/I07? O b
COMMENTS ON DRAFT REPORT
PRESIDENT'S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON WATERLOGGING AND SALINITY IN WEST PAKISTAN
Tipton and Kalmbach, Inc.
COMMENTS ON DRAFT REPORT
PRESIDENT'S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON WATERLOGGING AND SALINITY IN WEST PAKISTAN
Tipton and Kalmbach, Inc.
( Note: Numbers in parenthesis throughout the comments
refer to quotations from the Panel's report appearing in
Attachment No. 1 at the end of these comments).
TIPTON AND KALMBACH, INC.
300 INSURANCE BUILDING
R.J.TIPTON, PRESIDENT DENVER 2, COLORADO CABLES:
OLIN KALMBACH. VICE-PRES. PHONE CHERRY 4-2944 ARTP DENVER
JINCY HUNT, TREASURER TIPCOL BOGOTA
F. L.KIRGIS. SECRETARY TIPC
February 8, 1963 ARTDOR-QUITO
Mr. Ghulam Ishaq
Chairman, West Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority
Sunny View Estate
Dear Mr. Ishaq:
In accord with your request we have undertaken a review of the
President's Science Advisory Committee's Draft Report on Waterlogging and
Salinity in West Pakistan. Our review consists for the most part of comments
on a number of specific matters covered by the report, with particular emphasis
on the contents of Chapter 4 which deals with Productivity of the Proposed De-
velopment, and Chapter 6 which deals with Hydrology. The results of our review
are contained in the enclosure to this letter.
Our comments, which are summarized briefly below, pertain
principally to those subjects where we have differences of opinion regarding
specific matters from those of the Panel. By and large, most of these refer
merely to matters relating to methods and criteria used in arriving at conclu-
sions rather than the conclusions themselves. It can be assumed that in those
areas, which involve much of the report, where we have no comment we are in
full agreement with the views and conclusions of the Panel.
We consider that the Panel's work and its report, although it is still
in draft form, represents an excellent appraisal of the problem; contains an
excellent analysis of the best means of attacking it; and forms a valuable guide
for continuation of the reclamation program. We are most gratified to note that
the Panel, composed of eminent experts in a great many fields, has through an
independent analysis and appraisal recommended a program of land reclamation
that is not inconsistent with the approach that has evolved over many years of
study by Pakistani engineers and others, and which more recently has been put
into being through works constructed by the Authority.
In December 1962 our Project Manager in Lahore, Dr. Carlyle Gray,
submitted to Mr. Sayyid Hamid a brief preliminary review of the draft report.
The pertinent portions of that preliminary review have been incorporated in the
comments which accompany this letter.
We should note that our review has been directed primarily to
the text of the report and its principal conclusions, and we have made
no attempt to delve into details of mathematical computations or the results
of special studies carried out by computer analyses. It should be recog-
nized also that, by and large, most of our comments, and particularly those
that pertain to quantitative values, refer to the Northern Zone of the valley
encompassing the former Punjab Province and Bahawalpur State. It is
possible that some of our comments may not be applicable to the Lower
In synthesis our principal comments resulting from our review
of the Panel's draft report are:
1. We consider the draft report an excellent and compre-
hensive presentation of the problems associated with
waterlogging and salinity in West Pakistan. We sub-
scribe fully to the over-all conclusions arrived at by
the Panel as to the causes of the problem, the means
by which it should be attacked and overcome, and their
broad suggestions as to how the program should be
implemented, including target programs for the con-
struction of physical works.
2. We endorse the primary and corollary objectives of the
reclamation program as set forth by the Panel. Although
the draft report reiterates in a number of places the
importance of tubewells as a means of achieving drainage,
as a purely editorial observation we believe this aspect
should be still further emphasized because drainage is
the one prerequisite that must be brought about before
any of the other measures for increasing agricultural
production can be made effective.
3. We feel that certain portions of the studies forming the
foundation for the appraisal of the productivity of the
undertaking contained in Chapter 4 are based on assump-
tions of questionable validity. While the greater part of
our accompanying comments relate to some of the assump-
tions made in the study regarding cropping patterns,
consumptive use requirements of crops, and the manner
in which the supplemental water would be utilized to
increase crop production, all of which are utilized as the
foundation for estimates of the productivity of the under-
taking, and to inconsistencies between certain of those
assumptions and the balance of the report, they are in a
sense somewhat academic in that it has been amply proven
that tubewells are the only feasible means of providing the
drainage conditions necessary for reclamation in the
former Punjab and Bahawalpur areas.
4. The Panel emphasizes that, in addition to the provision
of tubewells to improve drainage conditions as well as
to furnish supplemental water for land reclamation and
to increase crop production, fertilizer plants be provided;
measures be taken to introduce and develop better seeds
and the use of pesticides; and a program for the improve-
ment of agricultural practices be undertaken, together
with many other corollary measures in order to narrow
as rapidly as possible the gap between agricultural pro-
duction and needs of the country for food and fiber. We
fully concur with this approach on a broad front, and
agree that it will be necessary in order for Pakistan to
become self-sustaining in the face of its growing popula-
tion. Those features of the program which involve capital
works that are beyond the ability and means of the individual
cultivators to provide, comprising the tubewells with their
power supply facilities and plants for the production of
fertilizers, should be given first priority in that order.
We feel that the provision of these physical works and
sources of fertilizer in combination will provide the
means for effectuating a substantial increase in agricultural
production as the waterlogged and saline lands are reclaimed.
The cultivators will be provided thereby the impetus and
means to take upon their own shoulders, with help and
guidance of Government, an ever-increasing share of the
other advancements recommended by the Panel, We
emphasize that the restoration of the good drainage con-
ditions which once existed, and an increase in water supplies
for irrigation are the first requisites without which none of
the other objectives can be effectively accomplished.
In summary, we feel that the Panel has done an excellent job on a
very involved and difficult subject. While we have raised certain questions
regarding details and points for further discussion, we endorse the objectives
and broad aspects of the plan outlined in the draft report which we believe
will form a valuable reference and guide for the future planning and prosecu-
tion of the reclamation program.
Since e our
cc Mr. Sayyid Hamid
Chief Engineer, G. W. R. D.
cc Dr. Carlyle Gray
Project Manager, Tipton and Kalmbach, Inc.
