Application of an EFlows Model in the eco-revitalization of the River Ravi, Pakistan

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Cate Brown

Publication Date:

The River Ravi is one of six transboundary rivers comprising the Indus River system. Approximately 50 million people live in the basin, with more than 10 million in Lahore, its largest city. Political differences and careless development have come at profound cost to the River Ravi. In terms of the Indus Water Treaty, all Ravi flow upstream of Pakistan is abstracted by India, and flow downstream is dominated by heavily polluted discharges from cities that lack any effective infrastructure, policies, or regulations to treat their effluents. Most river reaches do not sustain aquatic life throughout the year. In the cities and towns, the stench is overwhelming, affecting the health, safety, and enjoyment of residents and eroding property prices and tax bases. Eco-revitalization efforts in the basin are multi-pronged and include status assessments, visioning, policy and institutional analyses, and investigation of cost-effective waste water treatment. The nature and level of interventions required to meet stakeholders’ visions are being guided by an ecosystem-based EFlows model that uses scientific reasoning and logic to model river ecosystem responses to past influences and interventions aimed at improving water quality, promoting year-round flows, and restoring river channels. The model captures the understanding of driving catchment processes and functioning of the rivers and uses this to provide information on how the implementation of suites of interventions would affect river ecosystem condition and, as a consequence, the potential cultural, recreational, and public health value of the River Ravi and its tributaries.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration