Improving sustainable management of groundwater resources in Pakistan

Jehangir F. Punthakey, Michael Mitchell, Catherine Allan, Richard Culas, Usman Khalid Awan, Lubna Anjum, A. N. Rana, Saleem Akhtar, Ghulam Hassan, Waqas Ahmad, S. Ejaz, Aurangzeb Memon, A. Laitif Qureshi

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Expansion and intensification of irrigated agriculture in Pakistan has been driven by food security and export income needs, and is driving a massive increase in poorly managed groundwater use.
Our 4-year ACIAR project, which commenced in late 2016, uses a collaborative approach to develop tools and options for improved groundwater management and farming family livelihoods at selected case study sites. Central to this approach is engaging and enhancing researcher and irrigation department capacity in Pakistan to improve groundwater monitoring, modelling and management. Together, we have developed groundwater models for the Lower Bari Doab in Punjab and the Left Bank of Sukkur Barrage in Sindh to improve spatial and temporal understanding of the groundwater system, and to explore the impact of pumping, irrigation and climatic conditions on water level trends. The models are providing in-depth analysis of the water balance for estimating sustainable yield. For example, the Lower Bari Doab model suggests an average decline in water levels of 0.45m per year since 2009, a rate corroborated by our groundwater monitoring. Scenarios were also run using
historic time-series of climatic data from Oct 2010 to Sep 2047 (Pakistan at 100 years).
This project has taken the first steps towards building capacity to improve management of stressed groundwater resources in Pakistan. In the near future Pakistan will have to rethink how it is going to meet the challenges of lower river flows, overexploited groundwater aquifers, and increasing demand for water from all sectors of society, agriculture, industry and potable use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages27
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020
EventResearch for a Changing World: ILWS Online Conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 26 Nov 202027 Nov 2020
https://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/research-for-a-changing-world-an-online-conference
https://www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/engagement/events/ilws-conference-2020 (program and abstracts)

Conference

ConferenceResearch for a Changing World
Period26/11/2027/11/20
OtherThe Institute’s first-ever on-line conference has been hailed as a “resounding success.” The free conference, which was held November 26 and 27, 2020, was an opportunity for members to share the results and conclusions from recent projects
and activities and to showcase the work of our strong research teams.

The presentations represented all categories of Institute membership – Full Member, Associate Member, Adjunct and Student. There were also two presentations by undergraduate students associated with the Institute.

The Conference is free and open to everyone.

The program reflects the multi and trans-disciplinary research ethos of ILWS.
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