Groundwater governance in a water-starved country: public policy, farmers' perceptions and drivers of tubewell adoption in Balochistan, Pakistan

Khair, Syed Mohammad and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Reardon-Smith, Kathryn (2015) Groundwater governance in a water-starved country: public policy, farmers' perceptions and drivers of tubewell adoption in Balochistan, Pakistan. Groundwater, 53 (4). pp. 626-637.


Pakistan faces the challenge of developing sustainable groundwater policies with the main focus on groundwater management rather than groundwater development and with appropriate governance arrangement to ensure benefits continue into the future. This article investigates groundwater policy, farmers’ perceptions, and drivers of tubewell (groundwater bore) adoption and proposes
possible pathways for improved groundwater management for Balochistan, Pakistan. Historical groundwater policies were mainly aimed at increasing agricultural production and reducing poverty, without consideration of adverse impact on groundwater availability. These groundwater policies and governance arrangements have resulted in a massive decline in groundwater tables. Tubewell owners’ rankings of the drivers of groundwater decline suggest that rapid and widespread installation of tubewells, together
with uncontrolled extraction due to lack of property rights, electricity subsidy policies, and ineffective governance, are key causes of groundwater decline in Balochistan. An empirical ‘‘tubewell adoption’’ model confirmed that the electricity subsidy significantly
influenced tubewell adoption decisions. The article proposes a more rational electricity subsidy policy for sustaining groundwater levels in the short-run. However, in the long run a more comprehensive sustainable groundwater management policy, with strong institutional support and involvement of all stakeholders, is needed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 19 May 2015 04:52
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2017 00:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: groundwater, tubewell, overextraction, policy, Balochistan
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829805 Management of Water Consumption by Plant Production
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960706 Rural Water Policy
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