Regional Office, Bahawalpur

Regional Office Bahawalpur
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) established its Desertification Monitoring Unit known as (PADMU), at Bahawalpur in August, 1982. The Unit PADMU had successfully completed the task of assessment and mapping of desertification which was then upgraded to Regional Office, PCRWR in 1985. The Regional Office PCRWR had following development projects on its credit.
  • The Project “Water Resources Research Centre (WRRC) Bahawalpur” was approved in 1986, by the Ministry of Science and Technology to conduct site specific research on water resources in the desert area.
  • The Project “Surface Water Development for Farm Utilization in the Cholistan Desert through Rain Water Harvesting and Collection Project (SWDP)” was approved in the year 1994 and completed in 2001.
  • The Project “Mitigation of Drought Disaster in the Cholistan Desert by Management of Water Resources (MDDC)” project was approved in the year 2001 where in rain water harvesting infrastructures fix big pond and installation of turbine pumps were completed at feasible locations in all over Cholistan.
  • The Project “Integrated Development and Management of Water Resources in Water Scarce Areas” (IDMOWR project was approved in the year 2005 wherein. Turbines were installed along irrigation canals for drinking and agricultural water supply to Cholistani peoples.
  • The project “Mitigation of Desertification for Poverty Alleviation by Integrated Management of Land and Water Resources in Cholistan (MDPA)” was also approved in 2005 and ended in June, 2010.
  • In MDPA experiments, aforestation and grass land development in barren desert land, were carried out for improving grazing potential of Cholistani cattle’s. At Narray wala site plots of Beri trees develop as allied horticultural activity.
Mandate and Mission
  • To conduct development oriented site specific research on desert water, land and plant resources to enhance desert land production for a stable environment.
  • To develop and evaluate water conservation technologies for irrigating desert vegetation and crops.
  • To provide services for water quality monitoring, mitigation and water quality analysis for Physical, Chemical and Microbiological parameters with available state of art equipments.
  • To conduct qualitative & quantitative research on groundwater quality through geophysical surveys and the identification of different quality zones with the help of EC based GIS mapping.
  • To provide the services of Groundwater Investigation to Public/Private and Farming Sector for better understanding of Quality at various depths and to avoid unnecessary expenditures of drilling.
  • To conduct and coordinate research on drought mitigation and drinking water quality improvement.

Major Research Areas

1. 1. Rain Water Harvesting in Cholistan Desert

Cholistan is one of the main deserts covering an area of 2.6 million hectares where water scarcity is the fundamental problem for human and livestock population as most of the groundwater is highly saline. Rainfall is the only source of freshwater source, which occurs mostly during monsoon (July to September). Therefore, rainwater harvesting in the desert has crucial importance. The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Regional office Bahawalpur has been conducting research studies on rainwater harvesting since 1989 in the Cholistan desert by developing catchments through various techniques and constructing ponds with different storage capacities ranging between 3000 and 15000 m3.

2. Groundwater Investigations and GIS Mapping

Groundwater resource is found beneath the earth crust within the pore spaces or voids between soil particles. Successful groundwater exploration either for domestic, agricultural or industrial uses, pre-drilling information is necessary to determine the depth and yield of groundwater location. Detailed knowledge of the aquifer layer as well as the lithology composition in any successful borehole drilling project is paramount and essential that cannot be ignored. Different geological formations have different groundwater yield potential; therefore, understanding these formations in groundwater exploration becomes imperative. The sustainable development of groundwater resource requires precise quantitative assessment based on reasonably valid scientific principles. Integration of groundwater and GIS has proven to be an efficient tool in groundwater studies GIS is a powerful set of tool for collecting, storing, retrieving, managing and displaying spatial data into simplified form.
The resistivity techniques especially the Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) method has been used for investigating subsurface layer properties and groundwater potential. By this method, the subsurface characterization is determined based on the change of resistivity values with depth. Range of specific resistivity value indicates the presence of certain rock mass characteristics.

Field Research Station Dingarh Cholistan

The Regional Office, Bahawalpur has established its Field Research Station (FRS) at Dingarh in the Cholistan desert, to conduct applied research on water resources and desertification control in the desert environment. The station is about 75 km from Bahawalpur City in the smaller Cholistan, where research on desertification monitoring, its control and mitigation is being carried out. The research activities are: rainwater harvesting, sand dune stabilization, wind erosion control, afforestation on dune land, development of land, saline agriculture

Muhammad Imran

Deputy Director

MSc (Geo Physics )

Look after the overall administrative and financial matters of Regional Office PCRWR, Bahawalpur and Water Quality Laboratories at Multan & Dera Ghazi Khan.

Dr. Muhammad Akram
Dr. Muhammad Akram

Research Officer

MSc, M.Phil. Organic Chemistry (QAU) Ph.D. Chemistry (IUB)

Dr. Ayesha Sumreen
Dr. Ayesha Sumreen

Research Officer

Phd (Chemistry)

Muhammad Tahir Saleem
Muhammad Tahir Saleem

Assistant Director

M.Sc. (Agriculture)

Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal

Assistant Director (Admn.)

M.A. (Islamiat/LLB)

Muhammad Nasir Shah
Muhammad Nasir Shah

Assistant Director

B.A

Saleem Faisal Chughtai
Saleem Faisal Chughtai

Assistant Director (Finance)

MBA (Finance) / LLB

Major Research Areas

1. Rain Water Harvesting (RWH)

Rainwater harvesting or collecting system is the technology that collects and stores rainwater for human use. The infrastructure can vary from simple and inexpensive to complex and expensive. It consists of simple rain barrels, or more elaborate structures with pumps, tanks, and purification systems. The non-potable water can be used to irrigate landscapes, flush toilets, wash cars, launder clothes, and it can even be purified for human consumption.

Pakistan has been facing rapid climate change since last few years and the water resources of the country are at extremely vulnerable state. Water scarcity is the principal issue in most of the developed cities of Pakistan. Rainwater Harvesting (RWH), a famous technique that has been practiced for hundreds of years.

It is a method for accumulating and saving rainwater from various elements such as rooftops, surface runoff, and other catchments.  Harvested water can be used for all domestic purposes like drinking water, cooking and washing etc. Moreover, this harvested water has a potential to meet agricultural and crop’s water needs according to the available economy, the storage can be managed either on-surface or sub-surface

Pakistan’s first urban rainwater harvesting system has been installed in the capital city Islamabad, the Daily Times reports. The collection tanks at the Faisal Mosque complex were funded by the city’s Capital Development Authority, and will provide clean drinking water while recharging the local water table for the city’s nearly 1 million residents.

Known as the Pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project, the initiative was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources.

Pakistan is currently going through its worst water crisis due to being prone to natural disasters, demographical changes, and massive urbanization. This increase in migration toward urban areas is disrupting natural ecosystems which will ultimately increase the demand for household water in the country. According to the information by international agencies, water stress is increasing in Pakistan and for a country whose economy is highly dependent on agriculture, the situation appears alarming.

There are several sources of water for the country with 60% of the total rainwater coming from monsoon rains. Many glaciers feed the river system in Pakistan but the glacial melt off increases the risks of flooding. Moreover, the river Indus and its tributaries provide most of the water needed for irrigation in Pakistan.

Furthermore, the treated rainwater needs to be stored for its efficient use. In urban and rural areas, there exist vast opportunities to store rainwater by constructing rain-harvesting infrastructure by utilizing dry ponds, canals, and low-lying areas. Thus, during heavy rainfalls, such as those in monsoon, when rivers and canals overflow, extra water could be preserved in specially constructed dams, reservoirs, and underground tanks. This would not only prevent flooding of the urban areas in future, but also conserve the water for later use in times of crisis.

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Rainwater Harvesting in Cholistan Desert

According to research collaborated by the Climate Change Adaptation Project of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan; “There is a dire need to utilize rainwater, particularly in the arid zones like Kohistan, Thar, Thal, and Cholistan for agriculture and livestock purposes. Groundwater in arid areas is mostly saline, and therefore, cannot be used”.

