Improving irrigation management by Water Users Associations
- Component 3 focuses on strengthening the capacity of WUAs, FWUAs, the National Union of WUAs, and WCs to improve management of on-farm and off-farm systems. Component 3 will finance an assessment of a sample set of 70 WUAs, inventory/maintenance plans for 481 WUAs, installation of 300 on-farm control and measuring structures in 60 WUAs, revitalizing WUA SUs, assisting with Business Plans for FWUAs, approval of amendments for the WUA Law, capacity building of the National Union of WUAs, organizing WUA exchange visits, and organizing bi-annual national Conferences. The Component consists of 4 sub-components: (i) Assessment and strengthening of WUAs; (ii) Strengthening of WUA Supports Units; (iii) Supporting and strengthening FWUAs; and (iv) Strengthening other water management organizations. Each sub-component will include adequate training. Component 3 builds on the successful passing of the WUA Law in February 2002 and its update in 2012, and the formation of 481 legally registered WUAs with World Bank assistance. Up to December 2015, all training costs in the order of US$ 450,000 will be financed under the OIP-2 AF, with training from January 2016-June 2017 financed under the NWRMP-1.
Sub-Component 3.1-Assessment and Strengthening of Water Users Organizations (US$ 0.6 million)
- To date, there has not been an independent objective assessment of WUA performance. Under NWRMP-1, a comprehensive assessment will be carried out on a sample of 70 WUAs, within a stratified selection of irrigation schemes to determine how they are functioning. The assessment will establish how WUAs are performing after 8-12 years of support and what further support is required.
- Around 159 WUAs have been rehabilitated under World Bank projects including OIP-1 and OIP-2, the ADB-funded Chui Area Agricultural Development Project, and the USAID-funded WUA Support Program. Under the agreement with the WUAs, 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs and 100 percent of the technical equipment costs must be repaid to the Government. The PIU will work with WUA SUs to work with WUA management and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to clarify the amounts owed, redraft repayment schedules and then will assist WUA management in the preparation of a repayment plan and discussions with WUA membership on repayment timing.
- Under OIP-1 and OIP-2, WUAs were eligible for repayable credit for the purchase of O&M equipment (pick-up truck, motorcycles, walkie-talkies, etc.) and machinery (excavators). Under NWRMP-1, 40 WUAs funded under APNIP for rehabilitation will be offered the opportunity to purchase technical machinery, financed through APNIP. The NWRMP-1 will assist WUAs in the preparation of detailed and costed Business Plans for agreement at the WUA General Assembly.
- Training and capacity building for WUAs will focus on increasing efficiency and productivity at the on-farm level whilst also seeking to improve (through training) the level of service provided at the off-farm level. Improvements will include closer working relationships between FWUAs/WUA management and the RVK through joint training courses organized by project consultants.
- On-farm MOM procedures will be reviewed and an on-farm MOM manual prepared, following which training courses and material will be prepared to enable WUA SUs to train WUA management. This training and capacity building will be supported by the establishment of 90 field demonstration plots in 90 WUAs, which will be funded under Component 2 of APNIP.
- Funds have been allocated under APNIP to construct around 300 small control and measurement structures in 60 WUAs at key division points (typically 5-7 per WUA) within the WUA command area at locations where the flow is divided between two or more mirabs. WUAs will employ PIU-approved contractors, or when deemed capable, WUAs will manage the construction themselves, under supervision of PIU engineers. The objective of this exercise is to trial the benefits of improved control and measurement within the WUA command area. If found beneficial the procedure can be expanded under Phase 2.
- Irrigation assets have been transferred to 429 out of the 481 WUAs. A key issue is the dearth of knowledge by WUAs of their physical infrastructure, and real costs of maintaining it. NWRMP-1 will fund recruitment of specialist teams in each Oblasttrained by international and local TA to work with WUA management to prepare inventories and maintenance plans for WUAs. Under NWRMP-1 inventories will be prepared for 200 WUAs, with the remaining WUAs done under NWRMP-2. Working with the WUA Engineer and mirabs the teams will:(i) develop a complete inventory of each system; (ii) update and amend on-farm maps; and (iii) prepare an initial maintenance plan. All reports will be monitored to ensure quality output from each team.
Sub-Component 3.2—Strengthening WUA Support Units (US$ 0.5 million)
- In 2008, when formally integrated into the DWRLI, the WUA Support Unit had a staff of 122.The WUA SU has now been transferred from the PIU to the DWRLI with all funding the responsibility of the DWRLI. This transition was not straightforward, and for 2-3 years the ability of the WUA SU to support WUAs was impaired by limited funds within the DWRLI. End 2012, the Government ordered a reduction of public employees, leading to downsizing and restructuring WUA SU from 122 staff members to 93.An important activity under NWRMP-1is to provide TA and training to ensure the new WUA SU structure will function effectively and be able to provide the type and quality of support required by WUAs and FWUAs.
