Environmentalists have suggested government for taking up measures focusing on improved access to water as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has high incidence of multi-dimensional poverty and among other factors lack of access to water is a major driver of poverty and derivation. This suggestion was given by a team of experts on environment, water issues and climate change in a book they jointly authored. The book titled as `Water Profiles of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ is edited by Dr. Arjumand Nizami, Adviser Environment and Climate Change Helvasta Swiss Intercooperation and Jawad Ali, Ex. Director Climate Change Center University of Agriculture Peshawar while 19 experts gave their input. The book is the first ever effort to bring all the scattered knowledge together on water and related sectors in the province which also helped in chalking out KP’s first Integrated Water Resources Management Strategy and a manual to conduct strategic IWRM planning at catchment level. “Many of the 35.5 million people (83.5% of them in rural areas) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province live in multi-dimensional poverty. Lack of access to water is a major driver of poverty and deprivation,” reads the book. The province has a diverse landscape of agricultural plains, dry lands, mountains and substantial seasonal variations and these finite resources needs to be managed holistically, engaging users, planners, and policymakers at all levels, it suggested. KPK also has three main hydrological assets comprising of Indus basin in the centre, Rudh Kohi catchment in the South and glacial highlands in the North which need to be leveraged to generate local investment. The diversity of water resources in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is an opportunity as well as a management challenge, the book authors remarked. Agriculture is the major source of livelihoods in the province, 80% of the workforce in rural areas being thus engaged – contributing to the provincial as well as the national economy. The main factor limiting agricultural development in the province is water. Irrigation supplied through the government-managed canal system reaches only 34% of the total cultivated area, whilst the remaining 66% is either cultivated under rain fed conditions or barren. A small area is also irrigated from the community managed irrigation channels. The total irrigated area of the province is much lower than the national average, which stands at 60.67% of all cultivable land, it added. Domestic requirements are almost completely met from groundwater resources. There is usually no control of the wasteful use of water due to a flat rate tariff system. “With almost two thirds of its cultivated land depending on rainfall and a large proportion of cultivable waste land, a shortage of water for irrigation and domestic purposes appears to be one of the most critical factors contributing to the multidimensional poverty of KP province,” added the book. In reference to effect of climate change on water, the authors also noted that rainfall concentration has shifted some 80-100 km from East to West, further into KP province during summer/monsoon season. This may have economic implications for the farmers living in the areas affected and for the planners of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and water management, they warn. The main river system in the province is the Indus and according to the Water Apportionment Accord, 1991, a total of 8.78 MAF of water, amounting to 7.7% of the total available, has been allocated to the province of KP from the Indus Basin River System. Against this, the province could utilize only 5.97 MAF with an annual unused surplus resource of 2.81 MAF. KP province’s water comes from 6,100 km of rivers and streams, 6,400 ha of lakes and 54,600 ha of dams and reservoirs which also serve as fish farms for around 3,200 tons of harvest per year. The annual surface water flows are carried by the 11 major rivers and streams traversing the province. The total surface flow is about 29.51 MAF which include 3.99 MAF flows of the erstwhile FATA rivers and Zams (hill torrents). The groundwater potential of the province is not known. A study conducted in 2020 covers only the central parts of the province. The annual groundwater extraction for agriculture and domestic uses is estimated at 3.97 MAF. Around 57% of the annual extraction is used in the agriculture sector; the rest is used for domestic purposes. At present in KP province about 1,351 litre water is used to produce 1 kg wheat; 1,136 litres for 1 kg maize; 4,348 litres for 1 kg rice; and 250 litres for 1 kg sugarcane. While the national averages for the same crops are 1,087 litres water to produce 1 kg wheat; 877 litres for 1 kg maize; 1,639 litres for 1 kg rice and 87 litres for 1 kg sugarcane43. These figures indicate that there is potential to improve water use efficiency and water productivity in KP province. Given the current very high water losses of 43-53%, there is potential to improve the situation through improved water governance and improved water efficiency, the author opined. New strategies are needed for irrigated agriculture to enhance input efficiency at the same time maintaining and improving the quality of the resource base. “Our consumption of water for agriculture is much higher than our production,the real challenge is to manage the available water resources to increase productivity rather than focusing on matters of adequacy or scarcity,, they recommend.