a staggering 50% wastage due to mismanagement. Leghari highlighted, “Given the challenges posed by climate change and food security, coupled with our agrarian economy, it is imperative to enhance agricultural productivity through efficient water management and modern irrigation methods.”
Sheikh Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Nestlé Pakistan, underscored Nestlé’s Caring for Water-Pakistan (C4W-Pakistan) initiative as a noteworthy example of collective action. He explained, “C4W-Pakistan’s three-pillar approach—factories, communities, and agriculture—serves as a blueprint for collective action.” Nestlé has made significant strides in assisting farmers with the adoption of drip irrigation on 139 acres and deploying Smart Soil Moisture Sensors on 548 acres in Punjab. Drip irrigation is being expanded in Sindh. Nestlé’s Waters Pledge in 2021 further accelerated its water stewardship efforts, positioning it in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 6, 13, and 17. By the close of 2022, Nestlé had achieved 58% of its 2025 target, well on track to fulfill its commitment.
Prominent speakers, including Abdullah Jawaid, Business Executive Officer at Nestlé Waters; Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Member of the Committee on Water Issues in Islamabad; environmental journalist Zofeen Ebrahim; water expert Imran Saqib Khalid; and Sultan Ahmed Bhatti, owner of Sukeki Farms, all echoed the need for sustainable irrigation methods as a critical imperative.