Regional Office, Bahawalpur
Regional Office, Bahawalpur is an outcome of Pakistan Desertification Monitoring Unit (PADMU), a development project of PCRWR which was initiated during the year 1982, by establishing its field office at Bahawalpur, to develop desertification control technology and to combat desertification for sustainable production from the deserts. The Field Office of the project has been developed into the Regional Office, to work with a larger mandate, for water resources management and desertification control in Cholistan desert. The objectives of the Centre and available facilities are given below.
- To conduct research on water resources management and development and desertification control, for the development of desert areas, for sustainable production and developing a stable pleasant environment.
- To generate sources of income for the up-gradation of socio-economic conditions of the desert people, by developing native natural resources.
A Field Research Station has been established 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 include: rainwater harvesting; sand dune stabilization; wind erosion control; afforestation on dune land; saline agriculture (fodder, forage and oil seed crops); silvipasture and orchard development (grafted zizyphus, date palm etc by conjunctive use of rain and groundwater); range management by controlled grazing; saline fish farming; andlivestock farming of Cholistani breeds etc. More than 250 hectares of catchments area has been developed, by removing obstacles and excavating small ditches, to increase the runoff efficiency and harvesting maximum rainwater. Seven rainwater harvesting ponds have been constructed. Those ponds can collect about 50,000 cubic meter of rain water annually, for drinking of human and livestock in the desert area.
A library has been established where scientific books, reports, journals, bulletins, newsletters, proceedings of conferences and seminars etc. are available, especially in the field of desertification control and water resources development. /p>
The Soil and Water Quality Laboratory is fully equipped with all necessary instruments for soil and water analysis. The water is being analyzed for agriculture as well for drinking purposes. The laboratory offers following water quality analysis facilities.
Physical Parameters: Odour, Colour, Taste, Turbidity, pH and Total Suspended Solids(TSS).
Chemical Parameters: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)/Conductivity, Alkalinity, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Chloride, Hardness, Bicarbonate, Calcium, Carbonate, Phosphorus, Phosphate, Potassium, Ammonia, Magnesium, Sulphate, Nitrate, Nitrite, Sodium, COD and DO, BOD.
Trace Elements: Arsenic, Copper, Chromium, Fluoride, Iron, Lead, Manganese and Zinc.
Microbiological Parameters: Coliform and E. coli.
The following parameters of the soil extract can be tested at the laboratory: ECe, pH, CO3, HCO3, Cl, SO4, Ca+Mg, Na, K, SAR, ESP, soil textural analysis (sand, silt and clay percentages), moisture content analysis, gypsum requirement, cations exchange capacity and saturation percentage.
Sub-regional Water Quality Laboratories
Water quality analysis facilities are available in well equipped and fully established Water Quality Laboratories of Multan and D.I.Khan, working under the administrative control of Regional Office Bahawalpur.
The micro desertification control farms have been established at 4 sites in Dingarh, Naraywala, Hyderwali, and Toba Mian Allah Yar. At each farm, 25 acres of land has beenbrought under desertification control activities such as wind erosion control through micro barrier checkerboards, plantation of trees (acacia, prosopis, amliceps, parkinsonia, tamarix,ziziphus) and various shrubs for sand dune stabilization, silvipasture and grassland development etc. The fixed sprinkler irrigation system has also been installed in Hyderwali.