River Basins and Cryosphere
Indus Basin Initiative
14 June 2022 to
15 June 2022
Arun Bhakta Shrestha
Organizer: WWF-Pakistan, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Since innovative climate-smart water resource management packages are new to Gilgit-Baltistan, there is a need to build the capacities of all relevant stakeholders for effective outscaling and upscaling of the packages in the area and beyond. This training workshop will focus not only on the technical aspects of implementing irrigation packages (solar pump- and hydraulic ram pump- assisted river water lifting, combined with drip irrigation), but also on the sustainability aspects and dissemination of lessons learned from the pilot interventions to relevant stakeholders for further scaling.
The workshop will also bring together relevant government and non-government entities, funding agencies, regional experiences, and private sector organisations to discuss the scope, investment potential, and required policy interventions for scaling innovative water-lifting technologies across Gilgit-Baltistan.
The agriculture sector in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region significantly contributes to the regional economy. However, the sector is characterised by limited arable land and human capacity, dwindling irrigation water and other input supplies, inefficient irrigation methods, and poor market linkages. Glacier-fed water irrigates about 90% of the cultivated farms. Glacier lowering and GLOF incidences have been dismantling irrigation channels, thereby leading to reduced irrigation water supplies to fields. Furthermore, 50% of cultivable wasteland lies along riverbanks with limited access to irrigation water. In such situations, river water lifting becomes inevitable to ensure continuous irrigation supplies to already-cultivated areas as well as cultivable wasteland spread along riverbanks.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through a consortium of partners led by WWF-Pakistan piloted climate-smart water management techniques to address some of these challenges. We introduced two different water management packages, including solar pump-assisted river water lifting and hydraulic ram pump-assisted river water lifting, both integrated with drip irrigation. We piloted both packages to irrigate high-value agricultural interventions. The success of the piloted packages has attracted investments both from the public and private sectors, and scaling up efforts are currently going on. In addition, ICIMOD through its Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) Initiative has been working with SJCPP on promoting organic agriculture and on the formulation of agriculture, food, and nutrition policies for Gilgit-Baltistan.
Introductory remarks and the impact of changing climate on irrigation water supply
Objective and agenda of the training Remarks by guests
Muhammad Ismail, Country Representative Pakistan, ICIMOD
Arun B Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager – River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD
Ajaz Ali, Programme Office – Indus Basin Initiative, ICIMOD
Muhammad Asif Kakar, FPMU, Ministry of National Food Security and Research
Pre-feasibility and site selection
Madhav Dhakal, Hydrological Analyst – Water and Air, ICIMOD