Comments on Draft Report
PRESIDENT'S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON WATERLOGGING AND SALINITY IN WEST PAKISTAN
Tipton and Kalmbach, Inc.
The draft of the report of the President's Science Advisory Com-
mittee on Waterlogging and Salinity in West Pakistan, which was transmitted
to President Mohammad Ayub Khan of West Pakistan on 21 September 1962
by President John F. Kennedy, U. S. A., was prepared by a panel of 20
eminent specialists whose competency collectively covers a very broad
field. The draft report was prepared after members of the Panel had
visited West Pakistan in the fall of 1961. Considering the brief time the
members of the Panel devoted to the work in West Pakistan, and the brief
time the individual members had for considering the various problems
which confront agriculture in West Pakistan and suggesting means to
materially improve agricultural production and raise the standard of
living in that area, we consider that the draft report of the Panel repre-
sents a remarkable accomplishment.
A Summary, comprising 23 pages, outlines in excellent fashion
the substance of the text of the draft report. The problems confronting
agriculture in West Pakistan are well described and means for materially
improving agriculture are outlined. The adoption of the following measures,
the inter-action of which will increase crop production two or three-fold,
Additional irrigation water
Improved seed and crop variety
Pest and seed control
A salt-free soil.
One important measure not listed among the primary considerations inthe
Summary, and without which nothing can be done, is the provision of adequate
drainage. The necessity for drainage is recognized in various sections of
the report for example on page 8 of the Summary. However, we believe
it should be listed as the first fundamental measure precedent to implementa-
tion of the other factors in order to increase crop production. It is one of
the basic requisites for successful irrigated agriculture.
See Note on fly leaf. -1-
See Note on fly leaf .
- 1 -
All of the factors listed in the Summary, plus the correlative
items mentioned in the draft report, such as providing extension of credit
to the farmers; providing adequate means of transportation to and from
agricultural areas; and providing means for research, education and
training, are all factors which have been adopted in successful irrigated
areas in various parts of the world. Comparisons have been made in the
draft report of some practices and crop production in West Pakistan with
those in such countries as Japan and Egypt. A comparison is also made
with crop production in India, Western Europe, the U. S. S. R. where data
are available, and the United States. The draft report recognizes that, in
West Pakistan efforts already have been made, and are being made, to
deal with the deficiencies in the above-mentioned factors, but the draft
states that such efforts have been made in isolation rather than in combina-
tion. This is true. We believe, however, there are two fundamental reasons
why efforts being made in this direction in West Pakistan have not produced
more spectacular results. Little can be done without the primary require-
ments of adequate drainage and a supplemental water supply. It would be
a waste of effort and money to apply more fertilizer, to improve seed and
crop variety, or provide better methods of cultivation unless effective
drainage of the lands is provided even in those areas which are not yet
waterlogged. Further, unless drainage is provided there would be no
point in providing additional irrigation water. Only a limited beneficial use
of it could be made without adequate drainage. Finally, without drainage and
without supplemental water supplies, a salt-free soil cannot be attained.
The draft report recognizes the need for proper administration
of the land and water resources within the irrigated areas of West Pakistan
in order to attain the results visualized in the report, and it recognizes
that the difficulty of administration will require as much attention as any of
the technical problems. We believe this is fundamental, particularly in the
operation of those works required for drainage and in bringing about the
desirable coordination of the use of supplemental water supplies and the
canal supplies that have been historically used from the rivers. For the
purpose of providing drainage and supplemental water supplies, and im-
plementing those other factors recommended to improve agriculture, the
Panel suggests projects embracing one million acres and, to the extent
possible, areas having a configuration approaching that of a square or a
circle. We concur that this would be desirable but we recognize that many
of the potential project areas in the old Punjab do not conform to the sug-
gested size or suggested shape. We consider this to be relatively unimportant,
however, so long as the areas are sufficiently large to lend themselves to
effective drainage and efficient administration. We recognize that close
coordination in the administration of adjacent areas must be brought about.
The draft report suggests that strong emphasis be placed on
increasing production on those lands which have not yet been damaged by
waterlogging and salination. It suggests that waterlogged areas can be
left for later development. In this connection, the report suggests that
the most effective results can be attained from tubewells if they are not
situated in low-lying waterlogged areas. The Panel suggests that such
low-lying areas are, in effect, analogous to wells, serving as sumps
which dissipate water by evaportion. Deliquescence of such areas could
limit the amount of water that could be dissipated by evaporation.
Further, we wish to point out that the Indus Plains area where irrigation
is practiced is very flat and, except for the flood plains along the rivers,
no extensive low-lying waterlogged areas exist which might serve the
Furthermore, much of the lands affected by waterlogging and
salinity in the former Punjab comprise relatively small areas scattered
throughout the irrigated area and do not, in general, consist of large
contiguous areas. This becomes plainly evident when flying over the areas
and also from an inspection of aerial mosaics which cover most of the
irrigated areas in the old Punjab. The draft recognizes this situation (15).
In our opinion, the saline and waterlogged areas which naturally are
situated within a project area, whether it be a one million acre area or
an area of some other size, can be reclaimed and be made susceptible
to the successful raising of crops and to the application of the various
factors listed by the Panel for improving agriculture almost as rapidly
as will the areas which are not now waterlogged or saline. In respect to
waterlogged lands the draft recognizes that the water table below those
lands will be lowered by the operation of tubewells surrounding the water-
logged areas (16)
Most of the soils of the area are such that salt can be readily
leached with the application of proper amounts of leaching water, provid-
ing such water has an effective outlet. Such outlet will be to the ground-
water after the groundwater table has been lowered by drainage. Leaching
is exceedingly important. It is touched upon in several sections of the
draft. (15) A separate appendix is devoted to leaching requirements.
Nevertheless, in other portions of the report, particularly in Chapter 4
which deals with the economics of the program, leaching is either ignored
or is not given the necessary consideration. In fact, most of our comments
on the draft report deal with matters which form the foundation of the
economic studies described in Chapter 4.
