Thursday, July 3, 2014

IBRD to assist Uzbekistan strengthen Water Resource Management in South Karakalpakstan

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (part of the World Bank) will allocate a loan worth $260.72 million to improve water resource management in South Karakalpakstan.

The loan used to fund a project to rehabilitate existing irrigation networks and improve water management practices to make them sustainable and financially effective. In addition its aims to eliminate the current dependence of farmers in South Karakalpakstan on energy-inefficient pumping by developing a gravity off-take from the Tuyamuyun reservoir and dismantling pumping stations.

The aim is to improve water resources management and irrigation management in South Karakalpakstan by making it more effective and thus increase the areas areas agricultural productivity and ability to resist the effects of climate change. Further to strengthen existing institutions and capacities, and improve performance of public irrigation and drainage service delivery and the promoting crop diversification away from cotton and towards higher value crops.

The South Karakalpakstan Water Resource Management Improvement Project area is located less than 100 km from the city of Nukus in the north, the capital of Karakalpakstan, and about 20 km from the city of Urgench in the west, the capital of Khorezm Oblast. Almost the entire drainage system of the South Karakalpakstan Right Bank system has been already been successfully rehabilitated at a cost to date of some US$ 60 million equivalent.
The newly constructed main drain and the rehabilitated on-farm and inter-farm drainage system are to be improved.

The project should save some 10 million cubic meters of water resources annually (reducing the cost of mechanical watering savings $2.39 million a year) by eliminating farmers need to use energy intensive pumps to lift water from the Amu Darya River.