Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) was established in 1964 and is working as a body corporate vide PCRWR Act 2007 under Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). The management of the Council consists of the Board of Governors, the Chairman and the Executive Committee. Since its inception, PCRWR has played its role as a national research organization by undertaking and promoting research in various disciplines of water sector, more specifically, irrigation, drainage, surface and groundwater management, groundwater recharge, watershed management, desertification control, rainwater harvesting, water quality assessment and monitoring, water conservation and development of water quality improvement technologies, etc. With its Headquarter in Islamabad, its eight Regional Offices/Research Centers are located at Tandojam, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad.

  • To undertake, collaborate and coordinate site-specific research in all fields of water resources.
  • To develop a system for the collection and dissemination of hydrological data, for designing and planning water development schemes.
  • To study problems concerning channelization and distribution of water resources in the country.
  • To identify suitable engineering approaches with regard to water diversion and distribution for the minor irrigation projects.
  • To develop water resources utilization strategies by adopting advance irrigation techniques.
  • To design a stable base for irrigated agriculture in areas affected by hill torrents, erratic flash floods and hostile climatic conditions.
  • To study the rural water supply problems including water quality and water quantity.
  • To estimate hydrological parameters of closed basins, for prediction of runoff and rainwater harvesting potential.
  • study and identify development of mini hydel-power systems.
  • To develop material and equipment for adoption of advanced irrigation and drainage techniques etc.
Indus Telemetry System, a Joint Venture of PCRWR and IWMI

Telemetry is the collection of measurements or other data at remote points and their automatic transmission to receiving equipment (telecommunication) for monitoring. The word is derived from the Greek roots tele, “remote”, and metron, “measure”. In Pakistan the word Indus Telemetry is used in a particular context that is ‘real time flow monitoring’ in the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS). Indus telemetry is also in line with the guidelines of National Water Policy 2018 (Clause 22.5) “The information technology based monitoring system at all diversion points from the rivers and reservoirs shall be refined, upgraded, uniformly calibrated and effectively managed to guarantee availability of reliable real-time data to IRSA, WAPDA, Provincial Governments and major users”. PCRWR/ IWMI have implemented Indus telemetry System with generous support of USAID. The information from Indus Telemetry is available through the internet at any location. Access to information is controlled through server level usernames and passwords. One of the effective methods to disseminate Indus Telemetry data is through digital display screens. Display screens have been installed at key government offices. The flow data is transmitted and displayed remotely in PCRWR Headquarter, IRSA Headquarter, Government of KP-Irrigation Department (North) Office. In addition to flow data of canals, three more data sets have been displayed at PCRWR Headquarter Islamabad. So, total four screens displayed at PCRWR Headquarter showing the data-sets which are listed below;
1) Monitoring of Canal Flows
2) Groundwater Monitoring
3) Weather Data
4) 7-Day Weather Forecast
Note: Every screen has name of four data sets (i.e. canal flows, weather, groundwater & 7 day forecast) displayed at top right corner of it but the name of particular data set which is being displayed on screen is highlighted in red.

Indus Telemetry
Groundwater Monitoring

PCRWR/ IWMI have installed telemetry system on 10 canals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 01 canal in each of three provinces (Punjab, Sindh & Baluchistan). Canals flow is continuously measured by on site telemetric instruments. The onsite instrument (data logger/ computer) has been programmed to measure the distance (range) from an ultrasonic range finder (sensor) to the water surface continuously and record the data at 5 minute intervals. This data is then sent using mobile phone technology to a secure remote (cloud) server where the data is post-processed. Another sensor (called velocity sensor) is installed at test canal (in Sindh province) which measured the velocity of flowing water; these velocity sensors will be upscale gradually to all the other canals as well. The onsite instrument (data logger/ computer) has been programmed to send data thrice per day. Once the data is received at the server, the data is post-processed using additional canal parameters such as; elevations, rating curves etc. to estimate discharge, delivery performance ratio (DPR). Canals flow data is being disseminated through digital display screens At the screen (canal flows), we can see tabular data on depth of water, discharge and DPR on left hand side, while on the other side of screen two graphs are on display to show the hourly data of past day. If we look at the graph on top of the screen it showing the depth of water in the channel (green line) as well as latency time (blue line). Then at bottom of the screen, the 2nd graph showing discharge (blue line) and DPR (red line). DPR is the ratio between measured and designed discharge. Indus Telemetry has addressed most of the technological challenges in setting up a monitoring system for flow in the main canals of IBIS.

