The Cholistan Desert area is one of the largest deserts in Pakistan and is home to a semi-nomadic population and their livestock. The primary source of income for Cholistan is cattle breeding. The climate of the desert area, with scanty and unpredictable rainfall as well as long periods of drought, makes water a limited resource. To address the issue of water shortages and to secure access of water to livestock, the people of Cholistan have created water ponds, called “tobas”. However, due to their vulnerability to extreme weather conditions and infiltration, the ponds storage capacities are low. There are around 1500 water points (tobas) in the entire desert out of only 500 were in running condition. Most tobas are not constructed in proper places because their present localities have not been identified on scientific basis to receive maximum rainwater.
Water is needed for drinking and irrigation purposes and paradoxically, in Bhutan water shortages occur despite the presence of sufficient resources. In order to provide irrigation water to farmers living in upper slopes and hilltops in Lingmutey-chu who faced issues in accessing water in 2014, a siphon project was initiated by GWP Bhutan/Royal Society for Protection of Nature in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest in Bhutan.