Thursday, 4 February 14:30 -16:00 PKT / 10:30 -12:00 CET
The IWMI-led Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is organizing a series of six webinars between 1-5 February 2021. SoLAR project aims to generate knowledge to sustainably manage water-energy and climate interlinkages through the promotion of solar irrigation pumps (SIPs). The goal of the project is to contribute to climate-resilient, gender-equitable, and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan by supporting government efforts to promote solar irrigation.
Achieving progress in poverty reduction with minimal carbon emission is at the core of the climate and sustainability challenge. This need is particularly acute in South Asia, where further expansion of irrigation holds the promise of pulling smallholders out of poverty, but will also result in large increases in carbon emissions due to overwhelming dependence on fossil fuel-based groundwater pumping. SIPs offer a “climate resilient” solution, yet adoption is slow. Little is also known about the impact of SIPs on groundwater use. In this six-part SDC-IWMI webinar series, we will explore some of these larger questions around energy transition and SIPs in four South Asian countries.
The webinars will be 1.5 hour to 2-hour online events, and will involve speakers from all four countries, as well as speakers from outside the region and will be open to the general public.
Webinar 5: The potential of Solar irrigation for Pakistan: a critical inquiry
In Webinar 5, experts will take a critical look at the current status and future potential of SIPs in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s National Water Policy endorses the importance of irrigated agriculture for the national economy, but highlights low irrigation efficiency and low water productivity as major challenges facing the sector. Groundwater currently meets about 60% irrigation water requirements of Pakistan. There are approximately 1.3 million tube wells, out of which about 83% are diesel-powered and have been installed mostly at shallow depths (20-40 ft). These tube wells together extract about 55-million-acre feet of underground water for irrigation, which is 20% more than that available from the canals. Solar powered irrigation systems provide a promising alternative to the diesel-powered tube wells but adoption at scale has faced many problems in Pakistan. Farmers are unable to invest in solar due to high initial costs as well as the low discharge capacities as compared to the diesel-powered The major concern amongst water professionals on Pakistan is that any conversion of diesel pumping to PV solar will result in indiscriminate pumping leading to further groundwater depletion. The government has launched various schemes to promote solar pumping in conjunction with High Efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS). Is this the right approach? The 5th episode of the Solar webinar series will discuss these issues with the sector experts to find out the best possible future course of action for Pakistan in its policy related to solar based irrigation systems.
Moderator: Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, IWMI, Pakistan
Speaker and Topic:
- The potential of Solar irrigation for Pakistan: a critical inquiry - Dr. Imran Khalid, SDPI, Pakistan
- Ms. Sara Hayat, Climate Change and Legal Expert, Pakistan
- Dr. Sardar Mohazzam, NEECA, Ministry of Energy, Pakistan
- Mr. Tahir Anwar, FWMC, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan
- Mr. Shoaib Ahmed, SAARC Energy Centre, Islamabad
Concluding remarks and vote of thanks
- Dr. Azeem Shah, IWMI Pakistan
Register here on Zoom for Webinar 5
More information on the SoLAR webinar series here