In estimating the monetary benefits that would result from the
recommended program on a one million acre project, we believe that
certain fallacious assumptions were made in Chapter 4 which led to con-
clusions which are fallacious and in some cases are inconsistent with
other portions of the draft report. The economic analysis was made by
electric computers. To program a problem to be solved by an electronic:
computer, all factors, at least the principal ones incident to the problem,
should form the basis for the programming. On the other hand,
because of the number of imponderables that exist, it is doubtful whether
the problem can be completely analyzed by precise mathematical methods.
The main items in Chapter 4 to which we take exception are
a. In the determination of the cropping pattern for a
one million acre project, the whole emphasis was placed
upon an increase of the cropped area during the kharif
season to be devoted to the raising of sugar cane and
maize. This conclusion is based entirely on an economic
analysis which, in turn, is predicated on certain assump-
tions of doubtful validity. The primary need of the country
at the present time for an increase in food and fiber pro-
duction for human consumption was apparently ignored.
b. The effects of the inter-action of the various factors
considered by the Panel to be important in increasing
crop production was not considered in programming
the problem for machine analysis. It was admitted that
the results of such inter-actions were not susceptible to
this kind of analysis.
c. Consumptive use values assumed for the various crops
were too low. Water already is spread too thin; however
in Chapter 4 it was assumed that the cropping pattern and
distribution of water on existing areas would be in accord-
ance with historical practices. The use of water for
some crops during kharif was even assumed to be reduced
below historic levels.
d. The assumption was made that the seasonal distribution
of supplemental water provided by tubewells will be the
same as the seasonal distribution of canal supplies hereto-
fore used. The report recognizes, however, that with such
timely water the conclusions in respect to the crop production
would be higher than the machine analysis indicates.
e. No water was allocated for leaching purposes and for
maintaining the salt balance.
The above items are covered in more detail in the discussion which follows.
The following statement derived from the substance of
Chapter 4 appears on page 13 of the Summary:
"From a computation of the response to water of
various crops under field conditions in the Punjab,
compared with the amounts of water now available, it
becomes clear that the principal benefit from the
additional water will come from the maximum possible
expansion of the planted areas during the summer
seasori.in the most profitable crops. "
This statement is in conflict with a very good statement on page 7 of
Chapter 7 of the draft report under the section entitled "Crops for im-
proving nutrition" which is quoted below:
"Most statistics for the country usually list the
cash value of the crops as an indication of the success of
an agricultural effort. However, this is only a partial
indicator, Lespecially since the average Pakistani does
not receive a sufficient or balanced diet. Significant im-
provements could be made by making food of different kinds
and varieties available. The nutritional value of food does
not always bear a direct relationship to the cash value of
the crop. Consequently, it may be possible to improve
the diet by making more high protein or vitamin foods
available,and introducing these by educational means."
The first quoted statement is also in conflict with the over-all
objectives of bringing water applications up to a level more nearly
approaching the water requirements of the crop and to provide water for
leaching and maintenance of salt balance as set forth in other sections of
the draft report. This, together with the primary requisite of correcting
conditions which have brought about waterlogging and salinity and destruction
of the reasonably good drainage conditions which once existed, form the
primary objectives of the reclamation program.
In programming the problem for electronic computer analysis,
sight was lost of the fact that what is needed in West Pakistan areaadditional
fibers and food for human use, closely followed by additional food, princi-
pally grain for livestock consumption. It could well be that the cost of pro-
ducing calories for human consumption is less in the production of sugar
than in any other crop now raised in West Pakistan, but sugar contains no
protein which is the item most deficient in the present diet of the Pakistani.
It is interesting to note from Table 1. 15 of the draft report that the average
valueSof imports for the last several years by West Pakistan of three
important food items was as follows:
Sugar 35 million rupees
Wheat 195 million rupees
Rice 130 million rupees.
This is a good indication of the importance of increasing the production of
wheat and rice.
On page 16 of Appendix A-4, in speaking of the method used to
determine the most efficient cropping pattern, three cases are assumed,
the first with only supplemental water supplies provided; the second with
such supplemental supplies and with fertilizer; and, third, the foregoing
with plant protection measures. It is stated that:
In all three cases the logic of the estimation procedure
was the same. As was noted above, one condition of an
efficient cropping pattern is that the contribution to the value
of agricultural output of an additional acre-inch of water
should be the same no matter which crop it is applied to.
We shall call this contribution the marginal value of water. "
The above condition was based on the assumption that the farmers?
have historically allocated their water among crops in approximately.an
optimal fashion. The draft report defines an optimal application as one
such that a small increment in the depth of irrigation water applied to an
acre under one crop would increase the value of the output neither more
nor less than the same increment applied to an acre under another crop.
This reasoning cannot be applied to the historic use of water in West
Pakistan. The holdings are small and most of them are devoted to the
raising of one crop and all holdings receive essentially the same amount
of water. Hence, there is no option on the part of the farmer to make any
variation of the water supply among crops that may be raised.
Moreover, in the broad field of irrigation it is believed that
an economic analysis of the value of water based on the above reasoning
also is fallacious. An analysis of the value of irrigation water cannot be
made on the same basis for determining, for example, the economic
value of an incremental increase in the installation of generating capacity
in a potential or existing hydroelectric plant. The farmer, if given an
adequate supply of water which is available when.needed, will utilize that
water in most cases to produce the maximum yield of his crops. In case
of shortage of water, he will use the water on the crops which are most
important to him, and short the crops least important. For example, in
the western part of the United States when water is short the farmer may
apply less water to his alfalfa, thereby reducing for that season the pro-
duction, and apply more water to the crops that are most important to
The value of irrigation water for raising a crop, if the water
is timely, and with all other things being equal, depends on the value of
the crop, as well as the amount of water consumed. As pointed out later,
the rate of consumption of irrigation water by crops varies with the type
of crop. The value of the water may vary between wide limits. In some
cases high-priced crops consume more water than some lower-priced
crops which might cause the value of water to be nearly the same. In
other cases the reverse is true, and the difference between values is
much greater. Because the machine analysis used to determine the
most economic crop distribution was, among other things, based on
the fundamental assumption that the marginal value of irrigation water
is controlling, and that it is the same for all crops, it leads to conclu-
sions of questionable validity.
We believe that future cropping patterns will naturally evolve
when drainage has been provided and supplemental water becomes avail-
able which will tend to reduce present heavy imports of food grains and
generally be for the best interests of the farmers and the country, depend-
ing upon conditions prevailing at a particular time, as opposed to the
following statement in Chapter 4:
In each million-acre project it will be necessary to
make extensive calculations in order to determine the
most beneficial plan for the allocation of the water. "
Further,concern over cropping patterns seems somewhat academic in
that the basic objectives of improving drainage and obtaining supple-
mental water for leaching and increasing production can be attained
with tubewells at a cost that is obviously feasible.
At the top of page 16 of the Summary of the draft report appears
the following statement:
"No simple means of computation exists to demonstrate
quantitatively the effects of interaction between agricultural
We suggest that there might be added thereto the recognition of the human
element. In recognition of the inability to determine by means of com-
puters the quantitative effects of the inter-action between agricultural
factors, the report concludes that such a combination might be expected
to result in a yield increase of about 200 percent beyond those which are
computed in the paragraphs of the Summary taken from Chapter 4.
We believe also that the consumptive use requirements assumed in
Chapter 4 for some of the crops are too low. The assumption has been made
that the rate of consumption by all crops is the same under similar climatic
and agricultural conditions. The rate of consumptive use is considered to be
directly related to the rate of evaporation from a free water surface, the
only variable in total seasonal consumptive use being the date of seeding and
the date of harvesting. Page 4 of Appendix A. 4 reads as follows:
"The saturation amount depends principally on the amount
of water that the plants and the surrounding soil can
evaporate during the period of plant growth. It appears that
this quantity is not very different for different plants but
depends mainly on humidity, wind, amount of sunlight and
other meteorological conditions, and, of course, on the
dates of seeding and harvest. "
We believe that the quantity of evapotranspiration is very different for
different plants. It has long been recognized that the rate of evaporation
from a free water surface and the rate of evapotranspiration of plants
result essentially from the same climatological factors. At one time it
was believed that if evaporation from a free water surface were known,
it would be relatively simple to determine evapotranspiration rate. Mr.
Harry F. Blaney of the U. S. Department of Agriculture did a good deal
of work in connection with this matter some 40 years ago. Thornthwaite
and Penman have made similar studies. However, it began to be recog-
nized that the rate of evapotranspiration by given crops, with climato-
logical and agricultural practices being the same, will differ with the type
of crop. Messrs. Blaney and Criddle recognize this, and so does Mr.
Hargreaves, for reasons which are quite obvious. Some plants expose
more leaf surface than others do to those factors which affect the rates of
evapotranspiration. Therefore it might be said that under fixed climatic
and agricultural conditions consumptive use varies directly with the total
exposed leaf surface of the plant, as well as the length of the actual grow-
ing period. We believe there is ample evidence to support this. In our
opinion the principal error made in Chapter 4 which would affect the con-
clusions reached even if all other terms of reference adopted for the
analysis made were accepted, was the entirely too low estimate of con-
sumptive use by sugar cane.
We believe another fundamental fallacious assumption that was
made in Chapter 4 is that the relationship between historic crop production
and historic applications of water should be used as a basis for estimating
future production after supplemental water supplies have become available.
Historic diversions cannot be used as a proper measure for irrigation re-
quirements. One of the reasons for low crop production in West Pakistan,
as pointed out in the draft report, is because the water made available by
the large irrigation systems has always been spread too thin.. (1), (2), (13).
This has resulted from a number of factors. The pressure of population
on the land has been such that more lands have been irrigated than the canal
systems were ever intended or designed to serve. One element which may
have had a bearing on this situation was the amount of Crown Waste included
in the large areas irrigated by some of the large irrigation systems. The
Lower Chenab Canal System was one of the first weir-controlled systems
to be constructed and put into operation in the 1890's. It commands
3, 400, 000 acres of land and irrigates something more than 2, 500, 000
acres. Crown Waste constituted 2, 250, 000 acres of the land now irri-
gated. There is also no question but that some of the projects were
developed beyond the water supplies available to them. This is true of
the Sutlej Valley Canals constructed in the latter part of the 1920's.
The system was planned on the basis of average water supplies, which
naturally results in shortages occurring about one-half of the time.
During this period when there was not too much known about dependable
water supplies, the existing and planned projects in the Indus Basin
would have commanded 35, 327, 000 acres. Incidentally, of this there
were 9, 674, 000 acres of Crown Waste.
Essentially no canal system in West Pakistan has sufficient
capacity to carry the amount of water required to produce the optimum
amount of crops on the areas presently irrigated. Much more water
is available during much of the kharif season than can be diverted by
the canal systems. Although the volume of supplemental water required
during that season to bring total supplies up to a near optimum level
for the areas presently irrigated may be less than about one-third of the
total crop water requirements during kharif, there are times when the
rate of flow required would be more than double that which can be supplied
by existing systems. The watercourses (field ditches) which furnish water
to the various chaks supply water at essentially a uniform rate of flow
which varies only slightly with the stage of water in the distributary or
minor from which the watercourse derives its supply. The outlets which
supply water to the watercourses generally consist of orifices with no
facilities for mechanical regulation or means by which flow in the water-
course can be varied. The same is true with respect to the taking of
water from the watercourse, each cultivator taking his water in turn on
a rotational basis with no direct control over the rate at which water is
supplied. Because of this, as well as the fact that most of the holdings
are so small that they are usually devoted to the raising of a single crop,
the cultivator has little opportunity to vary his supplies among various
crops. While it is true that within a given chak comprising perhaps
several hundred holdings, a variety of crops will be raised, there does
not exist the freedom of choice of crops, and opportunity to vary the
water supply to those crops, on the part of the individual farmer that is
implied by some of the assumptions contained in the rigorous economic
In the analysis made in Chapter 4, although it is stated that
there exists no direct relationship between the amount of water supplied
to a field and the crop yielded by that field, nevertheless by a simple
syllogism this is disproved. The statement is made:
"Soil moisture content, in turn, is controlled by the
quantity and timing of receipts of water in the form of
rainfall or irrigation supplies. The timing of water
inputs, though somewhat variable from year to year,
does conform to a general seasonal pattern so that if
we incorporate year-to-year differences in timing into
'random error' we can claim that there is a statistical
relationship between water quantity and soil moisture
content and therefore between water quantity and crop
The statement continues:
"If we can ascertain this relationship we shall be in
a position to forecast the effects of increasing the
quantity of water supplied to crops. Of course, this
forecast will have in it the implicit assumption that the
timing of the augmented water supply will follow the
pattern that has been observed in the past. "
The fallacy of using historic data in respect to water deliveries
and crop yields has already been pointed out, because the irrigation systems
lack capacity to supply full requirements in most of the kharif season and
because surface supplies are deficient during the rabi season and forepart
and latter part of kharif. Further, it is assumed that augmented water
supplies in point of time will follow the pattern of occurrence that has been
observed in the past with respect to canal water. However, this fallacy
was recognized by the following statement:
"In so far as the new water is provided by tubewells
this will not be so; the timing of water arrivals will
be more favorable than has ever been achieved in the
past except by rare good fortune. "
The admission then is made:
"To this extent our forecasts will understate the
increase in agricultural production achievable by
the introduction of tubewells. As to the magnitude of
the understatement we have no information except that
it may be substantial. "
In addition to an underestimation of the consumptive use re-
quirements of some crops, the analysis contained in Chapter 4 assumes
that most of the supplemental water made available by the tubewells will
- 10 -
be utilized to irrigate new areas of land. Actually it is assumed that
depth of water applications will be decreased somewhat during the
kharif season over what they have been in the past. Aside from being
in conflict with the Panel's recognition that the scant water supplies
have been one of the prime reasons for the dismally low production of
irrigated land, this proposal is totally inconsistent with other sections
of the report pointing out the need for greater depths of water applica-
tion for leaching purposes and for maintaining salt balance in the soil.