Monitoring of Canal Flows

PCRWR has installed more than 100 observation wells in six districts (Sialkot, Narowal, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Lahore and Kasur) along the Indian border since 2019 and bi-annual monitoring of water-table depth is a routine practice. However, 10 CTD divers also installed with the support of IWMI, Pakistan. The CTD-Diver is a submersible data logger for long-term uninterrupted, real-time water level monitoring using a pressure sensor when submerged at a fixed level under the water surface. The Diver autonomously measures conductivity, pressure and temperature and records them in its internal memory. The CTD diver is programmable to record data at desired frequency (PCRWR/ IWMI programmed it to record the data once a day). At the screen (groundwater), we can see map of Pakistan on left hand side, highlighted the spread of observation wells (pink dots) and location of CTD divers (red dots). Also a pop-up window below the Pakistan map is on display which is connected to a red dot (CTD diver) with a line, this pop-up window keep on switching between 10 CTD divers after every 10 seconds and displayed the information (i.e. location ID of observation well, location address, location coordinates, deployment data, monitoring period, water-table depth, groundwater elevation, specific conductivity, temperature and number of CTD diver out of ten). While on the other side of screen two graphs are on display to show the latest one month data. If we look at the graph on top of the screen it is showing the water-table depth (red line) as well as groundwater elevation (blue line). Then at bottom of the screen, the 2nd graph showing specific conductivity of groundwater (green line) and temperature of groundwater (blue line).

Weather Data

PCRWR/ IWMI ‘with generous support of USAID’ have installed two automated weather stations (sometimes called automatic weather station) at lysimetric station in DLR/ Mughalpura, Lahore and PCRWR research station Sialmore, Sargodha respectively. It is an automated version of the traditional weather station to save human labour and to enable high frequency measurements. An Automated weather station will typically consist of a weather-proof enclosure containing the data logger, rechargeable battery and telemetry. The meteorological sensors (solar radiation & humidity), telemetry external antenna, a solar panel and wind turbine mounted upon a mast. It records temperatures (maximum, minimum & average), relative humidity, wind speed & direction and solar radiation hourly. It also calculates the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) by itself. This data is then sent using mobile phone technology to a secure remote (cloud) server twice a day (can be programmed as desired in terms of data collected and transmission) where the data is post-processed and past one month data is displayed on a screen installed PCRWR Headquarter Islamabad. At the screen (weather), we can see two maps on left hand side, the graph at top left side showing the heat index (blue line) and average air temperature (green line), there are two dotted lines which represent minimum and maximum temperature. The 2nd graph on bottom left side showing the average relative humidity (purple line) and barometric pressure (yellow line). While on the right side of screen, a graph at top right side represents the rainfall (red line) and maximum intensity of rainfall (light blue line). Another graph on right bottom side of the screen shows the reference evapotranspiration (blue line) as well as clear sky solar radiation (brown line). Then at the center of the screen, a radar chart showing wind velocity and direction, it is clear from the graph that most of the time wind-blown in the direction of north-west (NW) and its velocity remains less than one meter per second during the past month.

7-Day Weather Forecast

Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the future state of the atmosphere of a particular location. Weather forecasts are made by collecting the current state of the atmosphere (particularly the temperature, humidity and wind) and using understanding of atmospheric processes (through meteorology) to determine how the atmosphere evolves in the future. However, the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and incomplete understanding of the processes mean that forecasts become less accurate as the range of the forecast increases. Keeping in view the accuracy of forecast and requirement of irrigated agriculture; PCRWR/ IWMI have chosen seven days forecast by acquiring the weather forecast data from Global Forecast System (GFS). The GFS is a National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) weather forecast model that generates data for dozens of atmospheric and land-soil variables, including temperatures, winds, precipitation, soil moisture, and atmospheric ozone concentration. GFS provides us weather forecast data for whole of Pakistan, and then we extract the desire parameters at key locations through post processing of GFS data. These key locations can be seen as blue dots on the map of Pakistan at left hand side at the screen (7 day weather forecast). Also a pop-up window below the Pakistan map is on display which is connected to a blue dot (a particular location) with a line, this pop-up window keep on switching between 12 key locations (i.e. Chitral, Mingora, Mardan, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Swabi, Islamabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi) after every 20 seconds and displayed the information (i.e. location address, province name, location coordinates, date, sunrise & sunset time, temperature min & max, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed & direction, weather condition, cloudiness, UV Index, rainfall and snow). While on the other side of screen tabular data is on display to show the 7 day forecast of above mentioned parameters.

