Uzbekistan: Water Resources Management

Sovereign Project | 45437-001 Status: Dropped / Terminated


A project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) grant of $1,500,000 will be provided from ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund - Others (TASF-Others) to prepare the loan project. The PPTA will design an investment project that will improve the welfare of communities dependent upon irrigation water by improving water resources management and enhancing agriculture productivity in the project area. The PPTA will be provided to facilitate efficient preparation of the loan project and undertake due diligence.

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Project Name Water Resources Management
Project Number 45437-001
Country Uzbekistan
Project Status Dropped / Terminated
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8226-UZB: Water Resources Management
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements

A project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) grant of $1,500,000 will be provided from ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund - Others (TASF-Others) to prepare the loan project. The PPTA will design an investment project that will improve the welfare of communities dependent upon irrigation water by improving water resources management and enhancing agriculture productivity in the project area. The PPTA will be provided to facilitate efficient preparation of the loan project and undertake due diligence. Key outputs will include (i) subproject selections and irrigation system assessments; (ii) development of investment packages; (iii) technical, socioeconomic, and environmental surveys and investigations; (iv) feasibility studies; (v) capacity development plans for the water supply and use institutions; (vi) poverty and social assessments and initial environmental examinations; (vii) strategies for social and gender development, resettlement, and environmental assessment and review; (viii) climate change adaptation assessments; (ix) detailed implementation arrangements in compliance with SPS; and (x) project investment and financing plans. The key tasks under the TA will include the identification of target irrigation systems, system assessments, feasibility studies, formulation of investment packages, development of programs for institutional strengthening and project management improvement; and advance actions to preclude delays in implementing the loan investment project.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAWR) is the proposed executing agency. The deputy minister in charge of water resources at MAWR will serve as the project director and provide overall guidance to project implementation. Staff members from Amu-Surkhan BISA in Surkhandarya Province and three BISAs (i.e. Naryn-Karadarya, Naryn-Syrdarya, and Syrdarya-Sokh) in Fergana Valley will provide support in the field. The National Steering Committee chaired by the First Deputy Prime Minister will review progress and render key decisions.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

1. Irrigated agriculture, which covers 4.3 million hectares (ha) accounts for 90% of agricultural production and over 40% of employment in Uzbekistan, remains a key economic sector, and is the main source of livelihood for rural communities. To further improve rural living standards, the government has developed the Welfare Improvement Strategy (WIS) for 2008-2010. Considering that over 60% of the population live in rural areas and depend on irrigated agriculture for their livelihood, the strategy recognizes inefficient water resources management and land degradation as the strategic challenges.

2. Most of Uzbekistan's irrigation and drainage (I&D) infrastructure has been in operation far beyond its economic life and it is rapidly deteriorating. Since the majority of country irrigation systems are lift irrigations due to its nature, water supplies are getting not only inefficient due to deteriorated irrigation structures but also unreliable due to increased accidents in pump stations and unsustainable due to consequent increase in operation and maintenance (O&M) cost. High seepage water losses throughout systems and in irrigated farmlands due to uncontrollable structures and insufficient and inefficient drainage systems are causing land salinization and degradation problems. Modernizing the deteriorating I&D infrastructure is therefore of paramount importance to ensure sustained agricultural production and economic growth.

3. The current major challenges for the sector include (i) limited investment; (ii) reduced agricultural productivity caused by low water-use efficiency (about 40% on average); (iii) deteriorating I&D infrastructure; (iv) reliance on pump irrigation that covers 65% of the irrigated area, absorbs 70% of the annual O&M budget, and consumes 20% of country's electricity; (v) low pump station energy efficiency caused by the system's poor state of repair and old designs; (vi) poor water management practices; and (vii) high climate sensitivity as 500% water deficit is projected by 2050, resulting in droughts and further desertification. Such a drier environment is expected to be more reliant on already scarce water resources. Thus, substantial investments in I&D and water management will be required to maintain food security.

4. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAWR) is responsible for water resources. Although the responsible organization for the development, O&M, and management of I&D, infrastructure within MAWR was reorganized in 2003 from a provincial and district administrative basis to a water basin set-up in which I&D is managed by basin irrigation system administrations (BISAs), they need improved irrigation and water management procedures and practices to manage water more effectively. Improved coordination among BISAs, other administrations in each I&D system level within BISA, and Water Consumers' Associations (WCAs) responsible for water management at the on-farm level, and their improved technical skills would also improve water management efficiency.