Cholistan is one of the main deserts covering an area of 2.6 million hectares where water scarcity is the fundamental problem for human and livestock population as most of the groundwater is highly saline. Rainfall is the only source of freshwater source, which occurs mostly during monsoon (July to September). Therefore, rainwater harvesting in the desert has crucial importance. The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Regional office Bahawalpur has been conducting research studies on rainwater harvesting since 1989 in the Cholistan desert by developing catchments through various techniques and constructing ponds with different storage capacities ranging between 3000 and 15000 m3. These ponds have been designed to collect maximum rainwater within the shortest possible time and to minimize seepage and evaporation losses. As a result of successful field research on rainwater harvesting system, PCRWR has developed 92 rainwater harvesting systems on pilot scale in Cholistan desert. Each system consists of storage reservoir, energy dissipater, silting basin, lined channel, and network of ditches in the watershed.

Rainwater should be harvested and stored by making earth medium size reservoirs. Rainwater from these ponds can be utilized efficiently for drinking and irrigating plants. These ponds have been designed to catch maximum rainwater within shortest possible time and avoiding maximum water losses. Each pond has been connected with the main catchment area through the main channel and network of ditches connecting all lowest points in the catchment area via small ponds to de-load rainwater from soil materials before reaching in the ponds. The rainwater stored in these ponds is utilized by the local Dingarh and surrounding area people (more than 1500 in number) for drinking. The water is taken by the women of the village and nomads clustered around the ponds during shortage of water.

2. Groundwater Investigations and GIS Mapping

Groundwater resource is found beneath the earth crust within the pore spaces or voids between soil particles. Successful groundwater exploration either for domestic, agricultural or industrial uses, pre-drilling information is necessary to determine the depth and yield of groundwater location. Detailed knowledge of the aquifer layer as well as the lithology composition in any successful borehole drilling project is paramount and essential that cannot be ignored. Different geological formations have different groundwater yield potential; therefore, understanding these formations in groundwater exploration becomes imperative. The sustainable development of groundwater resource requires precise quantitative assessment based on reasonably valid scientific principles. Integration of groundwater and GIS has proven to be an efficient tool in groundwater studies GIS is a powerful set of tool for collecting, storing, retrieving, managing and displaying spatial data into simplified form.

The resistivity techniques especially the Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) method has been used for investigating subsurface layer properties and groundwater potential. By this method, the subsurface characterization is determined based on the change of resistivity values with depth. Range of specific resistivity value indicates the presence of certain rock mass characteristics. Electrical resistivity survey can be used profitably for solving various groundwater problems such as:

i. To determine the type of water bearing formation, e.g sand, sandstone or gravel/admixture, etc which can yield an appreciable groundwater?
ii. To differentiate between saline and fresh water aquifers provided the lithology of the aquifer is uniform.

Regional Office PCRWR Bahawalpur have the state of art equipment for field data acquisition of Electrical Resistivity Survey and have the capability of subsurface exploration of more than 3000 ft for the exploitation of groundwater. This office is not only providing the support, regarding the preparation of Groundwater Reports, to its sister regional offices but also providing the same services to NGO’s, Industries and Government Departments.

Field Research Station Dingarh Cholistan

The Regional Office, Bahawalpur has established its Field Research Station (FRS) at Dingarh in the Cholistan desert, to conduct applied research on water resources and desertification control in the desert environment.

Location of FRS Dingarh:

The field research station is about 65 km from Bahawalpur City towards South direction in the smaller Cholistan of Tehsil Yazman. It is located just behind the ruins of Dingarh Fort. It will take appx. one hour and 45 minutes to reach out there by travelling through the fastest route i.e. Bahawalpur-Main Yazman Road-Yazman City-Mukdi Adda-Chak 76/DNB more-Chak 80/DNB more-Gohaywar Dahar-Din Garh. Moving forward from Gohaywar Dahar, a watch tower of Pak Army will be seen which is mounted at the center of Dingarh Fort.

