Improved governance of perennial water for mitigating climate risks in arid and semi-arid regions – An example from spate area of Pakistan

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/12/2019
Views (316) Download (15)

Improved governance of perennial water for mitigating climate risks in arid and semi-arid regions – An example from spate area of Pakistan

Arjumand Nizami, Jawad Ali, Muhammad Zulfiqar, Muhammad Jamal Khan, Munawar Khan Khattak, Dilawar Khan
J. Bio. Env. Sci.15( 6), 92-100, December 2019.
Certificate: JBES 2019 [Generate Certificate]


The study reviews existing irrigation system management in the command area of Tank Zam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and explores effective ways of using scarce perennial water for a better response to climate change related stress. The area falls in arid zone with an annual average rainfall below 250mm. The Spate irrigation, an ancient system of water management is used in the area. Availability of a perennial water source serves a huge security for the farmers. The study uses primary and secondary data. Climate data has been used for analysis of water availability in the wake of climate change. The study shows that during winter season the irrigation water supply is irrigating 1735 hectares but during summer even this area could not be irrigated. The irrigation application efficiency is very low. The decadal changes in precipitation show an increasing trend up to 2030 and then indicating gradual decreasing trends till 2040. Winter and fall rains are continuously decreasing till 2040. Spring Rain are increasing till 2040. Summer rains are increasing up to 2030 and then gradually decreasing till 2040. Temperatures in all the seasons are increasing. Eventually perennial flow will also receive great stress resulting in less availability of irrigation water. Seeing this trend together with irrigation inefficiency in the field, the issue of better governance of the perennial water supply becomes very important. The study recommends a critical review of existing water management system for improved water governance through structural changes and revitalizing social aspects to support effective governance.


Asad SA. 2016. Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources of Pakistan. Development Advocate Pakistan (3)4. DOI: 10.1163/9789004269729_011.

CNBA and CPDI. 2017. Study of Budget Making Process at District Level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2016-17. Citizens’ Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) and Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI). http://www.tank. financekpp. gov.

GoKP. 1995. Irrigation Department, Development Wing, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

GoKP. 2017. Revenue Department, district Tank, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

GoP. 2012. National Climate Change Policy of Pakistan 2012. Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

GoP. 2018. Agriculture Statistics of Pakistan 2017-18. Pakistan Bureau of Statistic, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

GoPa. 2018. National Water Policy 2018, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

GWP. 2017. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at a Glance. GWP Secretariat. Stockholm. Sweden.

Hayat N. 2016. Water Security in Pakistan, Issues and Challenges. Development Advocate Pakistan (3)4.

Helvetas. 2017. Assessment of Water Availability and Review of Existing Operational Framework of Tank Zam Rudh Kohi Irrigation System. Swiss Intercooperation Pakistan, Islamabad.

Jabeen N. 2012. Gender equity and governance in Pakistan: Looking through Leventhal’s concept of organizational justice. Brill Online Books and Journal.

Khan N. 2019. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Status Report – Irrigation. Planning and Development department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.

Khan RS, Nawaz K, Steenbergen FV, Nizami A, Ahmad S. 2014. The Dry Side of the Indus: Exploring Spate Irrigation in Pakistan. Spate Irrigation Network. Vanguard Books. Pakistan.

Mehari A, Steenbergen FV, Schultz B. 2010. Modernization of Spate Irrigated Agriculture: A New Approach. Irrigation and Drainage (2010). DOI: 10.1002/ird.565

Nizami AJ, Ali M, Zulfiqar. 2020. Climate change is real and relevant for sustainable development, an empirical evidence on scenarios from North-West Pakistan. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture 36(1), 42-69

Nizami A, Khattak M. 2014. Rudh Kohi System in Pakistan, Achievements, Prospects and Policy Issues – DI Khan Experience. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.

OECD. 2018. OECD Water Governance Indicator Framework, OECD Water Governance Programme.

PASI. 2017. Assessment of water availability and evaluation of traditional rudh-kohi irrigation system in DI Khan and Tank. Workshop report. Pakistan Academy of Sciences Islamabad. http:// nceg. uop. edu. pk/ WatershedManagementWokrshop2010.

Zulfiqar M. 2018. Threats of global warming for Pakistan’s Agriculture: An evidence from Shigari Kalan watershed, Skardu. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture 34(3), 569-574.