PCRWR Research and Demonstration Farm for Rainfed Areas is located at Darkali Kalan, district Rawalpindi at 73.03O E and 33.30O N, 60 km away from Islamabad. It encompasses an area of 175 kanals typically representing the Potohar topography and livelihood. Here, integrated water management research is conducted to improve farm productivity under rainfed conditions. The R&D works trialed there are based upon the philosophy, "keep it simple and stupid". The interventions carried out at the farm are therefore simple and socially-acceptable and are yielding substantial economic returns. Salient management practices at the farm are: micro-catchments for orchard plants, solar-powered drip system for supplemental irrigation of orchards, solar-powered farmhouse electrification system, rooftop rainwater harvesting and drip bucket irrigation systems for kitchen gardening, slope transverse ploughings for erosion control and runoff entrapments, rainwater harvesting ponds etc.
Growing of Oil Seed Crop (mustard) as Rabi and Cluster Bean as Kharif Crop for Utilization of Desert Barren Land
- To observe the effect of saline water on the yield of mustard crop
- To utilize barren desert land and convert into productive one
- To draw cost benefit ratio of mustard and cluster beans in desert environment.
In order to achieve the above noted objectives following methodology was adopted.
- The groundwater quality at source of both turbines was analyzed; prior to sowing, between cropping season and near to seed formation stage. Crop was grown, using bed furrow field layout to achieve water savings. During crop growing in the field, agronomic data on; plants/m2, avg. plant height/week, branches/plant, pods/plant etc. was recorded for yield estimation. An area of 07 acres per station was brought under experimentation.
- Technical man power and machinery was utilized for survey, leveling, layout preparation of barren desert land. Also scientific methods for irrigation, crop sowings etc. were adopted, so that maximum yield could be obtained by adopting water conservation practices.
- Economic data on the monetary values of input i.e., expenses taking place on growing and harvesting the crops and similar values of yields obtained, would be compared to draw benefit-cost ratio for growing crops as planned under study.
- The water samples taken from turbine water of Dingarh Research Station indicated values as Ec=6790 dS/m, SAR= 19.8 mg/L. The similar parameters of Hyderwali turbine indicated values as Ec= 1285 dS/m, SAR= 19.3, RSC= 8.41.
- The study was in progress and relevant data on input and output per crop was being collected, to draw economic/cost-benefit-ratio analysis etc.
Regular Research Activities
- Developing Rain Harvesting Technologies
- Exploring Fresh Ground water Locations
- Controlling Wind Erosion Scientifically
- Implying Sand Dune Stabilization Techniques
- Improving Range & Grazing Land Practices
- Growing Fodder Grasses, Plants & Shrubs utilizing Saline Groundwater
- Disseminating Water Conservation Technologies to nomads, farmers, INGO's, NGO's and Federal and Provincial Government Departments for Making Desert Green.
Desertification Control Activities at Field and Micro Field Research Research Stations
Major Acheivements in Desertification Control
- Developed about 100 nos. Rain Harvesting Reservoirs (each of 4 MG Storage Capacity)
- Installed and Operated 20 nos. Fresh Groundwater Turbines for nomads & Livestock
- Installed 10 nos. turbines for irrigation and drinking water for farmers in Cholistan
- Established one mini met station in Cholistan in DFRS Dingarh
- Installed two Reverse Osmosis Plants in Cholistan to provide fresh water to nomads and live stock during drought disaster period
- Introducing and Operating; Water Conservation Technologies to Make Desert Green/Productive
- Disseminated: Saline Agriculture, Growing Fruit trees with Harvested Rainwater, Saline Fish Farming in Cholistan, Water Purification Technology
- Also introduces: Improved Grazing Practices, Wind Erosion Control technologies, sand Dune Stabilization activities, Solar Power Technology for Irrigation in Cholistan
Field Research Station Dingarh
All the cultural practices like hoeing, pruning of plants, cleaning of water channel and application of irrigation to plants and grasses has been carried out during the period under report for the cultivation of oil seed crop; about 2 acres of barren land was leveled and brought under cultivation of mustard crop.
A meteorological observatory was established at the station in the year 1989 which is a premier meteorological observatory in Cholistan Desert. The data on rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and direction and pan evaporation is recorded regularly.
Field Station Naray wala
100 acres of barren land was fenced and 27 acres were cultivated with local zizyphus. Grafting of the matured plants has been started, and about 200 plants have been grafted. More over forest plants of different species i.e. tamarix, jand and desi kikar have been planted as linear forestation, and gap filling has also been done in previous plantation. For the cultivation of oil seed crops about 8 acres of barren land was leveled and brought under cultivation of mustard crop.
Field Station Hyderwali
Rangeland Development:60 acres of land is brought under the development of range land on experimental basis by rain gun (sprinkler) irrigation system. Initial results showed that with the single shower of 30 mm irrigation, carrying capacity of grass can be increased 20 times as compared to natural rangelands.
Water Quality Monitoring of Ponds, Filtration Plants and Turbines Installed by PCRWR
Water samples collected from filtration plants, turbines installed by PCRWR at Field Research Stations and rainwater harvesting ponds in Cholistan were analyzed for required parameters.