Drivers of groundwater use and technical efficiency of groundwater, canal water, and conjunctive use in Pakistan’s Indus Basin Irrigation System

This paper explores the major determinants of heavy reliance on groundwater and the extent to which conjunctive use of ground and surface water affects the production efficiency of Pakistan’s irrigators. The results show that the major drivers of groundwater use in Pakistan’s agriculture are the variability and uncertainty associated with surface water delivery and that any effort to address the groundwater–energy nexus challenge should first consider fixing the problems associated with surface water supplies. The findings also suggest that having access to groundwater does not directly translate into improvements in technical efficiency of production.