Low-cost water pump helps revive Pakistan’s mountain communities

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

A new zero carbon water pump could help Pakistan’s mountain communities adapt – and even thrive – in the face of climate change as it drives more severe droughts and floods across the country. Thanks to the installation of a sustainable hydraulic ram (hydro-ram) pump, about 60 acres of previously barren land has been revived, benefiting nearly 300 households and farmers in the mountains of Khyber village in northern Pakistan.

The low-cost irrigation system harnesses the pressure of fast-flowing water, such as a river, to drive a share of that water uphill without needing any other power source. Each pump is connected to a drip irrigation system that delivers a steady, gentle flow of water to mountain-top crops, using less water than many traditional irrigation methods.

Encouraged by the results, the United Nations Development Programme has already given WWF-Pakistan additional funding to install 20 more hydro-ram pumps in 12 villages. In addition, Pakistan’s government last year approved funding for the Gilgit-Baltistan water management department to install 50 hydro-ram pumps, along with 150 solar-powered pumps, which should help irrigate 1,050 acres of orchards in nearly a dozen districts.

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