BRIEF/STATUS OF FORMULATION OF SINDH WATER POLICY

Background:
The provincial policy will contribute to sustainable growth of Sindh Province by a number of elements including: (a) addressing food security and persistent poverty issues in the province especially in rural areas, (b) ensuring access to water and sanitation and ensure water security in Karachi and other commercial hubs, (c) improving the productivity of water use in agriculture, (d) increasing the resilience against climate change and natural disaster risks, (e) addressing the on-going water pollution, (f) protecting Sindh’s precious wetlands and the Indus Delta, 

which are internationally recognized to be important, and g) improving agricultural growth and water productivity on the top. This can be done through a proper water policy to be formulated through stakeholder’s participation and water experts.

The policy will cover all water resources and their uses in the province: (a) surface and groundwater; (b) water quantity and quality; and (c) agricultural, industrial, domestic, environmental, etc. uses. In addition, the preparation of the provincial water policy will be guided, as appropriate for the context of Sindh, by topics and cross-cutting issues as discussed in the national policy, including: water rights/obligations, information management, public awareness, climate change, demand management, financial and economic sustainability and capacity building. 3. The Irrigation Department, Government of Sindh as a bulk supplier of water has responsibility for overall water resources management in the province will play the lead role in drafting of water policy and to take initiatives with collaboration of other departments and concerned stakeholders. Keeping in view of the importance and multidimensional aspects of water, it is essential to form Group/Committees for defining the policy objectives and priorities based on a strong participatory process of consultation with related departments and key stakeholders including Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, Sindh Abadgar Board, local farmers; water experts, media, civil society etc. The World Bank also agreed to provide the financial as well as technical assistance (TA) to GoSindh in collaboration with FAO-UN in preparation of the policy. 4. The detailed consultative process was made with related departments and based on the understanding reached during the consultations, the preparation of policy was proposed to be carried out with the consent of Government of Sindh. 5. Accordingly, Honourable Chief Minister Sindh has been very kindly accorded the permission on the summary floated by Irrigation Department, Government of Sindh on 1st April, 2019 through Planning and Development Department, GoSindh to start the preparation of Policy through formation of (a) Steering Committee (SC) to provide overall guidance on policy objectives and targets and to monitor the progress in formulation of the policy. (b) Inter[1]Departmental Technical Committee (ITC) to recommend steering committee policy options and review and endorse the background studies required for preparation of policy and (c) Drafting Group (DG) will be comprised of leading water resources experts preferably one/two international experts supported by local experts to draft a policy by utilizing the funds available Page 2 of 4 under World Bank financed Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP). The final draft policy will be submitted to Sindh Cabinet for discussions and approval for adoption of Policy. Accordingly, the process started and actions have taken so-far as under: Þ Government of Sindh notified Steering Committee on 5th September, 2019 under the Chairmanship of Minister Irrigation to monitor overall progress in formulation of the Sindh Water Policy, review the interim and final outputs, provide guidance on policy objectives, recommend revision; and review and endorsement the final draft of SWP. Þ Inter-Departmental Technical Committee (IDTC) was also formed and notified on 6th July, 2020 under the Chairmanship of Secretary Irrigation with TORs to discuss and formulate policy objectives; recommend to Steering Committee policy options; review and endorse background policy studies drafted during the preparation of the policy; nominate the professionals/experts for drafting group with their TORs/functions and time frame for formulation of policy and submit to Steering Committee for approval; review the draft policy prepared by the drafting group Þ Drafting Group/Team formed comprising of following international and national water resources management experts to draft policy under overall guidance of Steering Committee and IDTC and feedback/outcome from the background papers/ studies: 1. Dr. Frank Van Steenburgen (International WRM Expert – Team Leader 2. Dr. Phillipe Floch, (International WRM Expert) 3. Dr. Bakhshal Lashari (National professional) 4. Dr. Heman Das Lohnao (National professional) Drafting Group selected after detailed analysis and discussed in Steering Committee as well as IDTC keeping in view of their professional background in relevant fields. Team has enormous experience in water management aspects specially Team Leader Mr. Frank has vast experience in preparation of various water policies of the different countries and has also long working relation with irrigation/water sector of the Pakistan and Sindh Province. Þ Carried out following baseline/technical studies with support of World Bank / FAO and funding arrangement of WSIP Project to develop comprehensive and evidence based SWP: • Institutional Assessment of Water & Irrigation Sector • Review of Legal Framework of Water & Irrigation Sector in Sindh • Groundwater Assessment • Water balance of Sindh water resources • Sindh Wetland assessment • Climate Change and Environmental Impacts of Water Sector in Sindh • Economic value of water and water taxation/ Financing of Irrigation water • Water supply and sanitation status in Sindh • Socio-economic and gender aspects of water in Sindh. Þ Federal Government with support of Sindh Government organized one-day Provincial Dialogue on National Water Policy-2018 in Sindh held on 27th Sept. 2019 at Karachi. The purpose of the dialogue was not only awareness but to obtain useful input from the provinces in formulation of implementation strategies in line with the provision of