University of Oulu

Ahmad B, Nadeem MU, Liu T, Asif M, Rizvi FF, Kamran A, Virk ZT, Jamil MK, Mustafa N, Saeed S, et al. Climate Change Impact on Groundwater-Based Livelihood in Soan River Basin of Pakistan (South Asia) Based on the Perception of Local Farmers. Water. 2023; 15(7):1287.

Climate change impact on groundwater-based livelihood in Soan River Basin of Pakistan (South Asia) based on the perception of local farmers

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Author: Ahmad, Bashir1; Nadeem, Muhammad Umer1,2; Liu, Tie2,3,4;
Organizations: 1Climate Energy and Water Research Institute, National Agriculture Research Center, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2China-Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Sciences, CAS-HEC, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
3State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
4Key Laboratory of GIS & RS Application Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi 830011, China
5NUST School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NUST, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
6Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
7Water System and Global Change Group (WSG), Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
8Agrosphere (IBG-3), Institute of Bio and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich University, 52428 Jülich, Germany
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-29


Based on the perceptions of the local farmers, this study aims to assess the effects of socioeconomic factors and climatic change on the groundwater livelihood system, with a particular focus on in situ Persian wheels/dug wells. Farmers’ perceptions of climate change and how it is affecting their way of life in the Soan River Basin have also been evaluated to determine the most appropriate adaptive interventions. Information and literature about dug wells was unavailable, which stressed the need to carry out this survey. A structured close-ended questionnaire was designed and administered with as much quantitative data as possible. Random sampling opted for a 5 km buffer zone across the Soan River and its tributaries. Union councils having more than 50% of their area lying in the buffer zone were surveyed, and data was collected. Fifty UCs fell within this criterion, and six dug wells from each Union Council were surveyed. The results of our survey collecting local farmer’s perceptions determined that about 70% of respondents agreed about climate change in the Soan Basin of Pakistan, and 62% of farmers reported that climate change severely impacted their livelihood by affecting agricultural productivity and water availability. Ninety-two percent reported summer becoming hot, 72% highlighted that winters are becoming less cold, and 96% reported that average annual rainfall has decreased compared to 10 years before. About 72% of respondents indicated that available water in their dug wells had decreased, and 80% of respondents explained that their crop yield had decreased compared to 10 years before. Sixty percent preferred drip and 35% sprinkler irrigation as efficient water management practices to cope with water shortages. Ninety-five percent of farmers were ready to use solar pumps for irrigation to tame high pumping costs. The study recommends integrating solar pumping with drip and sprinkler irrigation systems to enhance farmers’ cropped area and productivity. These vulnerable farmers can enhance their resilience and profitability by adopting high-value agriculture (tunnel farming, off-season vegetables, etc.) instead of conventional crops.

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Series: Water
ISSN: 2073-4441
ISSN-E: 2073-4441
ISSN-L: 2073-4441
Volume: 15
Issue: 7
Article number: 1287
DOI: 10.3390/w15071287
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This research in this study was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, K.C. Wong Education Foundation (Grant No. GJTD-2020-14), the Third Xinjiang Scientific Expedition Program (Grant No. 2021xjkk1400), Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road (Grant No. XDA20060303), the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team (Grant No. JCTD-2019-20), the CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia (Grant No. Y934031), the Regional Collaborative Innovation Project of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions (Grant No. 2020E01010). A special acknowledgment should be expressed to the China–Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Sciences that supported the implementation of this study.
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (