water, Sewerage & solid waste management in lahore

January 24, 2015

Position Paper

Atif Hassan

This Position Paper identifies two sources of water pollution/contamination in Lahore; first, the entire waste of Lahore city is collected through 14 drains and then dumped into River Ravi without any cleaning or treatment. An estimated over 270 industries waste including; textile, chemical, food processing, pulp and paper, poultry, dairy, plastic, paint, pesticides, leather, tanneries and pharmaceuticals is discharged into the canal system. Second, the Gharki system in combination with innumerable waste water ponds around the city contaminates the surface and drinkable water. The quality of ground water is generally good near the Ravi River but deteriorates in the south and south-western direction. The quality of shallow ground water is generally considered poor and high in arsenic, particularly in the surrounding areas of the city. Recognizing water related health and environmental risks the position paper makes several recommendations. It makes a case for regularly monitoring the quality of water; raising awareness among citizens on water conservation and efficient usage; encouraging entrepreneurs and industrialists to invest in waste water treatment; engage stake-holders including civil society through deliberation and dialogue on devising long term plans for water conservation; calls for integrated water resource management strategies and finally provides a framework for improving institutional coordination among LDA, WASA, departments of Environment, Health, Housing and Planning and Development for ensuring sustainable management of water for Lahore and it surroundings.