NWP. Special Assistance to CM Sindh for improvement of irrigation system chaired the event with Secretary, Irrigation and attended by officials of various departments of GoSindh including Irrigation, Agriculture & P&D, SIDA and also participated by representatives of Page 3 of 4 Sindh Abadgar Board, Chamber of Agriculture, farmer community, universities, NGOs working in water sector etc. Þ Recently, the Federal Government through a letter from Ministry of Planning, Development Division addressed to all the Provinces stated that “Provinces will develop their own water policies based on the broad framework and set of principles for water security in the National Water Policy 2018. It has further been directed that the process should be completed by March 2022 and inclusion of water sector projects in next PSDP 2022-23 will be subject to approval of the provincial water policy. MoWR will monitor the process provided critique and ensure quality.” Punjab has already formulated its Water Policy in December 2018. Sindh, Baluchistan and KPK are working on their Water Policies. Draft Water Policy of Sindh has been developed and is under discussions. Updated Present Status: Þ Two meetings of Steering Committee have been held on 9 th June 2020 and 26th October, 2020 under the Chairmanship of Minister Irrigation Department GoSindh and attended by all the members of the Committee and the representatives of Development Partners i.e. World Bank and FAO-UN as well as drafting group/team members. Þ Five meetings of Inter Departmental Technical Committee (IDTC) have been under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Irrigation Department, participated by the all members of the Committee as well as drafting group/team members. Þ In compliance to the directives of SC/IDTC, the Working Group has been formed with following composition for providing their valuable input to the Drafting Group in policy formulation process: 1. Mr. Waqar Hussain Phulpoto, Additional Director General SEPA. 2. Mr. Hassan Ejaz Kazmi, Karachi Water & Sewerage Board. 3. Mr. Aslam Ansari, Director Coordination, PCMU. 4. Kabool Muhammad Khatian, Chairman Left Bank Canals AWB. 5. Muhammad Suleman Chandio, Advisor, Karachi Water & Sewerage Board. 6. Ms. Hina Baig, National Institute of Oceanography, Karachi. Þ With the consent of SC/IDTC, the Drafting Group/Team was formed and is on board comprising the following international and national experts/professionals for preparation of draft policy document: 1. Dr. Frank Van Steenburgen (International WRM Expert – Team Leader 2. Dr. Phillipe Floch, (International WRM Expert) 3. Dr. Bakhshal Lashari (National professional) 4. Dr. Heman Das Lohnao (National professional) The above Drafting Group selected after detailed analysis discussed in Steering Committee and IDTC keeping in view of their professional background in relevant fields. Team has enormous experience in water management aspects specially Team Leader Mr. Frank has vast experience in preparation of various water policies of the different countries and has also long working relation with irrigation/water sector of the Pakistan and Sindh Province. Þ WhatsApp Group of all the members/participants of IDTC, Working Group and Drafting Group has been formed and is being used for easy communication. Page 4 of 4 Þ As per agreed plan, the consultative workshops/seminars were arranged on 27th October 2020 and 25th November, 2020 at USPCAS at Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro and NED University, Karachi respectively. In addition, SIDA organized three day’s dialogs/meetings on 16-18 February, 2021 at SIDA Secretariat Hyderabad. During these events, large numbers of experts/professionals from various offices/ organizations, farmers, women of public and private sectors and media personals participated and shared/provided their views/comments and suggestions / recommendations. Þ First Draft Policy Document prepared by the Drafting Group/Team was widely shared by PCMU letter dated 29th March, 2021 followed by SIDA letter dated 12th April, 2021 with all the stakeholders, working group and members of both Committees for seeking their valuable input, feedback, suggestions and recommendations before finalizing the document for onward submission to the Government for approval. Þ The Irrigation Department further shared draft policy document internally with all the Engineers/Officers of department for their valuable input/comments. Accordingly, Secretary, Irrigation Department convened a meeting of all Chief Engineers/Project Directors on 2nd July 2021 and discussed the policy document with valuable feedback /comments of the participants. Þ With the consent of Steering Committee, the funding arrangement has been made available from ongoing SBIP after WSIP project closed on 31st October, 2020 till the formulation process completed and also the final document is approved by the Government of Sindh. Accordingly, the time period of the contract agreement of drafting group has been extended till December, 2021 as approved by the IDTC. Þ Briefing / Presentation on the policy formulation process has been apprised to the Minister Irrigation Mr. Jam Khan Shoro on 5th Oct. 2021 at SIDA, Hyderabad. Þ IDTC reviewed and discussed the first draft policy document in its fifth meeting held on 4 th October, 2021 and decided that Drafting Group will submit revised draft incorporating the views/comments, suggestions/ recommendations received from various quarters including members of the working groups and committees. Þ Accordingly, in compliance to the decision of 5th IDTC meeting, the Drafting Group submitted revised draft document on 6th November, 2021 which has also been widely circulated/shared on with all the members of the working group and committees members vide PCMU letter dated 8th November, 2021 followed by SIDA letter dated 11th November, 2021 for further discussions and recommendations of IDTC as well as Steering Committee to finalize the document for further submission to Government of Sindh for approval. Þ Accordingly, formal request has been sent to P.S to Minister Irrigation vide PCMU letter dated 12th November, 2021 along with agenda and working paper for arrangement of the meeting of the Steering Committee meeting during the month on the suitable date and time as convenient to the Minister/Chairman of the Committee

Scroll to top