Rainwater Harvesting & Groundwater Recharge
Groundwater Recharge

PCRWR has developed seven recharge wells  for  groundwater  recharge  under  the PSF-NSLP funded project “Rainwater Harvesting to Improve Groundwater Storage and Quality in Saline and Water Scarce Environment”; five in Pind Dadan Khan and one each in Faisalabad and Islamabad. Whereas, installation of two recharge wells in Lahore and Sargodha are under construction. During August, storm water was injected rapidly through recharge wells in Pind Dadan Khan and Faisalabad effectively. Further two sites   for   recharge   wells   in   University   of   Sargodha    and    Govt.    Girls    High    School  Faisalabad have been identified.

Groundwater Recharge Soakway

Soakaways are a traditional way of disposing of surface water from buildings remote from a suitable public sewer or watercourse. A soakaway must have capacity to store immediate run-off from roofs and hard surfaces and the water must then be able to disperse into the surrounding soil quickly enough for the soakaway to be able to cope with the next storm.

Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting

Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting is the technique through which rain water is captured from the roof catchments and stored in reservoirs. Harvested rain water can be stored in sub-surface ground water reservoir by adopting artificial recharge techniques to meet the household needs through storage in tanks.

Discharge Measurement - ADCP

PCRWR completed a research study titled “Characterizing Hydrology of the Eastern Rivers of the Indus Plain” with UNESCO under the umbrella Project “Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan”.

As one of the major parts of the study was to obtain River Morphology for which ADCP (River Ray and River Pro) was provided to PCRWR. The ADCP is the most modern equipment used in the world regarding bathymetric survey for precise results. It is really a proud and landmark for PCRWR to become first one, getting the ADCP in Pakistan and to receive training by its professionals in Pakistan and Indonesia from technology specialists of Japan. Under the study, PCRWR successfully   completed   bathymetric   surveys   using ADCP on more than 60 sites at 4 major rivers (Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej) during 2017-19.

After completion of study, PCRWR arranged several trainings related to ADCP to share knowledge/expertise with various concerned departments like UET, Punjab Irrigation department etc.

A special study was undertaken in July, 2020 by PCRWR to compare results between Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and Velocity Radar Sensor (VRS) for flow measurement on the request of KP Irrigation Department. The observations were made using ADCP on 6 different sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where velocity radar sensors had already been installed by the KP Irrigation Department. The work was presented in a meeting held at PCRWR in August, 2020. This work was greatly acknowledged by the experts from various departments.

On special request of IRSA, PCRWR validated the discharges and obtained the canal cross-sections using ADCP at 2 sites in Sindh and Baluchistan during 2020.

PCRWR off and on operates ADCP through out Pakistan as per requirement under on-going studies of PCRWR or on special requests  where precise measurements are demanded.

Launching Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring

To monitor the variations in groundwater storage, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has established a satellite based groundwater monitoring system with collaboration of University of Washington (UW), USA under NASA-SERVIR and NASA Water program. This program of organizational capacity building of PCRWR was started in early 2015.
As a result of this collaborative capacity building program, PCRWR has acquired training at the University of Washington (USA) on processing of data from a satellite mission called Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). Now, PCRWR has become one of the premier leading organizations to independently process GRACE data and derive maximum benefit from NASA’s free available satellite datasets for the monitoring of basin scale water storage in the region.

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report September, 2017

Current Synopsis (Data up to April, 2017)
Background Info

View Here

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report January, 2017

Current Synopsis (Data up to January 2017)

View Here

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report November, 2016

Current Synopsis (Data up to July 2016)

View Here

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report June, 2016

Current Synopsis (Data up to March 2016)

View Here

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report April, 2016

Current Synopsis (Data up to April 2016)

View Here

Satellite Based Groundwater Monitoring Report January, 2016

Current Synopsis (Data up to September 2015)

View Here

Geographic Information System (GIS) and Hydrological Modeling Centre (HMC)

The Council has successfully established Geographic Information System (GIS) Hydrologic Modeling Centre (HMC) at PCRWR Headquarter, Islamabad. The research facilities are briefly described below:

Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) Centre:

GIS is a state of the art system of hardware, software and procedures to facilitate the management, manipulation, analysis, modeling, representation and display of spatial data to solve complex problems regarding planning and management of resources, whereby remotely sensed data is mostly used in addition to manual data. The GIS and RS Centre now has been completely established at the PCRWR

Headquarter with state-of the-art equipment, professionals and inter-alia latest GIS/RS softwares. That are being used to manage visualize and analyze the homogeneous/heterogeneous spatial datasets and subsequently results/recommendations are disseminated to the concerned authorities.

