Pakistan has one of the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world where more than 93% water is used in agriculture. This is the area where maximum losses occur. For example, more than 60% of the water is lost during conveyance and during application in the fields mainly due to the poor maintenance of the irrigation system and conventional irrigation methods. Hence, a small saving in the agriculture sector would transform into huge water saving. Therefore, PCRWR major research focus is on agriculture.
The major activities of water management is to conduct research and development for the conservation and efficient utilization of available water resources to meet the current water demand for various sectors in general and agriculture in particular, as well as planning for future demands. The research and development activities are focused on major areas:

Crop Water Requirements
Water Conservation
Groundwater Investigations
Hydrology Modeling & GIS/RS
Recharge of Depleted Aquifers
Watershed Management
Draining and Land Reclamation
Demarcation and mapping of groundwater quality zones in Upper and Lower Indus Plain
The ground water atlas has provided detailed information on fresh groundwater quality zones. This information will serve as pre-requisite for groundwater management and regulations
On-farm Tile Drainage in Sindh
PCRWR is pioneer in Initiating horizontal on-farm tile drainage systems with state-of-the-art machinery to control water logging and salinity. over 2700 acres agricultural land in Sindh province has been reclaimed so far
Leaky Dam in Balochistan
Introduced an innovative concept of Leaky Dam in Balochistan for groundwater recharge as an alternative to conventional Delay Action Dam
Karezes of Balochistan as World Cultural Heritage
PCRWR has successfully included Karezes of Balochistan in tentative list for Declaration as World Cultural Heritage Whereas, formal dossier is in preparation stage.
Determined crop water requirement
Determined crop water requirement of major field crops in Punjab and Sindh through lysimetric studies – assist farmers for reducing wastage of water
Determined soil hydraulic properties
PCRWR has Determined soil hydraulic properties of the eastern rivers – an input in flood forecasting model for Flood Forecasting Division
Satellite based water resources management
Monitoring of groundwater storage with gravity satellite “Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)” for groundwater resource management at doab levels
Monitoring of Surface Water Bodies Using Satellite Altimeters
Satellite altimeter data detects depth of river Jhelum flowing in Indian occupied Kashmir and develop river discharge curve simulated by the computer. The the graph shows flow status in river Jhelum at Uri station located 50 km inside Indian occupied Kashmir. This flow information issues advance alerts fro sudden release of water from Indian reservoirs. Calibration of this model is under progress.
Introduced Irrigation Advisory Service to 20,000 Farers/Week in 41 Districts
This advisory message through SMS contains information that how much water is consumed by a particular crop during the previous week and how much irrigation is needed during the following week. This message also contains voluntary weather forecast which is crucial for crop. The advisory message utilizes NASA’s satellite data that is received on server located at PCRWR. The information is further computed utilizing PCRWR’s lysimetric data to form a text message. The concept of irrigation advisory service is illustrated.

Development and Modification of Technologies

PCRWR is developing some of the best engineering solutions for water quality treatment and agricultural water and nutrient management with necessary design modifications to make these technologies available locally. A few of these solutions are;
Chameleon Moisture Sensors
The Chameleon Soil Water Sensor mimics the way a plant experiences the amount of water in the soil by measuring how hard the roots have to suck (the tension required) to extract moisture. It is designed to be accurate in the range that most plants are sensitive to water stress. Because the Chameleon Sensor measures tension, it does not need to be calibrated to different soil types.
Chameleon Wifi Reader
The Wi-Fi Reader measures a sensor array comprised of three Chameleon Soil Water Sensors and a temperature plus ID sensor. The Chameleon Reader can be used to read any number of sensor arrays, can log data and upload data to the VIA platform.
Hydra ram pump
This pump is operates at zero input of electricity only utilizing mechanical energy of flowing water. This pump nearly uplifts 10 litres of water in one minute up to 100 ft. This pump may operate continuously and particularly suited to high altitude areas.
Indigenous Development of Agriculture Water Management Instruments
For various research and monitoring activities in agricultural water management, the availability of requisite instruments has always been expensive due to import involved. The Council has made tremendous achievement by designing, fabricating and manufacturing such instrument indigenously like tensiometer, gypsum block, water level indicator, sprinkler heads, rainguns, and salinity sensor which are being provided to various research and development organizations in the country, at a low cost. Moreover, establishment of Technology Demonstration Centre at Lahore is underway for the regular metamorphic development of the indigenous technologies with stakeholder participation. Similarly, establishment of a consultancy cell for providing consultancies and services like laser leveling, farm planning, high efficiency irrigation systems, replacing high returning crops with low ones etc is in progress as well.