South Asia’s Key Water Challenges Revitalizing irrigation –Very complex integrated glacier /mountain/river/land/ groundwater/coastal ecosystems –Impacts of the massive changes, primarily in the form of the irrigation system on ecosystem; –South Asia has the world’s highest concentration of poor people living on less than USD 2 per day, –The region’s underperforming irrigation sector is in need of reform.
South Asia’s Key Water Challenges Improving agricultural water productivity –Agriculture uses nearly 70% of all available developed freshwater resources. Given the world’s projected population growth, Asia’s small farmers must somehow learn to produce more food with less water.
Water Withdrawal by Sector India Pakistan 761Million ML 183 Million ML
Water Withdrawal by Source India Pakistan 761Million ML 183 Million ML
India – Irrigation Techniques India Pakistan »No stats for Pakistan but a similar trend to India
South Asia’s Key Water Challenges Transboundary water issues –international –State –Information sharing among countries based on mutual trust, transparency and to ensure the optimal management of water.
South Asia’s Key Water Challenges Groundwater –Overexploitation of groundwater resources is leading to falling water tables –Properly managed, groundwater recharge technologies could make small scale agriculture productive and sustainable.
South Asia’s Key Water Challenges Climate change and adaptation –Climate change will intensify existing problems, including reduced rainfall and runoff and increased heat stress. recurring droughts and floods increasingly result in the loss of lives, loss of rural livelihoods and food insecurity. –Need to plan adaptation technologies for climate change now. –Implementation of these technologies requires new approaches to policy and management.
A note on “reforms of service provision” (applicable for both irrigation and water supply services) The current situation is not sustainable and has resulted in a “build-neglect-rebuild” model which constitutes a major constraint to growth Bills have to be paid – the question is “how”
Replacement National Water Plans O & M (Efficient) Financial Requirements Who pays Taxpayers Users a. A healthy system – (e.g. Australia)
Replacement National Water Plans O & M (Efficient) Financial Requirements Who pays Taxpayers Users a. A healthy system – (e.g. Australia) Excess workforce O & M (Inefficient) Replacement National Water Plans Taxpayers Taxpayers Taxpayers Users Users No one b. An unhealthy system Financial Requirements Who pays
Potential Solutions Reform governance of irrigation sector Support on-farm water and land management practices Improve maintenance and operation of irrigation canal system Promote efficient and conservative use of groundwater construction of small and mini dams for water storage and for better watershed management. Private sector involvement Soft solutions – knowledgebase driven DSS
Big picture conclusions Solution Areas Benefits without reforms Major infrastructure **** Agricultural Productivity ** Knowledge base and human resources ***
Big picture conclusions Solution Areas Benefits without reforms Benefits with reforms Major infrastructure ********* Agricultural Productivity ******* Knowledge base and human resources ********
Big picture conclusions Solution Areas Benefits without reforms Benefits with reforms Political commitment from Governments? Donor Role?Comments Major infrastructure ********* Very high for project; Mostly low for necessary sector reforms Political and financial support Expensive – low benefit cost ratio Agricultural Productivity ******* High for technical improvements; mostly low for critical reforms including financing Support for robust investments (such as OFWM, DSS); Support for innovation, Partly linked to Knowledgebase and DSS Knowledge base and human resources ******** Usually low but increasing support with more awareness Major for training, study tours, seed funding, technology transfer, partnerships Relatively low cost but greater benefit cost ratio
Conclusions Increasing agricultural production with decreasing water resource is possible A need for new institutional arrangement Need for political leadership and greater involvement of farmers organizations and the private sector – to explore new approaches.