5. Surkhandarya is the most southern province of Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Its population is around 1.9 million with over 1.5 million rural inhabitants. The poverty incidence in Surkhandarya is 35%, which is the third highest in the country. Amu-Surkhan BISA covers over 325,000 ha, which is most of the irrigated lands in the province. The main crops are cotton and grains occupying more than 70% of irrigated land being mainly served by pump irrigation systems. The deteriorated I&D network is causing low irrigation efficiency and consequent water logging and land salinization. As a result, the saline lands increased up to 114,000 ha, which make up 35% of the whole irrigation area.

6. Fergana Valley consists of Andijan, Fergana, and Namangan Provinces, and is situated in the easternmost part of the country, which borders the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Its population is around 7.8 million with around 5.0 million rural inhabitants. The poverty incidence in the valley ranges between 15.8% and 33.4% depending on province. The valley is subdivided into three large sub-basin units with the total irrigated land of 650,000 ha. In the valley many large and small gravity and lift irrigation systems are connected among each other by canals. The majority of I&D systems including pump stations are not fully operational due to their deteriorated conditions. Most parts of the irrigated area are subjected to salinization, of which 9% is categorized as having an average or high degree of salinization, 15% as being waterlogged, and some 80% suffer from high groundwater levels.

7. Since 2004, ADB has been supporting the government to improve irrigated agriculture and water resources management by implementing three projects, including two in the proposed project locations. The rehabilitation of Amu Zang Irrigation System one of the largest pump irrigation systems in the country aimed to increase the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of irrigation water supply in Surkhandarya Province. The Water Resources Management Sector Project is sustaining and increasing agriculture productivity in the Zarafshan River Basin and Fergana Valley by upgrading pump irrigation systems, and improving water management, and a plan and capacity development program to improve efficient water supply and productive water use in Fergana Valley. ADB also helps develop water resources sector assessment and strategy through the ongoing regional technical assistance. Lessons learned from these projects will be incorporated in the design of the proposed project.

8. A proposed project is in line with the Country Partnership Strategy 2012-2016, which includes the water resource management and irrigation as one of the core sectors, and focuses on the rehabilitation of a major irrigation system to make the system more energy-efficient and reduce the cost of its operation, and is included in the draft Country Operations Business Plan 2012-2014.


Project Outcome

Description of Outcome
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Andijan,Fergana,Namangan,Sukhandarya Province

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Key initial stakeholders are: (i) poor families and their members, who spend a lot of time and effort on delivering water and housework; (ii) local government and Mahallas (self-governance bodies); (iii) project management unit (PMU); (iv) Water Consumers' Associations (WCAs); and (v) relevant nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs). A focus on data collection and analysis should be undertaken on vulnerable population groups (poor and women).
During Project Implementation Participation should be ensured during the implementation of the PPTA through consultations with key stakeholders at both central and local government levels, WCA, etc. The surveys to be conducted for the PPTA socioeconomic survey and the resettlement plans will ensure that the issues brought up by the residents and their preferences are understood and that the target population is also informed about the project goals and objectives in general. Data collection and analysis should focus on vulnerable population groups, especially the poor, women, and ethnic minorities. In addition to surveys of families, interviews will be conducted with chairpersons of WCAs, local government and Mahallas within the project areas, which will be essential to the wide dissemination of information on the proposed project. Workshops will be undertaken to present findings, recommendation, and proposed project components to get feedbacks from all stakeholders.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services A total of 32 person-months of international and 67 person-months of national consultants' inputs will be required for the PPTA. ADB will recruit the TA consultants' team through a firm using the QCSS procedure at 80:20 ratio and full technical proposals following ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants and its Borrowers (2010, as amended from time to time).

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Takaku, Ryutaro
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources
Mr. Shavkat R. Khamraev, Deputy Minister, MAWR
4, Navoi Street Tashkent, 100004 Republic of Uzbekistan


Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2014

TA 8226-UZB

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
27 Nov 2012 10 Dec 2012 10 Dec 2012 31 Jul 2014 31 May 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 0.00 170,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,670,000.00 27 Nov 2012 0.00

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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