Impact of Precipitation and Agricultural Productivity on Groundwater Storage in Rahim Yar Khan District, Pakistan

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2019: Emerging and Innovative Technologies and International Perspectives


American Society of Civil Engineers

Publisher Location

Pittsburgh, PA



First page number:


Last page number:



Being one of the largest crop producers district in Punjab, Rahim Yar Khan, is currently going through a severe water crisis. The increased abstraction of the groundwater reserves for agriculture and anthropogenic use has resulted in the reserves turning saline along with decrease in the depth of water table. Therefore, this study focuses on identifying the long-term variations in the groundwater storage and examines the impact of precipitation and the crop production on the groundwater reserves in the Rahim Yar Khan District. The groundwater information is derived from gravity recovery and climate experiment (GRACE) mission and global land data assimilation system (GLDAS). Four major crops including cotton, sugarcane, rice, and wheat are analyzed on the basis of their annual production and water demand. Precipitation data is obtained from PERISANN CDR and the agricultural information includes crop water requirement, which is computed using CROPWAT. The yield data is obtained from Bureau of Statistics, Punjab. The results revealed that the groundwater storage in the district is depleting at a rate of 0.51 mm per month leading to a total volumetric loss of 1.38 km3 in 13 years. The analysis also revealed that that the groundwater storage responds positively to precipitation at a lag of 3 months. Lastly, sugarcane and rice crop cultivation had a significant impact on the groundwater withdrawal rates in Rahim Yar Khan. The results from the study can provide useful information about the groundwater change in relation to crop water demand and precipitation.


Crop production; GRACE; Groundwater storage; Precipitation; Remote sensing


Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Environmental Engineering | Hydraulic Engineering



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