- WUA SUs will be the main vehicle by which further support, training and capacity building will be carried out for WUA management and water users. Training and capacity building will have two elements, refresher training in established areas and more advanced training to enable WUAs to improve on-farm operation and maintenance. In addition, training and capacity building will be required to help FWUAs to take over more off-farm MOM responsibility where appropriate. To implement this training, WUA SU personnel, particularly recent recruits, will require training themselves, delivered through a training-of-trainers program to ensure they can, in turn, train WUAs effectively. Overall the NWRMP-1aims to significantly strengthen Zonal WUA SUs’ training capability in the key areas of WUA governance, FM, MOM and WUA credit repayment. Project provided TA consultants will work with Oblast SU training cells to help develop their advanced training skills.
- A key task during Phase 1 of the project will be to re-establish the WUA Database which has lapsed since the WUA Support Unit was transferred to the DWRLI. This database is dependent on WUAs submitting their Annual Reports, which is a mandatory requirement under the WUA Law. WUA SUs will be required to work with WUA management to obtain these Annual Reports, check the data, and forward the verified Annual Report to the Central WUA Regulatory and Support Office.
Sub-Component 3.3 Support and strengthening Federations of Water Users Associations (US$ 0.3million)
- In total, 29 FWUAs were formed during the latter period of OIP-1. These FWUAs were reviewed during the preparation of WMIP and a sub-component on FWUAs included in WMIP.Under WMIP,10 FWUAs were supported with training and capacity building, and maintenance equipment and machinery (including excavators). In 2012, with support from WMIP, amendments to the WUA Law were prepared to allow legal formation of FWUAs.These amendments have gone through two readings in Parliament, but prior to the last reading disagreements were raised and the law was not passed. Thus, at present, FWUAs cannot be registered under the WUA Law, and have to resort to other legal frameworks. This is an unsatisfactory situation, and NWRMP-1 consultants will work with the Government to provide a sound legal basis for the formation of FWUAs.
- Under WMIP, the bulk of the maintenance equipment and machinery was purchased and handed over to FWUAs in the latter half of 2012/early part of 2013. The use and benefit of this machinery and equipment will be monitored during the NWRMP-1 and an assessment will be made about expanding the program to 15 other FWUAs. To obtain lessons for supporting other FWUAs, the NWRMP-1 will monitor the performance of WMIP supported FWUAs and that of the SDC supported Aravan-Akbura Canal which is operating as a FWUA. In particular, it is expected that Oblast WUA SU training cells, with assistance from TA consultants, will be trained to take the lead in this activity.
- Currently, FWUAs are using similar O&M processes and procedures to those used by the RVK. These O&M processes and procedures will be reviewed and upgraded as agreed with the FWUAs. It is anticipated that this upgrading will be similar to that proposed under Component 2 for the DWRLI managed off-farm systems and, therefore, common training programs will be developed and provided by the off-farm MOM consultant with assistance from the respective Oblast WUA SU training cells. Particular emphasis will be given to the introduction of Service Oriented Management to improve irrigation delivery service and put users at the centre of the decision making process.
Sub-Component 3.4 – Strengthening Other Water Management Organizations (US$ 0.2 million)
- Currently, there are 40 WCs formed on irrigation systems, serving a total command area of over 260,000 ha. WCsare formed on the basis of the hydraulic boundaries of irrigation systems and comprise key stakeholders. They meet periodically to resolve irrigation issues, in particular conflict resolution, water distribution and system maintenance. Under the NWRMP-1,WCs will be studied and lessons from better performing WCs will be disseminated through regional workshops.
- The National Union of WUAs of the Kyrgyz Republic was registered in March 2006. At present, the total Union membership includes 225 WUAs representing more than 100,000 WUA members farming irrigated land in excess of 300,000 ha. The Union functions as a public interest association to coordinate WUA’s activities. Starting in 2013 the Union is planning on offering training programs in support of the WUA members. To date, the National Union has been engaged in the promotion and support of its members. It has organized two well received national conferences, prepared and distributed a quarterly newsletter WUA Vestnik(WUA Messenger) and assisted several WUAs with legal issues. Project funding to the Union will support them in their WUA advocacy and support role, financing of two national conferences, provision of specialized training for WUAs and FWUAs, and organization of regional workshops on topical issues.
Except for excavators which receive a 50 percent subsidy. Under OIP-1 excavators were not part of the package, under OIP-2 they were. Chui and Osh Oblast will have two teams due to the number of systems in these oblasts.