COMSTECH Webinar on Shrinking Indus Delta: Current Status And The Way Forward
By Prof. Dr. Altaf Ali Siyal
Chairman of Department of Land and Water Management, Pakistan.
Director ORIC at Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan.
23RD Febraury, 2022 (03:00 – 04:00 PM PKT)
Abstract: Indus delta, a declared Ramsar wetland, is shrinking and degrading at an alarming rate. Due to natural and anthropogenic activities, the active Indus Delta has shrunk from 13000 sq. km in 1833 A.D. to only about 1000 sq. km in 2018 (92% reduction). Thus, the flora, fauna, estuarine environment and ecosystem, agriculture, deltaic infrastructures, and coastal communities are highly threatened. The common questions which arise in our minds about Delta are: How much shoreline of the Indus delta has been altered, i.e., moved landward or seaward? How much land area has been taken by the sea? What is the impact of surface and subsurface seawater intrusion on soil salinity, mangrove population, and coastal communities? How can we revitalize the Indus delta under available freshwater resources and changing climate scenarios? Thus, looking at the gravity of the problem, the present study was conducted using field and satellite data and geospatial tools to answer the above questions. The long-term coastal erosion and deposition rates were calculated using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS 4.3) software integrated with ArcGIS 10.3. The analysis of results revealed that the net inland shift in the shoreline of the Delta from 1972 to 2018 was about 85092 m. My talk will focus on the degradation of the Indus delta and suggest different measures for its revival.
Target Audience: This webinar is open to academicians, scientists, and general public from all the member OIC states and beyond.
Profile of the Speaker: Prof. Dr. Altaf Ali Siyal is currently working as a Chairman of the Department of Land and Water Management and the Director of ORIC at Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan. He has also served for five years at the U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology Jamshoro. In 2011, he got Endeavour Research Fellowship funded by t h e Australian Government for Postdoctoral Research on ‘Soil Water and Crop Environment’ at CSIRO-ATSIP, Townsville, Australia. Dr. Siyal was also awarded Fulbright Fellowship to conduct Post-Doctoral Research on ‘Subsurface Irrigation Simulations’ at the University of California and the USDA-ARS Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, the USA, during 2007-8. He got his Ph.D. in 2001 from the Cranfield University, the United Kingdom (UK) on ‘Maximising salt leaching efficiency of aggregated clay saline soils’ under the Quaid-e-Azam Merit Scholarship funded by the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan. He earned his Master’s degree in Irrigation & Drainage in 1998 and Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1990 from the Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Sindh, Pakistan.
Dr. Siyal has expertise in Remote Sensing Applications, GIS, Climate Change, Environment, Water Resources Engineering & Management, Irrigation and Drainage, Soil Salinity, Land Reclamation, Wetlands, and CoastalFflood management. He received training on ‘GIS and Remote Sensing Applications for the Water Sector’ from UNESCO-IHE, Delft Netherlands, under Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP). He also got different trainings in GIS and Remote Sensing Applications in Monitoring & Management of natural resources from the University of Maryland USA, under Borlaug Fellowship, NASA, and from SUPARCO, Pakistan. He has published more than 60 research articles in International Journals and wrote many articles on water, agriculture, and environment-related issues printed in local and national newspapers. He worked for Irrigation Department under the WSIP project and produced two study reports. He was also a consultant for Sindh Government on “Micro Irrigation Methods”. He has also been a “Flood and Coastal Management” consultant for Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the “Sindh Coastal Resilient Project”.
Poster of webinar: Attached
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