Talk40 Inter-canal water transfers for Better Groundwater Management in the Indus Basin

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Abstract

Relentless population boom and increasing food demands have resulted in a massive increase in the Indus basin's reliance on groundwater for adequate agricultural water supply. Water extracted from underground sources now amounts to more than 50% of the water applied to agricultural fields. Annual groundwater extraction volumes in many parts of the basin are now comfortably exceeding recharge volumes. LEAD Pakistan is hosting an interactive session titled “Inter-canal Water Transfers for Better Groundwater Management in the Indus Basin” to address the challenge of sustainable groundwater management. Our guest speaker, Dr. Taimoor Akhtar, will explore ideas for sustainably balancing groundwater extraction and recharge across the Indus basin including possible transfer/trade of surface water entitlements between canal commands. The Indus Basin urgently needs policy and management interventions to address the current spatio-temporal imbalance in groundwater extraction-recharge.

Dr. Taimoor Akhtar is an interdisciplinary research scientist, focused on designing model and data-driven decision frameworks for complex water policy and management problems. He is currently engaged as a research fellow at National University of Singapore's Environmental Research Institute. Dr. Akhtar has accumulated more than 10 years of academic and consulting experience in water management and optimization as an engineer at NESPAK, and as co-founder at Hydra Consulting Services Pakistan. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Water Resources Systems Engineering from Cornell University.

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