Pakistan’s water situation is at a crossroads. The country has been increasingly cited by international organizations for being on the brink of water scarcity because of its declining per capita water availability. At the same time, the architecture of water resource governance in the country is undergoing a major overhaul.
At this critical juncture, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies organized a private, off-the-record roundtable to discuss Pakistan’s key water challenges. The Atlantic Council’s last dialogue on Pakistan’s water resources, organized almost a decade ago, focused on transboundary water cooperation between India and Pakistan through a Track II initiative.
In this latest roundtable, participants focused on water governance issues within Pakistan and proposed solutions likely to be the most attainable in the current political climate. During the discussions, water researchers and experts from both within and outside Pakistan advocated for moving away from mainstream discourse toward a more imaginative reframing of Pakistan’s water challenge. Participants worked to outline a novel approach to analyzing the country’s water challenge—an approach that is more holistic, equitable, and people-centered. The key takeaways from the discussion, expanded on in this issue brief, were that Pakistan’s water scarcity debate must be reframed, climate change is the principal water issue, cities are now at the forefront of Pakistan’s water challenge, and that water governance must be reimagined going forward.
The South Asia Center (SAC) is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region.
At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.
Bretton Woods 2.0 Oct 21, 2019
A Conversation with the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan H.E. Reza Baqir
On October 16th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics (GBE) Program hosted a roundtable conversation with Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
SouthAsiaSource Sep 22, 2021
Experts react: 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tajikistan
By South Asia Center
On September 17, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held a heads-of-state summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in a hybrid virtual and in-person setting. Consisting of China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and most recently Iran, the SCO meeting primarily discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan and its ramifications for member states as well as the international community more broadly.
SouthAsiaSource Sep 3, 2021
Pakistan and the Taliban 2.0: The good, the bad, and the ugly
By Rabia Akhtar
The Taliban’s 11-day Blitzkrieg has left the entire world stunned. As the new government takes shape in Afghanistan, there are some good, some bad, and some ugly realities confronting the region, primarily Pakistan.