Objective of FRS Dingarh

The purpose of this station is to conduct research on desertification monitoring, its control and mitigation is being carried out. The research activities are: rainwater harvesting, sand dune stabilization, wind erosion control, afforestation on dune land, development of land, saline agriculture silvipasture and orchard development by conjunctive use of rain and ground water, range management by controlled grazing. More than 250 hectares catchments area has been developed, by removing obstacles and excavation of small ditches, to increase the runoff efficiency and harvesting maximum rainwater. Seven rainwater harvesting ponds have been constructed. These ponds can collected about 50000 cubic meter water of rain annually, for drinking of human and livestock living in the desert area. A meteorological observatory is established at the station. The data on rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and direction is recorded regularly.

Tree plantation

Tree plantation of various plant species at research site has been carried out. Planting material was consisting of some fruit, fuel and medicinal plants species. Whereas among them some were exotic and others were indigenous species. In fuel plants desi kikar (acacia nilotica), parkinsonia (parkinsonia aculeate), in fruit plants desi and grafted beri(zizyphusjujuba), pomegranate (punicumgranatum), date palm (phoenix dactylifera) and in medicinal plants nim (azadirachtaindica), pilu (salvadorapersical) and moringa oleifera were transplanted in the experimental area. The detail of transplantation of nursery of various plant species is given below.

A. FRUIT PLANTS

i. BERI (Zizyphusjujuba):- Beri is one of the hardy minor fruit crop suitable for cultivation in arid conditions. The ber fruit crop tolerates high temperature and aridity by cessation of growth, leaf fall and dormancy stage. Beri is known as poor man’s fruit. In experimental area desi beri 200 No. and grafted beri 100 No. were transplanted.

ii. POMEGRANATE (Punicumgranatum):- Pomegranate farming is the best business for the farmers to earn more profit. It is an important commercial fruit. Semi arid type of climate conditions provide better growth to the pomegranate plant. Sunlight is the necessary conditions for growing pomegranate fruit alongwith dry summer and cold winter. 13 No. nursery plants have been transplanted in the experimental area. Survival of the plants found 100% upto May, 2020.

iii. DATE PALM (Phoenix dactylifera):- Date palm is cultivated in arid and semi arid regions which are characterized by long and hot summer, no rainfall and low relative humidity. Date palm can with stand strong hot and dusty summer winds. Date palm grow in various types of soil i.e. light, medium and heavy, but require good drainage and air penetration in the soil. Date palm are resistant to alkaline soil. Date palm is one of the most potential fruit crop for dry arid zone of the country.

B. MEDICINAL PLANTS

i. NEEM (Azadirachtaindica):- Neem plants require or survive with little water; however they need plants of sunlight and sensitive to frost. Neem has an excellent scope of commercialization and importance in agriculture, veterinary, cosmetics and medicines. Neem is an eco-friendly and natural source of phyto-chemicals and nutrients, due to this fact it gained importance in agriculture sector. 200 No. nursery plants were transplanted in experimental area.

ii.SOHANJNA (Moringa oleifera): This plant have ability to grow in any type of soil and can resist harsh climate. It is also discovered through research that all parts of moringa tree can be used to cure a large number of diseases naturaly, its seeds can be used as natural water purifier. Its leaves are rich in nutrients, its seeds have oil which is also called ben oil. Moringa oleifera can be used in agroforestry, it can be used as bio pesticide.. In 2019-2020 100 Nos plants of moringa were transplanted in the experimental area.

iii. Pilu (salvadora persical):- Pilu is a large bush of small tree of desert. It grows as a mangrove perennial tree as well as under saline and drought conditions. These plants produce fruits with and without seeds. It grows well under arid environment, salt stress conditions and low moisture with high temperature. It is used in preparation of miswak tooth paste and so many medicines. In reported period, thirty number nursery plants were transplanted in the field. For the better growth of plants all necessary cultural practices have been carried out.

C. FUEL PLANTS

i. DESI KIKAR (Accacianilotica):- This is a medium sized, thorny, nearly ever green tree that can reach a height of 20 – 25 meters. Desi kikar is popular as agroforestry tree. This is a multi purpose tree, widely used as timber, source of fodder for camels, goats and sheep, as a fence, shed and fuel tree. At Field Research Station Dingarh, 200 Nos desi kikar were transplanted. Conjunctive use of irrigation water (rainwater collected in pond and ground saline water) is being used for irrigation

ii. PARKINSONIA (Parkinsonia aculeata):- Parkinsoia is a small evergreen spiny tree and can grow in any soil. It is used for fire wood, leaves and pods used as fodder for goats and sheeps, it is a source of shed in desert environment. It is useful in soil stabilization as a wind break and erosion control and reforestation in sandy areas. 200 No. nursery plants of parkinsonia transplanted in the experimental area.

Cactus Plantation

Cactus is becoming a profitable agriculture enterprise in the field of agriculture sector. It is xerophytic plant that has the ability to survive in water scarcity conditions. It acts as a good source of food for humans, edible part of both fruit and modified stem. Keeping in view the importance, about one thousand pads have been planted on one acre dry barren land at Field Research Station Din Garh to test the growth in harsh climatic conditions of Cholistan Desert.

Nursery Development

Nursery of various plant species is being developed at Field Research Station Dingarh for further propagation in field area. In this context seeds of Moringa oliefera 200 Nos. desi beri (Zizyphusjujuba) 300 Nos., desi kikar (Acacia nilotica) 400 Nos., Jand (Prosopis specigena) 200 Nos., karir (Capparis decidas) 100 Nos., atriplex (salt bush) 250 Nos., Neem (Azadirachtaindica) 300 Nos. sown in polyethylene bags, while cuttings of phog(Calligonumpolygonoides) 200 Nos. and frash (tamarix) 200 Nos. also planted in polyethylene bags for the development of nursery of these plants.

Water Quality Laboratory Bahawalpur

Water is essential to human life. Our body needs water for hydration and to facilitate various functions of the body such as digestion, metabolism, and elimination of waste. However, one of the biggest problems of mankind today is the poor quality of water. Contamination of water reserves by biological, chemical, and radiologic giving rise to various water-borne and water related diseases in the country. Understanding water quality and the impact of pollution on water resources is vital to worldwide public health. Access to potable water and modernized sanitation not only increases the lifespan but also improve the health of world citizens more than any other advancement in the field of medicine.

Water Quality Laboratory Regional Office PCRWR, Bahawalpur is fully equipped with all necessary latest state of art instruments used for soil and water analysis and qualified trained staff to carry out analysis work. It has the capacity to analyze all the water quality parameters required for Drinking water (potable, bottled and mineral water),Irrigation water, Industrial effluents, Aquatic life and eco-system, filtration plants and waste water to support industry, research institutes and universities in this area. Water Quality Laboratory Bahawalpur has three main sections: Microbiological Analysis Section; Chemical Analysis Section; and Wastewater Analysis Section for the analysis of these samples. It has analytical capabilities for the analysis of following water quality parameters.

Physical/Aesthetic Parameters: Colour, Odour, pH, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Turbidity and Taste.

Chemical Parameters: Alkalinity, Ammonia, Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Chloride, Conductivity/Total Dissolved Salts (TDS), Fluoride, Free Chlorine, Magnesium, Nitrate, Nitrite, Nitrogen, Phosphate, Phosphorus, Hardness, Sodium, Sulphate,Potassium, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Dissolved Oxygen (DO) andArsenic,

Microbiological Parameters: Total Coliforms, Fecal Coliforms, E. coli.

  1. Laboratory Equipments

 

Following equipments are available in Water Quality Laboratory Regional Office PCRWR, Bahawalpur for the analysis water samples.

 

S # Equipment Name Made S # Equipment Name Made
1 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer Analytik Jena 11 Free and Total Chlorine Meter HANNA
2 UV/VIS Spectrophotometer Analytik Jena 12 Heating Magnetic Stirrer Velpscientifica
3 D O meter HANNA 13 Oven Memmert
4 COD Reactor HACH 14 Incubator Lab Tech
5 Refrigerator Incubator Velpscientifica 15 Laminar Flow Hood Muslim Scientific
6 Analytical Balance Sartorious 16 RO System Pure Power
7 Colorimeter DR 890 HACH 17 Water Distillation Plant China
8 pH Meter Jenway 18 Flame Photometer Digiflame
9 EC Meter HANNA 19 Auto Clave Lab Tech
10 Colorimeter DR 2800 HACH
  1. Parameters and Test Methods

 

The following test methods are being followed for the analysis of surface and groundwater samples in Water Quality Laboratory Bahawalpur.

S. # Water Quality Analysis Parameters Test Methods

(APHA Standard Method 21st Edition 2005)

1. Alkalinity (m. mol/l as CaCO3) 2320-B, Titration Method
2. Appearance 2110 B, Visual Comparison Method
3. Arsenic (mg/l) 3114 B, Manual Hydride Generation/AAS Method
4. Bicarbonate (mg/l) 2320-B, Titration Method
5. BOD5 (mg/l) 5210 B, 5 Days Biochemical Oxygen Demand Test
6. Calcium Hardness as CaCO3(mg/l) 3500-Ca-D, EDTA Titrimetric Method
7. Carbonate Hardness as CaCO3 (mg/l) 2320-B, Titrimetric Method
8. Chloride (mg/l)  4500 Cl-B, Argento metric Method
9. Chromium (mg/l) 3500 Cr-B, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer Method
10. COD (mg/l) 5220 B, Closed Reflux Colorimetric Method
11. Conductivity (mS/cm) 2510-B, LaboratoryMethod
12. Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l) 4500 O-G, Membrane Electrode Method
13. Fluoride (mg/l) 4500 F-D, SPADNS Method
14. Iron (mg/l) 3500 Fe –B, Phenanthroline Method
15. Magnesium Hardness as CaCO3 (mg/l) 3500 Ca-D & 3500 Mg-E, Calculation Method
16. Manganese (mg/l) 3500 Mn-B, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer Method
17. Nitrate-N (mg/l) 4500 NO3 -B, Ultraviolet Spectrophotometric Screening Method
18. Odor 2150 B, Threshold Odor Test
19. Organic Nitrogen (mg/l) 4500 N(org), Macro Kjeldhal Nitrogen Method
20. pH 4500 H-B, Electrometric Method
21. Phosphate (mg/l) 4500 P-C, Vanadomolybdo phosphoric Acid Method
22. Potassium (mg/l) 3500 K-B, Flame Emission Photometric Method
23. Sodium (mg/l) 3500 Na-B, Flame Emission Photometric Method
24. Sulfate (mg/l) 4500 SO4-2 -E, Turbid metric Method
25. Taste 2160 B, Flavor Threshold Test
26. TDS (mg/l) 2540-C, Total Dissolved Solids at 180°C
27. Total Coliform, Fecal Coliform, E.Coli 9222 B &D, Standard Total & Fecal Coliform Membrane Filter Procedure
28. Total Hardness (mg/l) 2340-C, EDTA Titrimetric Method
29. Turbidity (NTU) 2130 B, Nephlo metric Method

 

  1. Sub-regional Water Quality Laboratories

Water quality analysis facilities are also available in well-equipped and fully established Water Quality Laboratories at Multan and D.G. Khan, working under the administrative control of Regional Office Bahawalpur.

Library

Regional Office PCRWR, Bahawalpur has a valuable library holding of about 500 books, journals proceedings and technical/research reports not only for water sector but also for allied sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, Desertification monitoring and control, drainage, land reclamation, Soil Physics and taxonomy, Dry land and Arid zone resources management and Desert Ecology etc

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) - Bahawalpur

Feel Free to Contact Us
PCRWR, Regional Office, Bahawalpur
17 Rafi Qamar Road, Sajid Awan Town Muslim Town, Bahawalpur
+92 (062) 9250191