Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods: Socio-economic analysis of groundwater resource management for Balochistan, Pakistan

Syed Muhammad Khair, Abdul Rasheed, Richard Culas

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Abstract

Pakistan is among the most groundwater dependent nations in the world and currently, is the third largest consumer of groundwater, accounting for about 9% of global groundwater withdrawals (Fienen and Arshad, 2016). Approximately 1.4 million tube-wells have been set up throughout the country (Watto and Mugera, 2014) and this has resulted in massive pumping of groundwater and an associated rapid decline of water tables. The continuous decline of groundwater levels which has been observed not only in Pakistan but throughout the Indus Basin more broadly, points to an imbalance between the groundwater extraction and its recharge (Watto and Mugera, 2016). Balochistan is the largest of the four provinces in Pakistan. Groundwater is a major source of water for irrigation in the Province. Groundwater pumping commenced after the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s and with electrification of the rural areas it grew exponentially. Groundwater extraction has been important for the agricultural sector as farmers with access to groundwater have 50-100% higher crop yields than those applying surface water only (Qureshiet al., 2010). Today around 50% of overall irrigation requirements are fulfilled via groundwater extraction in Balochistan as well as in Pakistan more broadly (Watto and Mugera, 2016; Khair etal., 2019).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAlbury, NSW
PublisherInstitute for Land, Water and Society
Commissioning bodyAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)9781864674040
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Publication series

NameILWS Report
No.155

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