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Quetta - growing water demand from declining resources

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by David R. Birch, Yaver Abidi, Martin Perkins
The Quetta valley in Northern Balochistan is an arid mountainous valley. Over the past 15 years the demand for water has increased significantly as cheap electricity has made pumping from groundwater for the irrigation of high value deciduous fruit a major economic activity and the population of Quetta has expanded, largely as a result of the expansion of high value agriculture. The availability of low cost electricity together with a culture that has historically considered water as being free to all, has led to huge demands for groundwater. From the information available it is clear however, that groundwater in the Quetta valley is being mined, with groundwater levels falling at 1m a year, which is a cause for concern that demands immediate attention. This paper looks at the problem and potential mitigation measures. These include control of abstraction for agriculture through legislation and pricing, institutional measures to monitor and control abstraction, alternative surface water development options, artificial groundwater recharge and reducing urban demand.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


BIRCH, D.R., ABIDI, Y. and PERKINS, M., 1998. Quetta - growing water demand from declining resources. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Sanitation and water for all: Proceedings of the 24th WEDC International Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan, 31 August-4 September 1998, pp.287-289.


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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