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Uzbekistan: Amu Bukhara Irrigation System Rehabilitation

Sovereign (Public) Project | 44458-012 Status: Closed

The proposed project is located in Bukhara Province and two districts in Navoi Province in the central part of Uzbekistan. The Amu Bukhara Irrigation System (ABIS) command area of 315,000 hectares (ha) had a population of 1.8 million in 2012. The project will address irrigated agriculture and water resources management issues in the main command area of 250,000 ha in the ABIS.

Project Details

Project Officer
Ryutaro Takaku Central and West Asia Department Request for information
  • Uzbekistan
  • Technical Assistance
  • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Amu Bukhara Irrigation System Rehabilitation
Project Number 44458-012
Country Uzbekistan
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7917-UZB: Amu Bukhara Irrigation System Rehabilitation
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 1.50 million
TA 7917-UZB: Amu Bukhara Irrigation System Rehabilitation (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 225,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Irrigation

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description The proposed project is located in Bukhara Province and two districts in Navoi Province in the central part of Uzbekistan. The Amu Bukhara Irrigation System (ABIS) command area of 315,000 hectares (ha) had a population of 1.8 million in 2012. The project will address irrigated agriculture and water resources management issues in the main command area of 250,000 ha in the ABIS.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Sector overview. Irrigated agriculture is a key economic sector in Uzbekistan, accounting for 90% of agricultural production which employs about 27% of country''s total labor force, and is the main source of livelihood in rural communities. More than 48% of the country''s people live in rural areas and depend on irrigated agriculture for their livelihood. To improve rural living standards, the government developed the updated Welfare Improvement Strategy for 2012- 2015 in 2013 and launched the Integrated Rural Development Program in 2011. Enhancing the productivity and sustainability of irrigated agriculture which covers 4.3 million ha is a central theme of both strategies. Improving irrigation and drainage (I&D) is critical to better agriculture productivity and competitiveness, and to sound environmental management.

The major challenges in the irrigated agriculture sector include insufficient investment. Other challenges include (i) reduced agricultural productivity due to low water-use efficiency; (ii) deteriorating system and on-farm infrastructure that has outlived its economic life; (iii) reliance on pump irrigation which covers 65% of the irrigated area and consumes 20% of the country's electricity; (iv) low energy efficiency at pump stations, which are of out-dated designs and are in a state of disrepair; (v) poor water management practices at almost every level of the irrigation system; and (vi) high climate sensitivity. Although production is declining, cotton remains a major agricultural crop. Adherence to international core labor standards is a concern in the agriculture sector, the government is cooperating with the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Amu Bukhara Irrigation System Authority overview. Population growth of 1.7% a year in the ABIS command area will have a potentially significant impact on the availability of water. About 6,500 farmers depended on agricultural activities in the command area in 2011, with support from 145 water consumers' associations (WCAs). The ABIS intake channel from the Amu Darya River and about 22 kilometers (km) of the 385-km main canal from the intake channel are located in neighboring Turkmenistan. O&M of these sections is carried out by the MAWR under a bilateral agreement between the two countries. The ABIS also provides domestic water supply for an estimated 725,000 people in its command areas. Cotton cultivation has gradually declined in the command area since 1990 due to an increase of winter wheat and more diversified cropping.

The ABIS was commissioned in 1965, and its main pump stations covering 250,000 ha have far exceeded their design life spans. The system's canals are in poor condition. The supply of irrigation water has become more unreliable due to several major failures of ABIS pumping equipment. Continued breakdowns leading to future declines in pumping capacity are highly likely. Expenditures on O&M have been high (SUM154 billion, including electricity costs of SUM122 billion, in 2011). Another factor in the declining water supplies has been the ABIS's inadequate regulatory structures and its inefficient water supply operations and management. This has resulted in low conveyance efficiency, which in turn pose a serious threat to agricultural production and to the livelihood of local communities. The aging, energy-inefficient pump stations are also consuming overly large amounts of electricity equivalent to about 60% of total energy consumption in Bukhara Province and their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2011 are estimated to be equivalent to 758,000- 935,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Land quality in the ABIS command area is deteriorating, with about 12% of land in the Bukhara Province considered unsuitable for agriculture. This is mainly due to salinity, attributed to overuse of irrigation water under arid climatic and poor drainage conditions, which leads to salt accumulation in the soil.

Climate change impacts. Climate change is expected to affect the ABIS in several ways. The average demand for crop water is likely to increase by about 9% by 2050. Climate change alone will result in a decrease in average Amu Darya River flow from the current 38 cubic kilometer per year to an estimated 22- 28 cubic kilometer per year, and the year-to-year variability of its flow is expected to increase from its historic range of 31% -34% to 36% -44% in 2050. More frequent water deficits will have the potential in some years to pose serious irrigation problems by 2050.

The project is consistent with the priorities of the ADB's country partnership strategy for 2012 -2016, which recommends that ADB provide new assistance for rehabilitation of major irrigation systems to be more energy-efficient and climate-resilient. The strategy also recommends ADB's support to the improvements in climate-adaptive on-farm water management and the productivity of water resources.

Impact Improved farm incomes in the Amu Bukhara area.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Reliable irrigation supplies within the project area.
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Key pumping facilities are replaced and reehabilitated.

2. Main supply canals are upgraded and rehabilitated.

3. Efficient project and irrigation system management and monitoring systems implemented.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The project team conducted a number of extensive, in-depth consultations with civil society and beneficiaries during processing of the project. Participants in the consultations included (i) farmers whose lands are in the project area; (ii) Makhalla communities, which represented local communities; (iii) women committee members; and (iv) representatives of water consumers' associations. During these consultations, ADB presented the project impact, outcome, outputs, potential environment and involuntary resettlement impacts, and associated mitigation measures. The team also discussed a summary result on the socioeconomic survey, including interviews and social and gender analyses. There were extensive Q&A sessions following the presentations. The participants showed support for the project. They also provided suggestions on the proposed project activities, which have been incorporated in project design. Two workshops, at inception of project preparation (April 2012) and completion (March 2013) were also held, which included participation by representatives of ministries, development partners, as well as diplomatic delegations. Participants were supportive of the Project.
During Project Implementation ADB will closely monitor the status of the compliance with the loan covenants during project implementation including the government's assurance of compliance with core labor standards.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB, using its quality and cost based selection (QCBS) procedure at 90:10 ratio and full technical proposals, through a firm will recruit a total of 43 international and 72 national person-months (p-m) of consulting services in water resources management, irrigation, pump, hydraulics, electrical engineering, hydrology, sedimentation, river morphology, operation and maintenance, procurement, economics, agriculture, environment, social development, resettlement, institutions and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Responsible ADB Officer Ryutaro Takaku
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Water Resources
Mr. Shavkat R. Khamraev, Deputy Minister, MAWR
4, Navoi Street Tashkent, 100004 Republic of Uzbekistan
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
Approval 08 May 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2014

TA 7917-UZB

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Nov 2011 16 Dec 2011 16 Dec 2011 30 Nov 2012 30 Nov 2013 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
225,000.00 1,500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,725,000.00 15 Nov 2011 1,697,177.73

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