Farmers’ adaptation to irrigation water reallocation: The Lower Chenab Canal (LCC) irrigation system in Pakistan

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Abstract

Pakistan is facing the challenge to cope with decreasing agricultural productivity due to poor water quality (salinity) along the irrigation canal systems. Reallocation of water use between the head, middle and tail reaches of the distributaries in the canal systems can improve the groundwater quality (minimize salinity) as well as maximize crop productivity. This study employed a discrete choice model for analysing the socioeconomic and technological factors that can influence the farmers’ adaptation to reallocation of water use under an optimal water use scenario. Based on farm survey data collected during 2010 and 2012 cropping seasons at the Lower Chenab Canal (LCC) irrigation system in Pakistan, the following question was analysed; Can installation of tube wells at the head reach of the system to extract more groundwater help address the problem of poor water quality at the tail reach? It was found that farmers who have more resources (land holding), experienced (aged) and membership with farmer organisation recognised the need to have more water, available for redistribution, through more groundwater extraction at the head reach of the system. Further the respondents in the study area were also asked to rank the options available to the farmers that can potentially improve their adaptation for the optimal water use scenario (reallocation). The ranking of the options indicated that majority of the farmers think that the best solution to the problem of water scarcity and its quality lies in water reallocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dry Zone Agriculture
Volume6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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