Groundwater markets under the water scarcity conditions: the upland Balochistan region of Pakistan

Khair, Syed M. and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Culas, Richard J. and Hafeez, Mohsin (2011) Groundwater markets under the water scarcity conditions: the upland Balochistan region of Pakistan. In: 40th Australian Conference of Economists (ACE 2011) , 11-13 July 2011, Canberra, Australia.

PDF (Published Version)

Download (395kB)


The study documents comprehensive analysis on informal groundwater marketing in upland Balochistan, Pakistan. Informal groundwater markets are emerging a feasible option to manage increasing water scarcity and declining water tables as a result of poor groundwater policies. First we evaluated the groundwater trading mechanism and later we empirically examined factors affecting the groundwater trading using logit econometric models. We did not observe any permanent groundwater transactions; only temporary groundwater exchange takes place. Two common transactions methods were noted – water in exchange for given crop share and cash payment per hour (flat rate per hour). In all, 60% respondents reported selling water for crop share. This form of transaction method intensifies as we move from high altitude areas to low altitude areas because water and land are relatively scarce at higher uplands. In general, the crop sharing rates were 33% of the crop output. Water trading in cash transactions was practiced by 40% of respondents. The charges per hour depend on the altitude, with an average price of Rs.2100, Rs.112, and Rs.205 per hour were reported at low, medium and high altitudes, respectively. This form of water marketing intensifies as we move from low to high altitude areas, mainly because of relatively abundant water and land in low altitude areas.
The results of empirical models indicates that among others, cropping intensity, area under high value fruits, decline in watertable, tubewell reliability, alternate source of irrigation, and soil quality are important variables influencing water buying and selling decisions. Importantly, personal attributes such as kinships, age, and education were also found important factors affecting water buying and selling decisions. In the upland Balochistan water markets appears to provide cushions against increasing water scarcity by averting damages to high value horticultural crops and also proving useful in enhancing water efficiently as it helps overcome the problem of over irrigation/miss use of water by facilitating selling the surplus/extra water and using purchased water more sparingly and efficiently. It is envisaged that groundwater play key role in sustaining high value crops and will continue to contribute in upland Balochistan.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 19453
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retains copyright. For more details of papers see Conference website at
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - No Department (1 Jan 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - No Department (1 Jan 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2011 07:09
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 03:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: informal groundwater markets; Balochistan; logit model; groundwater decline; sustainable cropping system
Fields of Research (2008): 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140201 Agricultural Economics
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (2020): 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380101 Agricultural economics
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only