Every Drop Matters

Feb 28, 2014

The Pastdargom District of the Samarkand Region hosted a workshop whose purpose was to present the results of the pilot activities under the ‘Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Efficiency Plan of the Zarafshan River Basin’ joint project of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and the United Nations Development Programme. The workshop was attended by water management experts, WUAs, farmers, economists, environmentalists, scientists, and mahalla and village leaders.

The workshop participants visited the pumping station ‘Mehnatobod-3’ located in the project area which hosted the opening ceremony for the machine canal of ‘Mehnatobod-3’ as well as the ceremony of transferring the facility to the balance of the water users associations (WUA) ‘Progress Nur Suvchilari’.

Over 2,000 hectares of irrigated land are served by ‘Mehnatobod-3’ which lifts the water from the Eski-Ankhor Canal 72 meters high to deliver it to farmers growing cotton and wheat, orchards, vineyards and vegetables.

The project reconstructed the head pond, constructed the 3.7 km long machine canal with 2 m3/sec conveying capacity equipped with water outlets, gates and water meters.

In addition, a major overhaul of the pumping station’s pumping equipment was undertaken to improve its operating conditions that will reduce equipment downtimes, cut repair and electricity costs, decrease unproductive water losses from the discharge pipe and irrigation systems while increasing the system’s efficiency and improving the control and accountability over the water delivered.

The implementation of this pilot project will help rehabilitate and reclaim over 140 hectares of farm and dehkan lands that had gone out of productive use due to water shortages. Preliminary estimates show that the annual volume of water supply to farmers will increase by approximately 3.5 million m3, maintenance costs will be reduced 4 times, operating costs will decrease by more than 82.7 million soums, farmers’ and dehkans’ incomes (38 farmers and 240 dehkan farms) will increase by 395 million soums per year due to timely water supply .

Providing its people with clean drinking water is the country’s priority. With the financial support from the regional UNDP program ‘Every Drop Matters’ the project built a drinking water supply system for ‘Kanal Yoka’ and ‘Nurobod’ villages in the Samarkand Region. As a result of the works carried out, over 2,000 residents of these villages now have access to clean drinking water.

Human development through education and awareness is key to the implementation of IWRM. A great deal of work with both the general public and farmers was carried out in order to improved their knowledge of the effective water management techniques, encourage both the farmers and households to be more water and energy efficient, improve water control, accountability and care while operating the facilities.

‘Enhancing Water Consumption Efficiency at WUA and Farm Level under Climate Change’ project has been launched to manage water resources jointly with farmers in order to improve climate change adaptation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The project aims to improve water accounting at farm level, introduce water-saving technologies, improve water monitoring, and develop a mechanism for encouraging the farmers to save water. A Filed Resource Center will be established to support the activities of both WUAs and farmers.

“The introduction of integrated water management elements into everyday practices by piloting them in the project’s demonstration plot in the Pastdargom District clearly shows their benefits in terms of energy efficiency of the pumping stations, water productivity at WUA and farm levels which makes an overall beneficial impact on improving the people’s welfare”, said the Pastdargom District Hokim V. Rakhimov in his report.