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
Dr. Muhammad Akram
MSc, M.Phil. Organic Chemistry (QAU) Ph.D. Chemistry (IUB)
Dr. Ayesha Sumreen
Muhammad Tahir Saleem
Assistant Director (Admn.)
Muhammad Nasir Shah
Saleem Faisal Chughtai
Assistant Director (Finance)
MBA (Finance) / LLB
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.
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.
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 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 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.