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Investigation of Characteristics of Hydrological Droughts in Indus Basin

Investigation of Characteristics of Hydrological Droughts in Indus Basin

Muhammad Shahzad Khattak1*, Amjad Khan1, Mahmood Alam Khan1, Waqas Ahmad2, Shafiq ur Rehman3, Mohammad Sharif4 and Sajjad Ahmad1 

1Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 2PhD candidate at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea; 3Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, PCRWR, Islamabad, Pakistan; 4Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology Jamia University, New Delhi, India.  


Drought is a natural event that can have significant impact on the economy. Pakistan is a semi-arid country where hydrological drought generally causes adverse impacts on agricultural production and hydropower generation. In this research, the characteristics of hydrological droughts in Indus River basin using stream flow data of major rivers of Pakistan were investigated. Stream flow drought indices (SDI) were used to determine the severity of droughts for the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and Kabul River at Tarbela, Mangla, Marala and Warsak hydrological stations for the period 1962-2011. A drought spell starting from 1999 and ending in 2002 was observed for all stations and is considered to be the worst drought in the history of Pakistan. Analysis of historical streamflow data indicated an increased occurrence of droughts in the last 12 years, which may be attributed to climate change. Extreme drought events were observed at Tarbela during October-September and at Mangla during October-June with SDI value of -2.36 and -2.74, respectively. Moderate to severe wet conditions were also detected in the analysis period. Several strategies for the mitigation of adverse impacts of droughts in the study region are recommended. 


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Sarhad Journal of Agriculture


Vol. 37, Iss. 1, Pages 1-330


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