23 April, 2019
“How to control over pumping of aquifers”
Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) hosted Prof. em. Dr. Wolfgang Kinzelbach from Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, for a talk titled, “How to control over pumping of aquifers”. The event was held on Tuesday, 23 April. 2019 in the Main Library Auditorium, CUI. Students from different departments participated
Over pumping of aquifers, mainly due to irrigated agriculture, is an unsustainable practice found in numerous regions of the world. While economists advocate non-regulation free market outcomes, here the point of view is argued that an early control of over pumping is a better choice. Consequences of over pumping are numerous including drying up of wetlands, die-off of phreatophytic vegetation, soil subsidence, seawater intrusion and increase of pumping energy requirements. We particularly note the value of a well-filled aquifer as a means of buffering increased climatic variability expected under climate change. While control of a surface reservoir is easy, the control of ten thousands of wells is a challenging task. It can be tackled with new technologies, which have recently become available.
Prof. Wolfgang Kinzelbach also explained about environmental externalities of over pumping Drying up of streams and wetlands, Die-off of phreatophytic vegetation and desertification, Soil subsidence, Irreversible decrease of storability, Salt water intrusion and Depletion of storage. He also focused on, Elements needed for a management system. For both water levels and pumping rates management is required. Monitoring: 3 quantities, water pumped, groundwater levels, area irrigated, decision support: can be simple water balance or complex gw-model, policy implementation can be by cap or price. The cycle is repeated every year. Prediction feasible, as recharge is. Delayed
Prof. Wolfgang suggested about Smart metering and control of pumping, Control of surface water reservoir is simple. Groundwater control is notoriously difficult as there are hundreds and thousands of wells.. Simple mechanical water meters are not viable as they are destroyed easily. You would have to put a policeman at every well. A hi-tech approach was chosen in Luotuocheng. So called Smart meters. They are operated by a swipe card, which carries the water right in te beginning of the season. When swiping the card a second time to stop the pump, the pumped volume is subtracted. There is a warning if one gets close to the quota. Once the card is empty, no more pumping is possible. For the first time there are really measured pumping data.
After a vote of thanks by Hassaan Sipra, Scientific Officer, CCRD, CUI, a souvenir was presented by Dr. Toqeer Ahmed, Assistance Professor, to the guest speaker and a group picture of the participants was taken in front of Junid Zaidi library. Refreshments were served to participants.
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