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 In addition, the industry uses outdated production technologies and does not monitor the quantities of water used in production processes.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.