Water is life for all living creatures on this earth. It is essential for various bio-chemical processes in the human & animal bodies as well as in the plants. In plants there are species which can live with a meager amount of water e.g. cactus and other xerophytes. Contrarily, there are other plants which require excessive quantity of water for their survival such as rice, sugarcane, wheat and cotton.
Sugarcane and cotton crop are important cash crops and plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan. The impact that these crops have on the agriculture due to maximum consumption of water is tremendous; however, this nature classifies them as “water intensive” or “water thirsty” crops.
Sugarcane is cultivated as an irrigated crop in the country. It requires 64 to 80 acre inches of water from planting to maturity. Similarly, water is used wastefully and indiscriminately in cotton cultivation as well. Cotton requires large amounts of water both for cultivation and processing. It is stated that to produce 1 kg of cotton lint 10,000 - 17000 liters of water are needed. In Pakistan, cotton as a dominant crop of Kharif, consumes much of the available freshwater due to poor water management practices.