IDA to give $40M for soil and water work [Archives:2004/716/Business & Economy]

March 1 2004

The Board of Director of the International Development Association (IDA) approved a credit of $53 million, of which IDA will contribute by $40 million and the government and the beneficiaries will provide the rest, to support the Groundwater and Soil Conservation Project (GSCP) over an implementation period of five years.
The objective of the proposed project is to conserve water in farming areas, especially groundwater, improve recharge and protect watersheds by:
(i) improving water use efficiency and increasing farmer returns to water, so creating the conditions that would allow farmers to reduce pumping of groundwater from aquifers towards sustainable levels;
(ii) increasing surface and groundwater availability through watershed management and groundwater recharge by supporting the rehabilitation of small to medium spate irrigation schemes, bank protection works, water harvesting structures, and the rehabilitation of terraces and other soil and water conservation investments; and
(iii) supporting a groundwater management framework and institutions that will have the incentive and capacity to manage local water resources in a sustainable manner.
The project builds on the positive and negative lessons of the recently closed Land and Water Conservation Project (LWCP, 2000) and on recent institutional and legislative changes by Government.
It will scale up (from 11 governorates and 10,000 Ha to 15 governorates and 28,000 Ha) the successful groundwater efficiency improvement components of the predecessor project and add further measures to improve the water balance.
The proposed project would consist of the following components:
A. Modernization and Improvement of Groundwater Irrigation Systems
B. Water Harvesting, Groundwater Rechar2e and Soil Conservation
C. Project Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation and Institutional Strengthening of Water Institutions.