Hydrological Modeling Centre (HMC):

The Hydrological Modeling Centre is fully equipped with latest modeling tools and softwares. Hydrological modeling is the assessment, monitoring, prediction and analysis of surface and groundwater resources. The interdisciplinary nature of water resource problems require the integration of technical, economic, environmental, social, and legal aspects, into a coherent analytical framework. With increasing competition for water across sectors and regions, the river basin has been recognized as the appropriate unit of analysis, for addressing the challenges of water resources management. Modeling at this scale can provide essential information for policymakers to help decision making. These facilities help in conducting research activities in areas of waterlogging, salinization, groundwater mining, water pollution and flood forecasting. The regional issues in addition to those at national scale can also be simulated by utilizing fine resolution data.

Groundwater Management and Investigation Cell

The state of art equipment is available with the PCRWR Headquarter, Islamabad for quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the sub-surface water. The Council has conducted a number of exploratory surveys to delineate underground lithology of the aquifer as well as its quality and extent. It also offers its services for private sector on subsidized rates. The Council has indigenously developed low-cost water level indicators and hydro-salinity samplers for the measurement of water-table depth and groundwater quality. The instruments are being extensively used in the field to develop maps for depth to water-table, as well as for physical ground truthing of the resistivity survey and spatial distribution of hydro-salinity.

Mapping and Design of Soil and Water Conservation Practices

The Water Management Section of the Council is equipped with state of the art surveying equipment such as differential GPS, Total Station, Map Digitizers etc; processing softwares like ArcGIS, Surfer, Coordinate Translators, Erdas Imagine; jumbo size peripheral devices such as plotters and scanners, under the use of highly skilled professionals. The Council has conducted a number of surveys in remote and rugged areas to develop comprehensive 2-D and 3-D topographic maps in order to plan and design various soil and water conservation and management practices like, rainwater harvesting, surface and lift irrigation systems, mini and small dams, storm water drainage channels, artificial groundwater recharge structures, farm layout improvements, precision land leveling, high efficiency irrigation systems, construction of retaining walls and check structures etc. The Council also offers those services and consultancies on subsidized rates, to public and private sector organizations and farmers.

National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL)

The NWQL is a premier laboratory of water quality in Pakistan. In a short span of time, it has established itself as a centre of excellence in water quality management, by upgrading its infrastructure and improving the expertise of its professionals. It has the capacity to analyze more than 114 water quality parameters (drinking, irrigation and wastewater) and is fully capable to support industry, research institutes and universities in this area. The NWQL has three main sections: Microbiological Analysis Section; Chemical Analysis Section; and Wastewater Analysis Section. The National Water Quality Laboratory has the capability to analyze the following physical, chemical, microbiological parameters and trace elements.

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, 54 Potassium, Persistent Organic Pollutants, Oil and Grease, Silica, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Free CO2 and Chlorine.
Trace Elements: Arsenic, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Mercury and Zinc.
Microbiological Parameters: Total Coliforms, Fecal Coliforms, E. Coli, Total Plate Count.

The Laboratory has achieved continuation of accreditation for 26 water quality parameters, after the successful surveillance audit of the Laboratory Quality System. After which a full assessment of NWQL simultaneously by Norwegian Akkrediterign (NA) and Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) on September 8-9, 2010 and another full assessment by PNAC on February 19-20, 2013 have been conducted. The last assessment audit was performed by PNAC on July 2015.

Library, Documentation and Information Centre (LDIC)

PCRWR has precious library having large information and data resources not only for water sector but also for allied sectors especially agriculture industry and social sectors.
Major functions of this Section are to collect process and disseminate national information related to water resources through library, databank, and regular/occasional publications of the PCRWR and other organizations. There are three sub-sections of LDIC, which provide the following facilitates in order to support the research and development activities.

Library: A collection of more than twelve thousand books, journals proceedings and technical / research reports on water resources and related fields.

The main function of the library is to provide standard library services to engineers, scientists, researchers and policy makers, working in the field of water resources. An access to ‘Digital Library’ through HEC for a number of multi disciplinary databases is also available for the scientists/researchers of the PCRWR and other organizations, as well as students from different colleges and universities.
Databank: There are more than 16000 bibliographic records available in the computerized databank pertaining to the library collection of PCRWR and its outfits, as well as WAPDA 56 Directorates, Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Engineering Lahore, Irrigation Research Institute Lahore, Universities of Agriculture Faisalabad and Peshawar etc.
Trace Publication Section: Information is disseminated through regular and occasional publications of the PCRWR such as newsletter, research/technical reports, books, manuals, annual reports and proceedings of the seminars/ workshops etc.

