Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 139-160

First online:

Diagnostic Analysis of Farmers' Skimming Well Technologies in the Indus Basin of Pakistan

  • M.M. SaeedAffiliated withCentre of Excellence in Water Resources Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology
  • , M. AshrafAffiliated withOn-Farm Water Management Program, Field Team Bhalwal
  • , M. BruenAffiliated withCentre for Water Resources Research, Department of Civil Engineering, University College Dublin

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Farmers are using skimming wells tosupplement their canal deliveries. Toensure sustainable groundwater extraction,proper design and operational guidelinesfor these skimming wells are required. Thestarting point of such guidelines is tolook at farmers' existing groundwaterextraction practices, their extent andassociated problems. For this purpose, afield survey was conducted in the IndusBasin of Pakistan. Participatory ruralappraisal identified several design andoperational problems with farmers' skimmingwells. These include; depth of well,number of strainers, horizontaldistance of strainers, priming, water quality, sand in pumped water,and reduction in well discharge withtime. To investigate these problems,diagnostic analysis was carried out. A testborehole was drilled to get water samplesalong the aquifer depth during drilling.The depth of well was then decided on thebasis of these water quality analyses. Todecide the number of strainers, a pumpingtest was conducted at test borehole toestimate the contribution of individualstrainer and then the numbers wereincreased according to the desireddischarge. Similarly, placing non-returnvalve between blind pipe and strainersolved the priming problem. Operating wellsintermittently rather than continuouslysolved the problems of water quality andreduction in well discharge. The systematicapproach adopted in the study helped thefarmers to rectify the problems.

fresh-saline aquifer groundwater extraction participatory rural appraisal shallow tubewell skimming well practices skimming tubewell