Quetta: July 27, 2023: Water resources management in Pakistan is becoming complex day-by-day. National water security means national food security, and national food security means national security itself. To address the issue of water, there is a need to adopt a multidimensional approach.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan organized a three-day training working on the sustainable use and management of groundwater in Balochistan. This training was conducted through the World Bank funded Balochistan Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Project (BIWRMDP). Around twenty agriculture and water professionals from On-Farm Water Management, Agriculture Department, Government of Balochistan attended the training.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, Director of Water-Food & Ecosystems, IWMI/Country Representative, IWMI Pakistan said, “groundwater is extensively used for agriculture and is under tremendous stress, with no systematic monitoring system in Balochistan province. We need to use technology for groundwater monitoring and its optimized use by deployment of sensors and other monitoring equipment.” He highlighted that the training would help relevant departments and institutions in better planning and institutionalization of efficient groundwater use and monitoring to make timely and informed decisions.

Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, Islamabad in his presentation highlighted the significance of groundwater and its management in Balochistan. He said that the groundwater is depleting at an alarming level due to unmonitored extraction of this precious resource. PCRWR is piloting some of its successful interventions which have been tested in other areas similar to the conditions that we have in Balochistan. We need political will to implement those initiatives.

Dr. Sarfraz Munir, Regional Researcher (Water Management) and Dr. Abdul Hakeem, National Researcher (Irrigation Agronomist), IWMI Pakistan introduced field instrumentation for efficient irrigation and groundwater monitoring, and geotagging of tube wells.

Part of the training was an exposure visit to district Pishin where the participants witnessed practical demonstration of installation, operation and maintenance, and management of drip irrigation system for orchards and vegetable farms.

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Daily Balochistan Express