The Punjab Water Conservation Committee has decided to shut down all the car wash facilities that are responsible for wasting precious drinking-quality groundwater.

The committee, in its first meeting under the convenorship of Punjab chief secretary, has decided to disconnect the existing water connection of all service stations that don’t have any proper water recycling facility and mechanized washing systems.

Following steps will be immediately taken to conserve and curtail the wastage of drinking water.

  1. NOC for service stations will not be issued unless the owners install the equipment to recycle the water and mechanized washing systems.
  2. All existing service stations including those at petrol and gas pumps will be ceased unless they install the above systems to conserve the water.

Car wash facilities have been given a deadline of 2 months to comply with the rules while they also have to make sure that the car wash system uses less than 100 liters to wash a car.

To ensure this, the police will conduct a weekly survey along with district management and municipal authorities to check the status of such facilities and to file their reports to the committee.

Although the committee has given the permission to use the aquifer to wash the cars, it needs to be approved from the government body where they will ensure that aquifer wastes no water. Earlier, the apex court also took a suo moto notice over the misuse of the water resources by the mineral water companies.

Lahore High Court is also hearing a case regarding the misuse of drinking water by the Lahore Waste Management Company(LWMC) where they are using 30,000 liters of groundwater on a daily basis in washing the roads. Although the court has shown its disappointment over the matter, the LWMC is still cleaning the roads of the city ignoring the court’s orders.

There is a need to set up water treatment plants so that impure water like sewage water can be treated and used where possible, for example in washing asphalts.

Civil society also needs to understand that there is no need to wash the car on the daily basis as it’s one of the myths related to vehicles in Pakistan, while they should also consider cleaning their cars in homes using water from a bucket.