How Nasa’s GRACE satellites can solve Pakistan’s water shortage

March 7, 2016 USPCASW


Pakistan water managers used Nasa GRACE satellite data to produce this map of monthly groundwater changes in the Indus River Basin. Orange and yellow indicates areas where groundwater might be depleted, while blue and green highlights areas where groundwater is being replenished. Photo courtesy:  Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources.

While Pakistani agriculturalists have traditionally relied on one of the largest continuous irrigation systems in the world to water their crops, the country has turned to groundwater to keep up with surging demand which comes as a result of increasing urbanisation and a growing population.

With over 60 per cent of Pakistan’s water pumped from natural underground reservoirs, and no limits on how many wells can be drilled and how much they can be drained, it becomes difficult for authorities to precisely monitor the underground water levels….