(2), (3), (4), (5), (13), and (15). Actually the Panel recognizes this
and proposes to develop supplemental groundwater supplies substantially
greater than those assumed to be available in the economic analysis of
Chapter 4, but one reading Chapter 4 is struck by these inconsistencies
with the balance of the draft report.
Civil Engineering is not an exact science. Within this field
irrigation engineering is far from being an exact science. The success
of irrigation, based upon the inter-action of soil, water, drainage, and
all the other factors that have been enumerated in the Panel's draft
report as being necessary to achieve the highest order of crop production,
is so complex and complicated that it is difficult to make an exact
mathematical appraisal of the individual and collective effects of those
factors on irrigated agriculture. Some of these factors pertain to climate,
weather, terrain, and soil conditions and other natural phenomena. One
major factor depends upon the human element.
One of the most serious errors that can be made in the design
of an irrigation system or any part thereof is to under-estimate capacity
of works or to over-estimate the amount of land that can be properly served
by a given dependable water supply. We are enthusiastic about the Panel's
draft report and agree with the Panel that the maximum increased crop
production in West Pakistan can be brought about by the inter-action of the
various factors outlined in the draft report, to which we would add drainage.
We would place particular emphasis on drainage, supplemental water
supply, and fertilizer in the order named. We feel, however, that too
much effort has been made to seek an approach to perfection in the effi-
cient use of water and land, based too much on theoretical considerations.
We might cite as an example the very excellent appendix covering the
subject of quantity of water needed for salinity control (Appendix A-2).
The quantities derived are correct from a mathematical standpoint.
However, from a practical standpoint we believe it is not possible to
limit, beyond that required for consumptive use purposes, the amount
of water required to maintain the salt balance to the .theoretical quantities
indicated in Appendix A-2, particularly when dealing with waters in the
lower salt content ranges. The same is true in respect to the quantity of
water that it will be necessary to export from the area to maintain areal
salt balance, although we do agree that the quantity required for this
purpose will be nominal for a great many years after each area has been
- 11 -
Chapter 6 contains what we consider to be a very excellent
analysis of the over-all water budget of the basin. While some details
of the analysis of the availability of water for irrigation purposes might
be questioned, as we have in certain areas below, we believe it presents
a good over-all portrayal of the general order of magnitude of the total
water supplies available for raising the level of agricultural production.
The total quantity of surface water is well known from the records of
runoff at the rim stations. We believe the channel losses have been
estimated as closely as possible. For the period 1921 through 1946
(before Partition), for the entire river system we estimated by inflow-
outflow analysis the river losses, including consumption by sailab irri-
gation, to be about 25 million acre-feet per year plus unmeasured inflow
below the rim stations. We believe that the residual losses after India
abstracts the water from the three eastern rivers (The Ravi, Beas, and
Sutlej), and after additional development is made in West Pakistan, might
be on the order of 15 million acre-feet as estimated in the draft report.
Nevertheless, this is a difficult item to estimate. During the Treaty
negotiations between the working parties of Pakistan and India relating
to the uses of the waters of the Indus River, much work was done in an
attempt to estimate channel losses that would result after additional
upstream uses had been made. Mr. S. S. Kirmani of the Pakistan
Delegation made a very elaborate and classic study of the question. No
conclusions were arrived at that could be supported by all interested
Irrigation system losses are also difficult to estimate. How-
ever, we believe that the losses as estimated in the draft report, being
about 30 percent of the diversions, although they might be on the low side,
are a fair estimate. On the other hand, we feel that the estimate of non-
beneficial evapotranspiration losses of withdrawals by the canal systems,
amounting to 6. 8 million acre-feet annually or about 15 percent of with-
drawals in the former Punjab and Bahawalpur areas, may be somewhat
high. Very little native vegetation grows along the canal banks and the
area up to the toe of the banks, in general, is fully cultivated or falls
within the category of seeped or fallow areas which it is assumed will
later be reclaimed under the proposed program. To the extent that non-
beneficial consumption of canal withdrawals may be less than estimated,
the total supplies available to the crops would be increased through an
increase in the amount of water reaching watercourses or a somewhat
greater recharge of the aquifer, but in any event any refinement of esti-
mates of non-beneficial losses would represent proportionally but a small
part of the total supplies available for irrigation.
The estimate of recharge indicated in the draft report may also
be somewhat low with respect to recharge from precipitation. After the
lands are reclaimed more precipitation will be absorbed by the soils,
- 12 -
some of which will become an increment of deep percolation. Whether
the column of soil extending from the surface to the depressed water
level in the future will retain sufficient capillary water to cause the
precipitation to percolate to the ground water and become an increment
of recharge is unknown at present.
