A PDA completed in 2010 helped evaluate the potential and merit of building multifunctional water users associations (WUAs) in Nepal’s irrigation systems. This follow-up pilot and demonstration activity (PDA) documented the process of their evolution after rehabilitation works and evaluated the factors, environment, and prerequisites for the evolution through case studies of different agro-ecological zones in the country.


Project site Nepal
Cost $34,891
Status Completed
Approval date November 2011
Completion date April 2013
ADB officer Cindy Malvicini
Partner International Network of Participatory Irrigation Management–Nepal,
Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Trust and Nepal Engineering College


In a 2010 PDA it was determined that WUAs, with their ability to organize and manage irrigation infrastructure and services, were an effective entity contributing to rural development. This after-care PDA aimed to make pragmatic contributions toward institutionalizing multifunctional WUAs. It involved six main activities: documenting processes and areas for development of multifunctional WUAs; preparing case studies of selected irrigation systems that showed successes and failures based on evolution of WUAs; training the ADB-funded Community Irrigation Project team on the process of developing multiple functions of WUAs; preparing a handbook that includes suggested process and areas for development of multifunctional WUAs; backstopping for ADB-supported irrigation investment, Community Managed Irrigated Agriculture Sector Project (CMIASP), for promoting WUAs’ multiple functions; and, organizing of WUA orientation workshops.


All of the six stipulated activities of the PDA were completed and encapsulated in publications, a handbook, and reports. In particular, there are reports on the process documentation of three sub-projects of CMIASP and on case studies of nine irrigation systems from various agro-ecological zones. These were widely distributed to relevant stakeholders and organizations. Capacity building and training events were also organized, and all together these are expected to help institutionalize the different functions of WUAs, as well lead to the greater goal of agricultural productivity and sustainability of farmer-managed irrigation systems.

Read the final report.