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Helping to Build a World Without Hunger
  FAO Water  
photo © Rodd Halstead   http://www.flickr.com/photos/roddh/
Water Quality
Water Management and Irrigation Systems
Survey on modernization of irrigation schemes
Crop Water Management
Irrigation Sector Reform
Multiple Use of Water (MUS)
Water Scarcity
Water and Food Security
    Information Resources
Modernization of Irrigation Systems
Modernization of Irrigation Systems
Water management and irrigation systems
Scheme water management

Despite the increase in water use by sectors other than agriculture, irrigation continues to be the main water user on a global scale. However, there is an increasing pressure for water to be used more efficiently in agriculture. On the other hand, irrigation is regarded as one of the main ways to increase food production and rural incomes. It is therefore imperative to improve water management in order to achieve both, high water productivity and higher rural income.

Since the beginning of 2002 IPTRID (The International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage) and the Water Resources Management Development Service started a joint survey on modernisation of irrigation. Eighteen case studies have been prepared and analysed.

On-farm water management

The Water Resources, Development and Management Service offers technical assistance to country members in the design and implementation of on-farm irrigation systems, as well as in the identification and adaptation of irrigation techniques.

Institutional strengthening

The new challenges in water management posed by the increase in population and the pressure to use water resources efficiently mean that the institutions in charge of water management should be either reformed or created so that countries are able to cope with these new demands.

These institutional reforms might take different forms depending on the local conditions and the specific aims of the reform. In order to illustrate different alternatives on how these reforms can be pursued NRLW has published guidelines on the transfer of irrigation management transfer. More recently, an International E-mail Conference on Irrigation Management Transfer was organized by FAO and INPIM.

Irrigation advisory services can play an importantly role in assisting users to adopt new techniques and technologies for more efficient water use and increased production. Such services can be provided by private, public or co-operative agencies. Increasingly commercial agencies can take over the traditional role of the public agencies, although often restricted to the more lucrative parts of irrigation sector. Critical in the promotion of irrigation advisory services is the financial sustainability of such institutes, as in particular in many developing countries inadequate funding is available to finance public services. In order to focus attention on the vital role irrigation advisory services can play in achieving a more effective water use for sustainable crop production, FAO and ICID organised an International workshop on Irrigation Advisory Services and Participatory Extension in Irrigation Management in Montréal on the 24 July, 2002, during the ICID congress.

Training and Capacity building

Training and capacity building are identified as key elements in developing the skills, knowledge and means to define, plan and implement the action programmes in integrated water resources development for agriculture.

In support to the global challenge the ICID Working Group on Capacity building, Training and Education, and the Water Resources, Development and Management Service of FAO (NRLW) have jointly undertaken the compilation of information about training and educational institutions worldwide and established a web based database with various education and training courses in irrigation, drainage and flood control.

NRLW has developed and put together a package of training material for the development and implementation of a Participatory Training & Extension Programme in Farmers' Water Management also available through a dedicated web site. Through a participatory approach in extension, technical staff and other stakeholders put farmers in charge of water management at field and scheme level, promote the adoption of appropriate technologies and establish the necessary local capacity to put farmers in charge of water development and management.

The ICID Working Group on Capacity Building, Training and Education, in close collaboration with FAO - NRLW, organized an international workshop on Capacity Building in Irrigation and Drainage at the occasion of the ICID 54th Council meeting in Montpellier.  The workshop was held on September 16th, 2003. (Workshop proceedings)


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