One increment of water assumed in the draft report to be
useable we believe unfortunately will not be useable to the extent visual-
ized. This is the thin layer of fresh water resulting from irrigation
operations which overlies ground water of poor quality the draft report
assumes that this overlying layer of fresh water can be reclaimed for
use by the installation of numerous shallow wells which would penetrate
the fresh water layer to a depth of one-half the thickness of the layer.
A somewhat similar question has arisen concerning the quality of Colo-
rado River water being received by Mexico under the 1944 Mexican
Water Treaty. A panel of experts was appointed by President John F.
Kennedy to investigate the problem. The problem is quite complicated
and will be discussed only briefly herein.
Underlying a certain irrigated area in Arizona is an aquifer
50 feet in depth consisting of sand, the water of which is of fairly good
quality being the direct return from the irrigation of project lands.
Underlying this is another aquifer 50 feet thick consisting of coarse
gravel which contains ground water of very poor quality. Drainage now
is effectuated by pumping water from the lower aquifer resulting in an
effluent of poor quality. The panel, in considering the problem, concluded
it would be impracticable to limit withdrawals of water to the upper aquifer
by means of more closely spaced wells because of the inevitable pollution
of the upper aquifer by the poor quality of the lower aquifer. It was con-
cluded that even drainage water withdrawn from the area by gravity
through a tile drainage system would eventually draw water from the
lower aquifer, resulting in an effluent with very high salt content.
Aside from the technical and operational problems posed in
attempting to recover fresh water overlying saline water, it now appears
that in many areas the depth of the so-called fresh groundwater zone is
substantially less than that upon which the computations contained in the
draft report are based. It was assumed that the fresh water layers
might have an average depth on the order of 500 feet, whereas present
investigations indicate that its depth may be no more than about 100 feet
except in a few anomalous areas. Further, we question whether the
quality of such recovered recharge would be as good as indicated. An
average of 750 parts per million is used in the calculations of the draft
report, while data collected by WASID from shallow water sources in
Rechna and Chaj doabs indicate that this may be a very optimistic figure.
- 13 -
We believe there might be a further reduction in the useable
water of the basin below that estimated in the draft report because
some of the poor quality water pumped from the Bahawalpur area for
drainage purposes may have to be wasted to the desert rather than being
discharged to the river to co-mingle with the river supplies. It is recog-
nized that poor quality water pumped for only drainage purposes must be
discharged to the rivers during the monsoon period when the flows in the
river are high. Some poor quality water will be derived from the Chaj
Doab and the Lower Rechna, and undoubtedly some from the Bari Doab.
The amount of such water is presently not known definitely except in the
Chaj Doab. It is very likely that the most critical points as regards
quality of water resulting from the disposal of saline ground water to
the rivers will be at Sidhnai on the Ravi River, and at Trimmu and
Panjnad on the Chenab River. With waste from upstream areas being
discharged to the rivers, the quality of the water might be satisfactory
by the time the waters of the five rivers reach the Indus if no saline
water is discharged into the rivers from the Bahawalpur area. This is
a detail which we believe will require further study after more data
We are gratified to note that the digital computer study of salt
build-up in the ground water through the operation of the tubewells has
confirmed, at least qualitatively, conclusions derived from earlier but
less elaborate studies of this subject. The computer study was based
on the assumption that each tubewell operates as an individual system.
The results of this study are new only if they can be taken as being
quantitatively correct. In other words, the simple logical analysis
leads directly to the same qualitative conclusion, that is, unless salt
is removed from the system there will be an ever-increasing amount
of salt in the water. If the quantitative results are to be accepted, we
feel that the actual condition, in which the hydrologic cycle is not quite
closed, should be considered. This is because the tubewell is not located
in the center of the area it serves, but rather at its upper end, so that
the water recycled through irrigation moves in part via the watercourse
into the influence of the next tubewell down Doab. The looping cycle of
the salt ion described, therefore, is not closed but is a spiral which
moves at some unknown rate downslope. The computer could predict
this rate and show the quantitative effect of this action. It may very well
be that it is sufficiently great so that all of the pumpage to drainage can
be done at the lower end of the Doab, in the poor water quality areas,
for example. This would be very attractive since the proposed ultimate
requirement of allocating 10 percent of the discharge of each individual
tubewell to run to waste in order to preserve the salt balance poses other
problems of disposal of such water.
The water balance for the first level of development envisages
only those works now planned under the Indus Basin works, plus the
proposed tubewell program. The very important conclusion is reached,
that in order to achieve the required amount of supplemental water,
the groundwater aquifer will have to be mined at a rate somewhat
greater than heretofore planned. It is estimated that the proposed rate
will lower the water table 100 feet in thirty years.
We do not have any technical objections to mining of the
aquifer. We concur that as a matter of policy it is a sensible approach.
The rate of mining suggested is startling at first, but is tempered by
other considerations. In the first place, the rate of construction pro-
posed spreads the development over a period of more than 20 years.
It will, therefore, be more than 50 years before the 100-foot level is
approached. Furthermore, it appears that estimates of recharge may
be conservative, and hence the recommended pumping rates may not
lower the water table as rapidly as indicated.
We fully approve of the concept to the extent that the initial
projects be planned on this basis. As development progresses, it will
be possible to ascertain from data developed from these projects a
better estimate of the perennial yield of the aquifer, and whether the
economic benefits can support a greater or lesser rate of mining.
Taken all in all, the draft report substantiates that drainage
and supplemental water supplies resulting from tubewell operation in
the old Punjab is without question economically justified. We believe
that drainage is the number one requirement for all the irrigated area
to prevent the whole of it from becoming progressively non-productive.
Unless an irrigated area has good natural drainage, ultimately it must
be drained by artificial means. In the absence of adequate slope to the
river channel, the irrigated area located in the Indus Plains has very
deficient internal drainage. Therefore, if an adequate water supply is
provided for the area, adequate drainage must be provided to prevent
areas from becoming waterlogged and saline, and to reclaim areas
which have essentially gone out of production because of waterlogging
and saline conditions.
Drainage with the concomitant provision of supplemental water
supplies where tubewells are involved is a program beyond the ability of
the individual farmer or group of farmers in Pakistan to consummate.
