The changing characteristics of groundwater sustainability in Pakistan from 2002 to 2016

Caractérisation du changement intervenu dans la durabilité des eaux souterraines au Pakistan entre 2002 et 2016

Las cambiantes características de la sostenibilidad de las aguas subterráneas en Pakistán desde 2002 a 2016

巴基斯坦2002至2016年地下水可持续性变化特征

As características mutáveis da sustentabilidade das águas subterrâneas no Paquistão de 2002 a 2016

Abstract

Groundwater is regarded as one of the most reliable and vulnerable sources of drinking water in many countries. Declining groundwater levels, due to over-exploitation and climate-change impacts, emphasize the need for sustainable management of this valuable resource. The concept of reliability-resiliency-vulnerability (RRV) has been adopted in this study to assess the spatial changes in the sustainability of aquifers for different periods to identify the main factors affecting groundwater sustainability in Pakistan. This is important for the country, as the substantial decline of groundwater levels in recent years has affected the water security of the growing economy. The satellite-based gridded Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) groundwater anomaly data for the period 2002–2016 were used for this spatial assessment. The results revealed precipitation as the dominant factor associated with changing groundwater storage in Pakistan. A large decrease in aquifer storage was found over the study period. The groundwater-level decline was found to be greater in the region where agriculture is more intense, resulting in over-exploitation of groundwater for irrigation. The reduction of groundwater storage has led to a decrease in sustainability, especially in recent years (2008–2016) compared with previous periods (2002–2010 and 2005–2013). This study emphasized the need for groundwater resource management strategies such as reduction of groundwater abstraction in drought years, rescheduling the crop calendar to take advantage of rainfall, switching to less water-intensive crops, etc., particularly in groundwater depleting regions.

Résumé

L’eau souterraine est considérée comme l’une des ressources en eau potable les plus fiables et les plus vulnérables dans beaucoup de pays. Des niveaux d’eau souterraine en baisse du fait des impacts de la surexploitation et du changement climatique soulignent le besoin d’une gestion durable de cette ressource précieuse. Le concept de fiabilité-résilience-vulnérabilité (FRV) a été adopté dans la présente étude pour évaluer les changements dans l’espace de la durabilité des aquifères à différentes périodes, en vue d’identifier les facteurs principaux qui affectent la durabilité des eaux souterraines au Pakistan. Ceci est important pour le pays, car la baisse substantielle du niveau des eaux souterraines aux cours des années récentes a affecté la sécurité en eau d’une économie en croissance. Les données anomales sur les eaux souterraines, référencées dans la grille des satellites Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment(GRACE) pour la période 2002–2016, ont été utilisées pour cette évaluation spatiale. Les résultats montrent que les précipitations sont le facteur dominant dans les changements intervenus dans l’emmagasinement des eaux souterraines au Pakistan. Une importante diminution du stockage en aquifère a été constatée durant la période d’étude. La baisse du niveau des eaux souterraines a été reconnue comme plus importante dans la région où l’agriculture est plus intense, d’où résulte une surexploitation des eaux souterraines par l’irrigation. La réduction du stockage des eaux souterraines a conduit à une décroissance de la durabilité, particulièrement dans les années récentes (2008–2016), par rapport aux périodes précédentes (2002–2016 et 2005–2013). La présente étude souligne la nécessité de stratégies de gestion de la ressource en eau souterraine, tels que la réduction de l’exploitation de l’eau souterraine dans les années de sècheresse, le ré-échelonnement du calendrier des culture pour tirer parti des précipitations, le passage à des cultures moins gourmandes en eau etc., particulièrement dans les régions d’appauvrissement des eaux souterraines.

