Impact of Canal Water Shortages on Groundwater in the Lower Bari Doab Canal System in Pakistan

Abdul Sattar Shakir, Habib ur Rehman, Noor M Khan, Asad Ullah Qazi


This paper presents rigorous analysis of shortage of canal water supplies, crop water requirements, and groundwater use and its quality in the command of Lower Bari Doab Canal, Pakistan. The annual canal water supplies are 36% less than the crop water requirements. This shortage further increases to 56% if actual canal supplies (averaged over last ten years) are compared with the crop water requirement. The groundwater levels are depleting at the rate of 30 to 40 cm per year in most parts of the LBDC command and this tendency of lowering may increase in future due to further increase in crop water requirements. The analysis of data for the last seven years indicate that quality of groundwater in most parts of LBDC command is generally good (64% of the area) or marginally acceptable (28%) for irrigation use. However, declining trends in groundwater quality are visible and can create long term sustainability problems if proper remedial actions are not taken well in time.

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