Only Government can do this. We believe that after this is done, if
Government sets up the machinery for the proper management of the
operation of the tubewells and the adoption of practices which will insure
a desirable coordinated use of supplemental water supplies made avail-
able by the tubewells and the canal supplies, the farmers with some
general guidance will be able to carry on from that point, and will
gradually improve their agricultural practices.
We believe that fertilizer plants should be constructed and
the fertilizer provided to the farmers on a basis they can afford. The
improvement of seed and pest control will follow with the aid of Govern-
The farmers in what is now West Pakistan have already
experienced one revolutionary change in their lives and method of farm-
ing when inundation canals were converted to weir-controlled canals and
also when, by means of the weir-controlled canals, water was brought to
lands which had previously been "dry farmed. "
In connection with the settlement of lands under the Lower Chenab
Canal which was the first weir-controlled canal to be constructed, the
following statement was made in 1928 by a British engineer conversant
with the problem (Trans. ASCE, Vol. 94-1930 p. 1336).
"The Province was predominantly agricultural,
about 90% of the population being occupied with farming,
and the inhabited parts were sufficiently crowded to cause
land hunger. Peasants, however, are conservative --
where the margin between earnings and needs is narrow
and precarious, :a: farmer feels less the impulse to
rely on his powers and try to better himself, than the
fear of losing even what he has, 'A bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush. Canals had not then achieved
the conspicuous success they now have, and a serious
failure might have stranded the whole population nearly
a week's march even from drinking water. "
The farmers now are confronted with a very grave problem which,again
can be corrected only by major efforts on the part of Government. The
statement quoted above in respect to the use of canal water may be com-
pared with the following statement which appears on pages 10 and 11 of
Chapter 3 of the Panel's draft report:
"The small size of holding can have a gravely inhibiting
effect on the introduction of changed procedures. Because
of the bare subsistence level at which they live, the farmers
are reluctant to experiment by trying new varieties of
seeds, or in any other way altering their traditional methods.
They literally cannot afford to take the chance of losing any
fraction of their small harvests. "
We believe, however, with some guidance after drainage and supplemental
water supplies are provided, the farmers will rise to the occasion as they
did when water was made available by the weir-controlled canals. This is
recognized in the Panel's report by a statement at the bottom of page 8 and
- 16 -
top of page 9 in Chapter 3 which reads as follows:
"The farmers are intelligent and educable. In pilot
areas in both East and West Pakistan they have
demonstrated their willingness to change their traditional
The Panel's draft report suggests a typical organization for
staffing a one million acre project. We are in full agreement with the
objectives of such an organization. However, we believe that the organi-
zation could function effectively with a more limited staff. From the
experience we have had with respect to recruiting specialists in cer-
tain fields, including agronomists, we do not believe that the number
of expatriate specialists implied in the draft report as being needed
as a part of the staff, can be recruited. However, we believe that
Government through a relevant agency should start at once utilizing
Project One as a proving ground, and later Project Two, for training
personnel to staff these and future projects As a part of the program
we believe demonstration farms and farms to breed seed for crops that
are gown, and will be grown, in West Pakistan should be established
and operated. A leaf might be taken from the methods employed by the
Rockefeller Foundation in the breeding of seed. An outstanding example
is that which the Foundation did in Mexico in respect to both wheat and
corn. The starting point was an experimental farm which is a part of
the Agriculture College at Chipingo outside of Mexico City. A nucleus
of specialists from the United States and from other countries was used
to initiate a program of seed breeding by selection. Apt undergraduate
students became a part of the working group and were trained from the
beginning to the end in this program. Upon graduation from the College
they were progressively sent to the hinterlands to train farmers in the
utilization of the new types of seed. The numbers proficient in the field
of seed breeding and use increased almost in geometrical ratio. We
believe this would be true in West Pakistan if effective programs were
initiated and vigorously pushed. A minimum number of expatriates
would be required, and finally an adequate number of trained Pakistani
personnel probably would become available to be assigned to the various
project areas as they progessively are developed.
Attachment No. 1
Without coordinating into relevant categories, the following portions
are quoted from the Panel's draft report:
1. Summary bottom of page 4 and top of page 5.
"Although crops can be grown throughout the year, and
both a winter and a summer growing season are traditional,
the amount of water is sufficient to irrigate only about half
the land during each season. Even so, the crops are inadequately
irrigated, particularly in the summer season. Much of the
cropped area receives insufficient water to prevent salt accumu-
Note: One factor has been ignored in the draft report, which is
discussed in our review, and that is the limited capacity of
most of the irrigated systems in West Pakistan.
2. Chapter 1 page 23.
In speaking of canal water available to irrigate the 20 to 21 million
acres which are presently irrigated in Pakistan, the draft report states:
With this small amount of water, extensive double cropping
is impossible under the conditions of high evapotranspiration in
the Indus Plain, and even with a single planting, most fields
do not receive enough water for the crops, let alone for salinity
3. Chapter 1 page 49.
"Irrigation practices have also contributed to salt accumulation.
Water from the canals is spread so thinly over the land that the
average quantity on the fields is less than the potential evapo-
transpiration during the growing season. Percolation through the
silty soils is slow; consequently, none of the irrigation water
washes down very far beneath the root zone before it has evapo-
rated, and the residue of salt left by evaporation remains in the
upper soil layers."
4. Chapter 2 page 3.
"It is evident that crops are inadequately irrigated at present,
particularly during the summer (Kharif season). Significant yield
increases could be obtained simply by the application of more water
to the Kharif crops. Of greater importance, however, is the fact
that, on irrigated soils, an amount of water in excess of that
required by the crop for evapotranspiration must be leached
downward through the soil in order to control salinity. The
excess quantity of water needed to maintain a desired level
of salinity in the root zone is termed the leaching requirement. "
5. Chapter 2 top of page 4.
In any case, if productivity is to be sustained, the acreage
of cropped land must be adjusted so that the need for salinity
control can be met. "
6. Chapter 2 page 10.
"With a general improvement of practices, and especially
with more water, farmers will undoubtedly find even greater
use of fertilizer to be profitable. "
7. Chapter 2 page 24.
"The most urgent need is to increase the production of food
and fiber for direct human consumption. This can be accom-
plished most quickly by increasing the yield per acre of food
and fiber crops on land now tinder cultivation. Greater use of
commercial fertilizers combined with more and better managed
water deserve highest priority, even though it may take some time
to develop additional supplies of water. Salinity control on land
now under cultivation is linked to additional water, and should be
accomplished as increased water supply permits. In the mean-
time, and on a continuing basis where salinity control is difficult,
maximum use should be made of salt-tolerant crops.
