Land & Water

Rapid Appraisal Procedure (RAP)

Rapid Appraisal Procedure (RAP) for pressurized irrigation system is a diagnostic tool developed by FAO to assess the performance of water resource, institutional management and irrigation service (hardware and software). RAP, initially designed for mapping large-scale and open-canal system performance (the MASSCOTE approach), has been revamped and computerized for the use with pressurized irrigation systems of different sizes.

It aims at providing users with a clear picture of problem areas. It enables them to identify physical bottlenecks hampering the efficient water delivery and prioritize the steps needed for improvement. It also provides initial indicators to use as benchmarks to compare improvements in performance once modernization/rehabilitation plans are implemented.

The RAP tool is quick, systematic, and comprehensive and includes physical, management, and institutional aspects of system operation, assessed in three inter-related elements:

  • Water balance (hydrology and agronomy) appraises water resources, supply, and agronomic demand;
  • Management (organizations and institutions) appraises current structures and mechanisms to identify constraints;
  • Water delivery service (engineering and infrastructure) appraises the physical water distribution system, its characteristics, performance, operating policy, condition, and maintenance.

The tool consists of a Windows compatible desktop app, programmed and packaged as open-source software, and it can be downloaded with the manual at 

The e-learning course developed to illustrate the methodology and practical uses of RAP is available at the following link: