IRRIGATION - MANAGING A SCARCE RESOURCE

Challenges

Water has always been a limited resource, but due to climate change effects its scarcity and value have increased in many areas worldwide. Undoubtedly, irrigation allows for improved quality and quantity of food production, but water for irrigation is in competition with other types of use. Therefore water use efficiency and effective management of irrigation infrastructure and water remain key challenges even though innovative techniques, tools and materials have been developed.


GFA concept and services

GFA offers services along the entire project cycle, from feasibility studies to the implementation of irrigation projects, specific support services such as set-up of water user groups, training of maintenance service providers, determination of water doses and tariffs, and evaluations. We promote holistic approaches including water harvesting, water quality treatment, irrigation and drainage and re-use as essential parts of water management.

We understand participatory irrigation management (PIM) as a planning process that takes upstream and downstream situations of any irrigation scheme into account and gives all stakeholders a voice. Appropriate techniques have to be identified for each locality, and ownership among the beneficiaries who are to sustainably maintain and manage a given management system is a crucial success factor. From scratch, our experts have a project's exit strategy in mind and prepare beneficiaries and supporting entities for related post-project management and organizational tasks.
 
For preparing and implementing irrigation projects, GFA cooperates with specialized engineering firms. While we have long-standing experience and knowhow regarding irrigation hardware, GFA is specialized in supporting measures. These can be activities that protect irrigation infrastructure from erosion or floods or support to beneficiaries in efficient water use for agricultural production. Other services are related to organizing water user groups and cooperatives, water management, tariff setting and negotiation of by-laws, and the maintenance of irrigation infrastructure.