Problems of the Riverain Area of Sindh


M.H. Panhwar


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Riverain area extends from Kashmore to Keti Bander and lies between flood protective embankments constructed between 1860-1960. Important statistics connected with the area are:

Sr. No.




Total area.

Acres 2,112,000

(855,100 hectares)


Main channel,  Dhoros, Dhoris and mud flats, as per aerial photographs.

Acres 612,000 (29% of area).


Forest area.

Official 550,000 area

Actual areas 450,000


Settlements roads etc.

Acres 50,000 acres


Agriculture land approximately:

(a)     Kabuli land (appears).

(b)    Nakabuli (Government land appears).

Acres  1,000,000

-Acres    450,000

-Acres    550,000 


Historical position of flooding before 1976 (based on statistic from 1907-1976).

(a)     Flood exceeding               300,000 cusecs.

(b)    Flood exceeding               400,000 cusecs.

(c)     Flood exceeding               500,000 cusecs.

(d)    Flood exceeding               600,000 cusecs.

(e)     Flood exceeding               700,000 cusecs.

(f)      Flood exceeding               800,000 cusecs.


-98% years

-86% years

-77% years

-55% years

-28% years

-13.3% years


Minimum area flooded at various discharges.

(a)     300,000 cusecs.

(b)    400,000 cusecs.

(c)     500,000 to 600,000 cusecs.

(d)    800,000 cusecs.








(a)     Forest land.




(b)    Dhoros, Dhoris, main channel.







(c)      Agriculture land.





(d)    Boat traffic before 1980.



-Timber, fire wood,

grazing animals, honey, and game birds.


-Fisheries. (Sindh produced 80% fisheries of Pakistan before 1960).


-Water for agriculture.


Winter crops:

-Wheat, oil seeds,

beans, melons and cucurbitae and vegetables.


-40,000 boats plied in

1600 AD. Number reduced due to railways.


Population of riverain area:

(a)     1972 census.

(b)    2000 estimated.





Ground water:


(a)     Fresh ground water in about

(b)    Saline ground water.

(c)     Saline ground water areas:

(i)      Kashmore to 10 miles down Gudu Barrage on both embankments.

(ii)     Sukkur-Rohri area.


(iii)   Daulatpur north and south.

(iv)   Matiari to Shah Bander on left bank.

(v)    Talti to Keti Bander on right bank.


Fresh water Rest of area.



-50% area.

-50% area


-10 miles

-5 miles north

-3 miles south

-10 miles wide

-More than 100 miles.

-180 miles

-About 50% of total



Fresh ground water quality in riverian area:

(a)     pH

(b)    Total soluble solids.


-7.6 - 7.8

-250-1250 ppm


Saline water quality.

Over 70,000 ppm.


Impact of tube-wells:

(a)     Water drawn by tube-well within one mile from river stream.

(b)    Water drawn by tube-wells within 2 miles from river stream.


-97% from river.

-75% from river.



Number of tube wells of one cusec needed to irrigated 1.5 million acres for winter crops only.



Water requirement for raising field  crops at 0.65 crop factor

(a)     Summer crops 15th April to 30th September.

(b)    Winter crops 1st November to end March.

(c)     Water requirement for fresh ground water area.

(d)    Water requirement for saline ground water area including 33% transport loss.

(e)     Total water requirement.

(f)      Right to water share.


-60 inches.

-30 inches.

-1.8 million acre feet.

-2.7 million acre feet.

-4.5 million acre feet.



Water table drop caused by tube wells in fresh ground water area for pumping 1.8 MAF.


15 feet.


Regenerated water:

Minimum regenerated water from river embankments in 1960-1970, between Sukkur to Kotri. All this will be utilised by tube-wells and Kotri Barrage will not get regenerated water.


3000 cusecs.



Ultimately 4.5 MAF of water is needed to meet water requirement of riverain area


4.5 MAF


Under ground water storage capacity of 50% area having fresh ground water area to a depth of 50 feet.


10 MAF


Future of ground water in Sindh.

(a)     Water required for 50 fresh ground water area for winter crop only.

(b)    Water required for saline ground water area for winter crop only.

16,000 tube wells

-1.8  MAF

-2.7  MAF

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