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ISLAMABAD, May 18: Pakistan is among the 17 countries of the world that may face severe shortage of water by 2025, therefore, reuse of wastewater after proper treatment will be the future option.

It was stated by the Vice Chancellor (VC) Quaid-i-Azam University, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai during a seminar organised by Department of Microbiology QAU in collaboration with the George Washington University, Washington DC titled: “wastewater treatment and its reuse”. Its aim was to create awareness about the efficient methods for the treatment of sewage and share the experiences of foreign experts and local scientists in the field of wastewater treatment.

Dr Yasinzai said the water shortage and access to safe drinking water in developing countries had become a serious issue and unfortunately Pakistan was not an exception to it.

In Pakistan, per capita water availability has dropped drastically over the past 60 years and could fall to less than 1,000 cubic metres by the end of 2012.

“The QAU has the best productive scientists, scholars and students but at the same time we also have a responsibility — we must realise that all our research must be targeted to provide solutions of our indigenous problems” he urged.  Chairperson Department of Microbiology Prof Dr Safia Ahmed, in her detailed presentation, briefed the audience about the Pak-US project:

“Small scale sewage treatment and wastewater reuse system for Pakistan”.

The objective of the project is to develop an efficient method for the treatment of sewage and reuse of wastewater and bio-solids.

Dr Safia said that her group at the QAU had spent months conducting investigations on the three different wastewater treatment systems regarding evaluating and optimising additional parameters, techniques and experimental setups.

She concluded saying: “Initial lab-scale studies have proved that constructed wetlands, dual digestion system and trickling filter system technologies can be used to treat domestic wastewater to such an extent that it can be used for irrigational purposes.

“Although, results from the experiments are promising, further improvements are needed to make these treatment strategies perform efficiently at experimental sites selected for the treatment of domestic wastewater at the QAU.”