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Water use

Total water withdrawal in 2008 was an estimated 183.4 km3, of which surface water withdrawal accounts for 121.8 km3 (66.4 percent) and groundwater withdrawal accounts for 61.6 km3 (33.6 percent). This mainly refers to the IBIS, the withdrawal outside the IBIS being extremely small (GoP, 2008a) (Table 3 and Figure 1).

In 2008, agriculture withdrew an estimated 172.4, or 94 percent of the total water withdrawal . Municipal and industrial water withdrawal was an estimated 9.7 km3 and 1.4 km3, respectively (Figure 2) (GoP, 2008a; Zakria, 2000).

Most summer rains are not available for crop production or recharge to groundwater because of rapid runoff of torrential showers.

The overall irrigation efficiency in the IBIS is 40 percent (canal efficiency 75 percent, conveyance efficiency 70 percent and field application efficiency 75 percent). The water lost during conveyance and application largely contributes towards recharging groundwater.

In some areas, development appears to have reached the point where groundwater is being mined. Most urban and rural water is supplied from groundwater. Over 50 percent of the village water supply is obtained from hand pumps, which are installed by private households. In saline groundwater areas, irrigation canals are the main source of municipal water.

Groundwater is pumped using electricity and diesel fuels. There are currently one million tubewells, of which 87 percent are operated by diesel. Power failures, extended load shedding and poor electricity supply are the main reasons for the slow growth of electric tubewells compared to diesel-operated tubewells (Ahmad, 2008b).

Information on the use of treated wastewater and desalinated water is not available, it is however a minor fraction of the total. Sewage water from urban areas is used by farmers in the peri-urban areas to irrigate fodder crops and vegetables. Farmers also reuse drainage water during periods of water scarcity to supplement canal water supplies, but data are not available.


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       Quote as: FAO. 2016. AQUASTAT website. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Website accessed on [yyyy/mm/dd].
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