Resumen

Las aguas subterráneas están consideradas como una de las fuentes de agua potable más fiables y vulnerables en muchos países. El descenso de los niveles de agua subterránea, debido a la sobreexplotación y a los efectos del cambio climático, pone de relieve la necesidad de una gestión sostenible de este valioso recurso. El concepto de confiabilidad, resiliencia y vulnerabilidad (RRV) ha sido adoptado en este estudio para evaluar los cambios espaciales en la sostenibilidad de los acuíferos durante diferentes períodos para identificar los principales factores que afectan la sostenibilidad de las aguas subterráneas en Pakistán. Esto es importante para el país, ya que la disminución sustancial de los niveles de agua subterránea en los últimos años ha afectado la seguridad hídrica de una creciente economía. Para esta evaluación espacial se utilizaron los datos de anomalías de aguas subterráneas del Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) para el período 2002–2016. Los resultados revelaron que la precipitación es el factor dominante asociado con el cambio en el almacenamiento de agua subterránea en Pakistán. Se encontró una gran disminución en el almacenamiento del acuífero durante el período de estudio. El descenso del nivel de las aguas subterráneas fue mayor en la región donde la agricultura es más intensa, lo que dio lugar a la sobreexplotación de las aguas subterráneas para el riego. La reducción del almacenamiento de aguas subterráneas ha conducido a una disminución de la sostenibilidad, especialmente en los últimos años (2008–2016) en comparación con períodos anteriores (2002–2010 y 2005–2013). Este estudio enfatizó la necesidad de estrategias de gestión de los recursos de agua subterránea, tales como la reducción de la extracción de agua subterránea en años de sequía, la reprogramación del calendario de cultivos para aprovechar las lluvias, el cambio a cultivos menos intensivos en agua, etc., particularmente en las regiones que agotan las aguas subterráneas.

摘要

在许多国家,地下水被认为是最可靠和最有价值的饮用水源之一。由于过度开采和气候变化影响,下降的地下水位加大了对地下水宝贵资源进行可持续管理的必要性。本研究采用可靠性-恢复性-脆弱性(RRV)的概念来评估不同时期含水层可持续性的空间变化,从而确定影响巴基斯坦地下水可持续性的主要因素。因为近年来地下水位的大幅下降影响了经济增长的水安全问题,这项研究对巴基斯坦很重要。2002–2016年期间基于卫星的重力恢复和气候试验(GRACE)地下水异常网格数据用于空间评估。结果表明降水是与巴基斯坦地下水储量变化相关的主导因素。研究期内发现含水层储存量大幅减少。在农业活动强烈地区,地下水位下降幅度更大,导致了用于灌溉的地下水过度开采。与先前时期(2002–2010和2005–2013)相比,特别是近几年(2008–2016),地下水储存量的减少导致可持续性下降。该研究强调了地下水资源管理战略的必要性,例如减少干旱年份的地下水开采量,利用降雨重新规划作物日历,替换水资源密集度较低的作物等,特别是在地下水枯竭地区。

Resumo

As águas subterrâneas são consideradas uma das fontes mais confiáveis e vulneráveis de água potável em muitos países. O declínio dos níveis das águas subterrâneas, devido à sobre-exploração e aos impactos das mudanças climáticas, enfatiza a necessidade de um manejo sustentável desse valioso recurso. O conceito de confiabilidade-resiliência-vulnerabilidade (CRV) foi adotado neste estudo para avaliar as mudanças espaciais na sustentabilidade dos aquíferos por diferentes períodos para identificar os principais fatores que afetam a sustentabilidade das águas subterrâneas no Paquistão. Isso é importante para o país, já que o declínio substancial dos níveis de água subterrânea nos últimos anos afetou a segurança da água da economia em crescimento. Os dados de anomalia das águas subterrâneas do GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) gravados em satélite para o período 2002–2016 foram utilizados para esta avaliação espacial. Os resultados revelaram a precipitação como o fator dominante associado à mudança do armazenamento de água subterrânea no Paquistão. Uma grande diminuição no armazenamento de aquíferos foi encontrada durante o período do estudo. O declínio do nível do lençol freático foi maior na região onde a agricultura é mais intensa, resultando em exploração excessiva das águas subterrâneas para irrigação. A redução do armazenamento de água subterrânea levou a uma diminuição na sustentabilidade, especialmente nos últimos anos (2008–2016) em comparação com períodos anteriores (2002–2010 e 2005–2013). Este estudo enfatizou a necessidade de estratégias de gestão de recursos hídricos subterrâneos, como a redução da captação de água subterrânea em anos de seca, reescalonamento do calendário agrícola para aproveitar as chuvas, mudança para cultivos menos intensivos em água, etc., particularmente em regiões de esgotamento.

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Funding

This work is supported by the Professional Development Research University (PDRU) grant No. Q.J130000.21A2.04E10 of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. The third author is also supported by Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TÜBİTAK) grant No. 118C020.

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Ahmed, K., Shahid, S., Demirel, M.C. et al. The changing characteristics of groundwater sustainability in Pakistan from 2002 to 2016. Hydrogeol J 27, 2485–2496 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-019-02023-x

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Keywords

  • Groundwater management
  • Groundwater storage changes
  • Groundwater sustainability
  • Reliability-resiliency-vulnerability
  • Pakistan