"As compared to fertilizer and additional water, returns from
the use of better cultivation, improved seed, and pest control will
require somewhat more time to put into effect, and the individual
returns will, on the average, be smaller than the responses to
more water and fertilizer. (underlining supplied).
8. Chapter 2 page 25.
When production of an excess of food and fiber crops for direct
human consumption has been attained, emphasis should then be
placed on increasing the animal protein content of the human diet.
This will require an increase in the production of feed grain, and
its utilization for increased livestock and poultry production.
Meeting the increased need for feed grain will require the diversion
of land presently used to produce food crops, or, if increased
emphasis on livestock and poultry were scheduled to take place
along with utilization and reclamation of saline and water logged
land, these activities could be advantageously combined. Good use
can be made of saline lands undergoing reclamation as pasture
and for growing salt-tolerant crops, such as barley.
9. Summary page 12.
"The most important change in agriculture in the Former Punjab
will result from the additional irrigation water provided by in-
stallation of tubewells in the project areas. "
10. Summary page 12.
"One of the major benefits will be to free the farmers from their
current dependence on the weather. The wells will provide not only
a more reliable supply of water than ever before but also water
that is better distributed in time. "
11. Summary page 16.
"A conservative summation of these additional factors indicates
that in combination they could be expected to result in a yield
increase of about 200 percent beyond those we have computed in
previous paragraphs. Note: Previous paragraphs referred to
are the conclusions reached in Chapter 4.
12. Chapter 3 page 1.
"The outstanding feature of Pakistan's agriculture is its
dismally low productivity. Agricultural yields in Pakistan are
among the lowest in the world, a situation that is especially
disastrous in a country where 87 percent of the population lives
on the land and whose agriculture, such as it is, produces more
than half of the people's income directly and is the indirect source
of most of the rest. ..................
"Agriculture is the basis of the entire economy, and its fate
is the fate of the entire country.
"Thus the urgent and imperative task in Pakistan is to lift
her agriculture off the subsistence level, and to do so rapidly
enough to outrun the population increase. "
13. Chapter 3 page 11.
"Presently available water supplies are inadequate for
intensive development of most of the land under cultivation,
and much of the cropped area receives insufficient water to
prevent the accumulation of injurious salts."
14. Chapter 3, page 17.
"Less and cheaper drainage is required on non-waterlogged lands,
and less leaching on non-saline lands. On good lands in areas where
the ground water is not too saline, production could be doubled by
providing more water (and water at the right time) from wells,
plus minimal amounts of fertilizer. (Note: if more water were
provided for those lands, in a very short time they would
become waterlogged and would require the same degree of
drainage that would be required to reclaim lands which are
15. Chapter 3 page 18.
"For most crops, agricultural production will be increased
by removing the salt from the soil, either by leaching downward
into the water table, or by other means. By the use of water
pumped from wells, salt can be washed out of the soil rapidly
and cheaply. The resulting increase in agricultural production
will take place faster than increases which would result from
improved agricultural practices. It will take time to intro-
duce these. As agricultural production is lowest on badly
salinized soils, a greater increase in total production can be
obtained from these lands than from non-salinized soils, because
we are starting from a lower base level. Distribution of salinized
lands is very patchy and irregular, and it ip, therefore, difficult
to concentrate improvement activities only on non-saline land
without covering saline land also. (Note the last sentence).
16. Chapter 3 page 19.
"'By pumping water for use in irrigation and leaching from land
near a waterlogged area, the direction of underground flow will
be reversed, and the water table in the waterlogged area will
eventually be lowered without the necessity of attempting to drain
it directly. "
17. Chapter 3 page 20a.
"The most important change in agriculture in the Former Punjab
will result from the additional irrigation water provided by in-
stallation of tubewells in the project areas. Among other benefits,
additional irrigation water from tubewells will permit intensifi-
cation of cultivation; leaching salts out of the soil; lowering high
groundwater tables; using increased amounts of fertilizer;
attaining greater reliability and regulation of water supply; and
using culturable land currently too high for the gravity supply
from the canals. In effect, the missing sites for economical
development of large surface storage can be replaced by the
great underground lake of stored water. (Note: Because in
practically all arid regions where irrigation is practiced the
opportunity for the use of water is much greater than the water
supplies that can be made available by direct flow and by both
surface and groundwater storage, the exploitation of groundwater
storage cannot be considered as a substitute for expensive surface
storage because both will be needed).
18. Chapter 3 page 27.
"The farmers should not be required to receive fertilizer,
water, advice, credit, and their other necessities from a
single source; there would arise a genuine danger of
19. Chapter 3 page 32.
"As more water, fertilizer, and better practice become
common, new and better seeds can profitably be employed.
As mechanization of agriculture takes place, adaptations of
plants may be required. As intensity of cultivation increases,
crops are needed which mature more quickly. As reclamation
of saline areas occurs, high-yielding, salt-resistant stocks
will be desirable. Selection and breeding for quality of product
becomes important. "
20. Chapter 3 page 34.
"In the initial years of each area of concentration, there are
severe limits to the range of improved practices that can be
introduced. In essence, the realistic objectives must fit within
the present pattern of land holding, with bullocks as the main
field power source to assist the farmers. "
21. Chapter 7 page 9.
"It is evident from all studies which have been made that
the bullock, camel, donkey, water buffalo, and milch cow provide
a most inefficient means of producing energy and transportation
on the farm. These animals consume a large amount of the
crops raised and require a large amount of labor. Increased
attention should be given to the development of small, efficient
powered tractors. We do not intend to suggest that animal power
should be replaced immediately. However, based on experience
in other countries, it is our opinion that as the intensity of pro-
duction increases, it will be both necessary and possible to intro-
duce small power equipment in the not-too-distant future. In the
beginning it may be necessary to work out government ownership
of such equipment as well as utilizing cooperatives and purchases
by the larger farms. "
22. Chapter 7 page 11.
"The central technological feature of our plan for much of the
agricultural area of West Pakistan involves the installation of