Dr. James L. Wescoat, Afreen Siddiqui, Dr. Abubakr Muhammad
This paper offers a socio-hydrological assessment of water security that compares canal irrigation entitlements with water deliveries using a conjoint analysis of system reliability and equity. We develop a set of definitions and metrics to quantitatively characterize reliability and equity using newly available datasets of 10-daily canal deliveries from 2007–2017 in the Punjab canal command areas in the Indus Basin Irrigation System of Pakistan, where emphasis has shifted from distributing historically-defined volumetric supplies to improving irrigation efficiencies and crop yields in order to achieve greater aggregate water and food security. Our analysis reveals stagnation and oscillation over time in system-level equity and reliability. We reflect on the potential to positively affect canal irrigation performance and water security through a socio-hydrological approach.