Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project Phase – I (WSIP – I) is designed and being implemented to improve the efficiency and effectivenessm of irrigation water distrbution in three (3) AWBs. Total Cost of the Project is US$ 175 Million with World Bank share US$ 150.2 Million and GoS share US$ 24.8 Million.
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Sindh Irrigation Strategy (Final Draft)


This strategy concerns the future of Irrigated Agriculture in Sindh and the services that the irrigation sector will provide in the next 15 years. It is believed that the agriculture future of Sindh is bright, if it can be built on three potentials: i) Sindh s strategic location in one of the world s most dynamic regions; ii) the unused potential to make most of the water resources allocated to Sindh iii) and its young and abundant human resources. The irrigation system is key to Sindh's future. Ever since it was introduced it has sustained Sindh's agricultural economy. Over the years the irrigation system has been stretched yet it has been miraculously able to cope with the increased demands and pressures. One single telling indicator here are the cropping intensities: these now stand at 150%: way beyond the 90% foreseen at the development of the system.

The irrigation system is also vital for the multiple services it provides. The canal system does not only provide water to the crops, but is also directly or indirectly the source of drinking water for humans and livestock. It provides scope for fishery and for navigation. At the same time it is used for effluent disposal conflicting with other functions. The canal and drainage system infrastructure is important for transport and tree plantation and can play a role in housing and leisure. Being the defining element in the rural landscape in Sindh, the management of the irrigation and drainage systems goes beyond agriculture but touches upon all economic and social functions. The high stress placed on the irrigation system has also come at a price. There is a less rigor in maintaining the irrigation assets; there is more encroachment and interference and there is uncertain financing. This needs to be set right and the irrigation sector needs to be protected in order to fulfill its role in a more prosperous future.

Sindh's Irrigation Management Strategy seeks to have land and water resources of the region managed in accordance with the requirements of the provincial and national legislation and international norms. It describes that, institutional strengthening and focused investments are needed to improve water management and enhance the different functions served by the irrigation system, while considering its long-term sustainability. The productive use of irrigation water requires well-secured infrastructure and well developed human resources in the form of knowledge and institutions. Changes in water resources management, a selective overhaul of infrastructure, and bolstered capacity are necessary.

The Irrigation Strategy consists of a number of strategic initiatives for achieving the development goals related to irrigated agriculture. These initiatives are to be taken forward through broad, well-informed stakeholder participation and finalized in a collaborative way with all stakeholders. As mentioned, the irrigation system is far more intensely used that it was ever meant for yet it has been able to deliver. There are now far higher crop intensities; many canals carry more water than their design capacity and there is intense use of the irrigation and drainage network for other functions. Moreover, there is an almost complete conversion of the riverine flood plains to farmland. Add to this the challenge of climate change: the frequent flood events of the last five years and the seawater encroachment in the coastal areas. The image is of a system that is literally "bursting at the seams". Strategic Initiatives, Directions and Activities

The strategy for Irrigated Agriculture in Sindh would include following initiatives and investment directions.

1. Set Water Resource Management in Place
2. Manage the Essential Irrigation Assets/ Protecting Resource Base
3. Institutional Right-Setting
4. Get the Financing System Right
5. Enhance Human Resource Capacity
6. Have Management Based on Information/ Building Knowledge Base
7. Develop Water Resources Outside IBIS
8. Vitalize Agriculture


The Project Coordination & Monitoring Unit (PCMU) for Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP) under Planning & Development Department (P&D), GoSindh served as host for this assignment. We are thankful to Mr. Waseem Ahmed, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev.) for his patronage and overall support of this activity. The authors of this report wish to thank many people who helped in the conduct of this assignment. Dr. Fateh Marri, Project Coordinator, PCMU-WSIP and Mr. Nazir Mughal Director, Coordination PCMU-WSIP, providing able guidance, and we are also thankful to their office staff for all logistical support. Mr. Zaheer Haider Shah, Secretary, Irrigation Department and Agha Abdul Qadir Tareen, Additional Secretary (Technical), Agriculture Department in Karachi, who helped us with able guidance and the information we needed and we are thankful for their time and assistance. In the conduct of fieldwork, Ahmad Junaid Memon, Chief Engineer, Sukkur Barrage, Irshad Ahmad Memon, Chief Engineer, Guddu Barrage and Kotri Barrage Team represented by Sajid Bhutto, Executive Engineer and their staff, who were very helpful in arranging stakeholders's workshops and providing the team with needed information. We are very thankful for their cooperation and kind hospitality. The Managing Director SIDA,Babar Hussain Effendi and the Director General, Agriculture Extension, Mr. Hidayatullah Chajaro, Additional Director General, On-Farm Water Management Nuashad Jamali (Late), Directorate General, Agriculture Research Representatives, and their teams helped us with the consultative workshops in Hyderabad and provided us the needed data and information. .

We believe this report provides a good basis for the Irrigation Management Strategy, and we trust the Government of Sindh will find it useful for future planning and benefit of people of Sindh.

Best Wishes:

Team Leader: Dr. Ramchand Oad, PhD, P.E,

Water Resources Engineering, Development, Management of Irrigated Agriculture, Professor, Colorado State University, USA.

Irrigation Sector,

Dr. Frank van Steenburgen, PhD Institutional Expert

Water Resources Engineering, Land & Water Management, Director, MetaMeta, Wageningen/s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands,

Ghulam Mustafa Abro Agriculture Economist: ,

Agriculture Development Economist, Ex-Chief Economist, Ex-Senior Chief Poverty Alleviation, P&D Department, GoSindh, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Dr. Bakhshal Lashari, PhD IWRM Expert Field Coordinator, :

Ph.D., Post Doc (Fulbright, USA), Post Doc (Endeavour Award, Australia), Water Resources Engineering and Irrigated Agriculture Director: Institute of Water Resources Engineering and Management, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan.

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