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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.11

Rainwater Harvesting: Impact on Agriculture and Environment in Pakistan

Sardar Muhammad Tariq
Pakistan Water Partnership, WAPDA
Room No.706


Pakistan falls in the arid and semiarid climatic region and about 11 million hectares or 14% are covered by the deserts Thar, Cholistan, Thal, Changi and Kharan. These deserts have acute shortage of water supplies and as a result a harsh life. In deserts, the primary source of water is rainfall and underground water resources are mostly saline. When there is no rainfall, people are faced with droughts and famines. The years without rain also reduce grazing lands, increase livestock mortality and bring additional miseries for human beings.

When water is scarce, the need for water management skills and efficient use rises. In such areas the water for growing vegetables and fruit trees as well as for drinking purposes can only be provided through rainwater harvesting technologies. Due to constant population growth, there is a necessity for an increased food supply, requiring the use of marginal and desert lands for livestock and farm production. The saline groundwater cannot be used for human and animal consumption nor for growing crops and trees. To combat this problem water harvesting techniques have generally been used to get water. This paper has the objective to evaluate the water resources available through rainwater harvesting and its impact on agriculture, the socio-economic conditions of the inhabitants and the area's environment.

PDF of full document (4pp, 22kb)

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