Soil Physics Laboratory

Soil Physics is an important discipline that deals with physical properties and processes of soil for assessment of its behavior under natural and managed conditions. It applies principle of physics, physical chemistry, engineering and metrology for addressing the problems and issues of hydrology, ecology, agriculture and engineering.
In hydrological models, the soil physical and hydraulic properties are pre-requisites and have great importance. The data is almost at non-existence level and Pedo-transfer functions developed elsewhere in the world are being used to fill this data gap. Keeping in view this scenario, PCRWR has established a state-of-the-art Soil Physics Laboratory at its Headquarters Islamabad. The laboratory is equipped with facilities of determining soil physical, hydraulic and chemical properties. The major services which are being provided in the laboratory include developing Soil Moisture Retention Curve from 0 bar to 15 bar using Hein’s Apparatus and Pressure Plate Extractors, soil texture analysis by hydrometer and sieve analysis, soil organic matter by using Muffle furnace, soil chemical analysis by getting soil water extract through locally developed vacuum filtration system by PCRWR etc.
In recent past, PCRWR carried out a unique Study under collaboration with UNESCO in the Upper Indus Plain and determined basin’s soil physical, hydraulic and chemical properties together with soil lithology in the Pothwar Region and in Doabs. The generated knowledge has been disseminated among the relevant researchers and technicians through developed publication and laboratory manual.
Soil Physics Laboratory, PCRWR is regularly providing services to PCRWR, Head Office, its outfit offices other related Govt and private organizations etc. for research purposes through the following facilities:

  • Soil Moisture Retention Curves
  • Soil Texture Analysis though Sieve Method
  • Soil Texture Analysis through Hydrometer
  • Soil Moisture Extraction for Chemical Analysis
  • Determination of Soil Infiltration rate
  • Determination of Organic Matter
  • Determination of Soil Moisture
Commercialization and Innovation Cell (CIC)

The innovation is a key factor for national industrial competitiveness, a Commercialization and Innovation Cell (CIC) has also been established at PCRWR Headquarter Islamabad, to manufacture, market and sell its products and services. Sale points have also been established at Headquarter and Regional Office/Centres under Commercialization and Innovation Cell.

The following R & D are developed by PCRWR

Safe Water Filter

Patent no. 141363

Capacity: 18L
Material: Acrylic
Flow Rate: 3 L/H
Usage: Removal of Bacteria/Arsenic /Turbidity
Shelf Life: Cartridge 4 years
Working Life Cartridge 2 years
Price Rs. 4000/Per Unit
Simultaneous removal of Bacteria, Arsenic & Turbidity

Patent No. 141363

Treatment Capacity: 18L
Packaging: 9 ML
Usage: Removal of Bacteria/Arsenic /Turbidity
Shelf Life: 3 Year
Price: Rs. 25/ Sachet

Microbiological Testing Kit

Patent No. 141361

Capacity: Single Test
Test Range: Presence/ Absence (Bacteria)
Shelf Life: 2 Years
Price: Rs 250/ kit

Arsenic Testing Kit

Patent No. 141362

Capacity: 100 Tests
Test Range: 0-250 ppb
Shelf Life: 5 Years

Water Disinfection Tablets

Treatment Capacity: 20 L
Treatment Time: 30 Minutes
Packaging: 30 Tablet/Pack
Shelf Life: 2 Years
Price: Rs. 150/Pack
Active Ingredient: 33 mg

Water Disinfection Tablets

Treatment Capacity: 500 Gallons
Treatment Time: 30 Minutes
Packaging: 10 Tablets/Bottle
Shelf Life: 2 Years
Price: Rs. 1000/Bottle
Active Ingredient: 3300 mg


  1. Tensiometer tell us when to apply water.
  2. It measures soil moisture suction(because of depletion of available moisture) upto 80 centi bars.
  3. The rootzone measuring lengths are 1ft, 2ft and 3ft
  4. 2500 Rs/piece


  1. Bubblers applies water in small fountain form to the plants.
  2. Those are suitable for orchard trees with relatively high water requirements.
  3. Bubblers are supplied water through small pipelines.
  4. Better replicate of drippers in high ET areas.