Water efficiency in the textile industry in Pakistan (WETI)


The programme aims to develop the capacity of government agencies, regulate the use of water resources and provide consultancy services for the sector. The outcome: the textile industry in Pakistan uses water resources more efficiently, which leads to greater resilience to climate-induced water scarcity.

Short description

Water consumption in Pakistan’s textile sector is significantly above the international average. Total industrial water consumption is estimated at 50 million m³ per day.

Water consumption is not the only challenge: the treatment of waste water is another major issue. Only 3% of the textile industry’s waste water is treated. Because of high concentrations of dyes, chemicals and textile auxiliaries, the waste water cannot be used elsewhere. The discharge of untreated or inadequately treated textile waste water is one of the main causes of the pollution of both surface water and groundwater.

With its high consumption rates and inefficient water use, the textile industry is a major driver of water scarcity. However, companies are gradually realising that water scarcity poses an operational and strategic risk to their business. Among the main causes of their excessive and inefficient use of water are low levels of awareness and a lack of incentives for water-saving measures. In addition, the industry uses outdated production technologies and does not monitor the quantities of water used in production processes. High water consumption indicates that the use of chemicals and energy is also high.


  • By June 2017 the first five partner factories have saved 425,000,000 litres of water – equivalent to the contents of 4,250,000 bathtubs. The project has now commenced cooperation with six more factories.
  • By attending international summer schools, government representatives and academics are introduced to international networks. Several study trips within Pakistan and to Germany on the subject of best practices highlight the benefits of water efficiency measures. As a result, the environmental protection agency, supported by the GIZ, has taken steps towards establishing a research and development institution.
  • To make the lessons learned available to other companies, the project has drawn up web-based training modules and guidelines on waste water treatment for textile producers.

Water efficiency in the textile industry in Pakistan (WETI)

Country / Region:

Project running time:
01/2015 – 06/2018

Project partners:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf oft the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ministry of Textile Industry Pakistan, Environmental Protection Department Punjab, TUEWAS Fachverbund, GIZ Sustainable Industrial Areas (SIA) Arbeitsgruppe

Bernhard Hartleitner:

Treated waste water
© GIZ / Jan van Hasselt, Matthias Kind

Treated waste water
© GIZ / Jan van Hasselt, Matthias Kind

As of: March 2018