Unlocking Value in South Asia's Irrigation, by David Molden, IWMI
Unlocking Valuein South Asia’s Irrigation David Molden Based on work by: Aditi Mukherji, Thierry Facon, And many others
Main message 1Irrigation has been important in Asia – Asia contains 70% of world’s irrigated area – Irrigation was key to the success of Green Revolution – This helped alleviate poverty and boost rural growth How important will it be?
Growth in food demand 2000 – 2050 South Asia Water for a food-secure world
Agriculture ET in 2000 and 2050 no water productivity gains Need to produce more food, but minimize extra water use – Change is needed South Asia East Asia Central Asia Water for a food-secure world
Water for Food – 4 paths1. Increase production in rainfed areas– scope for gains debated2. Irrigation – expansion and productivity gains-good for poverty & food, but bad for environment3. Trade – buy food from somewhere else –- but realistic to rely on trade?4.Reduce waste and overuse from field to fork-but strong trends of diet change
Main message 2• Asia still needs to invest in irrigation – To raise land and water productivity – To feed a growing population – To adapt to climate change – Secure livelihoods and alleviate poverty – But within the limits posed by natural resource base What are those investments?
Investing in Irrigation2.5 320 2802.0 240 July 2008 Food price index 2001.5 160 Irrigation Living Planet index Jan1.0 Freshwater 2009 120 World Bank lending for irrigation 800.5 40 0 0 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
Irrigated investment & irrigated area - IndiaGroundwater Trends of public expenditure in major and medium irrigation and net irrigated area under different sources in India 60 42 36 50(billion US$, in 2000 prices) Groundwater Irrigated Area 30 Net irrigated area 40 Expenditure (million ha) 24 30 Canal 18 Irrigated Area 20 12 Expenditure US$ 10 Tank 6 Irrigated Area 0 0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Expenditure Tanks Canals Groundwater Source: Amerasinghe et al
Trend: Growing informal water economies Informal Formal Self-supply predominates Service providers dominate Vast numbers of tiny, primary Very few, but large primary water diverters from nature diverters of water from rivers, lakes Water institutions are local, Water institutions are few, formal, fragmented, informal legal bodies Intermediation in water services Very high degree of are low or absent intermediation in water provision Even if water is plentiful, it costs Even if water is scarce its free… money…Source: Tushaar Shah Water for a food-secure world
Irrigation Pumps in Bangladesh and Vietnam The Pump Revolution
US dollar per m3 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 Chishtian sub-div. Mahi-Kadana Nachchaduwa Muda Rajanganaya Nile Delta Kourani Baria II Sunsari Morang* surface water and public wells Gorgo West Gandak Marchwar Lift Saga** private wells Big Thompson Khageri Panchakanya Fryingpan Kankai Mogtedo Saldana Kourani Baria I Seyhan Coella RUT Across irrigation systems Torreon irrigation schemesSalvatierra Module** Value produced per unit ET Alto Rio Lerma * Cortazar Module* Salvatierra Module* Menemen Imperial ID Manisa Samaca Triffa Scheme, Sec.… Alto Rio Lerma ** Sarigol Figure 4: Standardised Gross Value of Production per unit water consumed by ETcrop Panoche WD Adala Bhairawa Lumbini Alasehir Turgutlu Cortazar Module** Situation Savili Underperformance of many large scale surface
Causes of poor performance – Lack of accountability: Management Society Users Bureaucracy – Surge in individual pump/lift based irrigation – Failed attempts at institutional reformBenchmark irrigation performance making data publically accessible
Main message 3Adapt yesterday’s irrigation for tomorrow – Changing demography and dietary needs – To provide more ecosystem services, adapt to climate change • But the old systems do not cater to these demands – State built irrigation are under performing • Forcing farmers to invest on their own – Groundwater now provides the bulk of irrigation in Asia – Climate change, urbanization,
Zhanghe Reservoir, Hubei, China Water allocation and rice production in ZIS (3-year moving averages) irrigation release 800 1400 non-agricultural release rice production 700 1200 production (1,000 metric tons)reservoir water release (MCM) 600 1000 500 800 400 600 300 400 200 100 200 0 0 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 year
5 Strategies to unlock value from Asia’s irrigation infrastructure1. Modernize for tomorrow’s needs2. Go with the flow3. Look beyond conventional PIM recipes4. Expand capacity and knowledge5. Invest outside the water sector
Strategy 1: Modernize• Includes modernizing hardware (design changes) and software (institutional changes)• More attention to environment CA – invest in groundwater for storage and drainage SEA – reconfigure paddy systems for multiple cropping, uses and ecosystem services SA – piped delivery systems, farm storage
Strategy 2: Go with the flowFarmers innovate. Incorporate what they are doing into the management of irrigation Sri Lanka example: Traditional tanks incorporated into canal network designs SEA – conjunctive use SA – managed aquifer recharge,
Strategy 3: Look beyond PIMPromoted since mid 1980’sWhat’s the scorecard?
PIM – Success or Failure? Mukherji et al, 2009 (part of commissioned ADB irrigation study)Performance indicatorsISF collectionFinance of WUAInfrastructure stateEquityReliability/AdequacyParticipation Region Success FailureConflict resolution S Asia 18 20 40%Crop related impacts Success E Asia 7 2Livelihoods impact SE Asia 12 24 C Asia 4 14
Strategy 3: Look beyond PIMAlternatives: – Irrigation bureaucrats turned entrepreneurs in China – Service contracts – providers and users; private sector – Reform the irrigation bureaucracies themselves to manage the main system better For South Asia Re-engage government, especially in poor areas Incentivize performance based service delivery models
Strategy 4: Expand capacity and knowledge• Train irrigation officials to recognize and respond to new realities, deal with social and political issues, and have eco-awarenessMASSCOT program of FAO that is helping irrigation bureaucracy do soSA – reorient staff to changing rural realitiesCA – new capacity
Strategy 5: Invest outside the sector• Irrigation will largely become reactive rather than proactive as it was in the past• Levers of change will often lie outside, e.g. in food or energy policiesSE Asia:hydropower + irrigationS Asia – roads, rural electricityCentral Asia:Ag Policies, Hydropower
Thank you!Challenge:Simultaneously meet livelihood,food and ecosystem objectives.Tailor made solutions are neededfor each situation1. Modernize for tomorrow’s needs2. Go with the flow3. Look beyond conventional PIM recipes4. Expand capacity and knowledge5. Invest outside the water sector Water for a food-secure world