Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

PIDE Policy Viewpoint 09:2017
Efficient Use Of Groundwater For Agriculture In Pakistan
Publication Year : 2017

Efficient Use Of Groundwater For Agriculture In Pakistan Groundwater Is A Globally Abundant But Regionally Scarce Resource Its Use Has Increased Exponentially In Various Regions During The Last Few Decades, Mostly Due To Widespread Policy Support For The Adoption Of Tubewells. The Region Comprising Pakistan, China, India, Bangladesh And Nepal Extract About Half Of The World’s Annual Total Groundwater Withdrawals. In Pakistan , Policy Support For Adoption Of Tubewells Has Primarily Sought To Control Waterlogging And Salinity In The Indus Basin And, Additionally, To Expand Irrigated Agriculture. Inspired By Its Convenience, The Possibility Of Conjunctive Irrigation, And Subsidies On Installation And Operation, Millions Of Farmers Have Opted For Tubewells. About 90% Of The Tubewells In Pakistan Are Used For Irrigation. Decades Of ‘Open-Access’ Groundwater Use In The Provinces Of Punjab And Balochistan Have Depleted Aquifers Which Is A Serious Threat To Agricultural Livelihoods.