Australia and Pakistan share the challenges of developing agriculture within water-scarce, salinity-affected landscapes.
As with the Murray-Darling Basin, salinity in the Indus Basin can be categorised as both primary (i.e. a natural phenomenon) and secondary (i.e. human-induced salinity/waterlogging from irrigation).
Increased dependence on poor-quality groundwater, due to limited and unreliable surface water supplies, is accelerating the extent and severity of land salinisation.
The Adapting to Salinity in the Southern Indus Basin (ASSIB) project was initiated to develop and investigate adaptation options and strategies with people managing and living in salinity-affected agricultural landscapes in the southern Indus Basin.
Our response to this challenge builds on a growing acceptance that farmers’ participation is vital to the success of field-level practice change programs, including those involving salinity management for those living in salinity affected landscapes.
Our approach has involved selecting and engaging a set of so-called ‘bright spot’ farming communities who have the capacity to co-design on-property research activities to be undertaken as a co-inquiry investigation with ASSIB researchers and other relevant stakeholders.
This 2.5-year project, launched in March 2021, intends to provide a basis for a longer term ‘living with salinity’ research program that will bring in a broader range of collaborating partners and donors.
The project builds on research and outputs from several ACIAR funded projects in Pakistan, including three managed by Charles Sturt’s former Institute for Land, Water and Society, namely:
Ali, A. (2023). Improving salinity and agricultural water management in the Indus Basin, Pakistan: Issues, management and opportunities: A synthesis from a desk-top literature review. Gulbali Report 1. Gulbali Institute, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW 2640.
Heaney-Mustafa, S., Channa, M. Y., Baloch, T., Channa, M. A., Kumbhar, B., Mohiuddin, I. Riaz, M. F., Rubab, A., Samoo, A. H., Zahid, S. M. A. & Zaman, B. (2023). Stakeholder Engagement for Research and Learning (SERL): Theoretical Underpinnings and Guidelines for Facilitators. Gulbali Report 3. Gulbali Institute, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW 2640.
Papers in conference proceedings