Irrigation and Watershed Management Program (IWMP)


The goal of the Irrigation and Watershed Management Program (IWMP) is to expand and enhance Afghan government and community-level capacity to manage water resources to improve agricultural production and productivity. The five-year, $130 million dollar program, will achieve this objective through activities in four component areas:

  1. governance and capacity building;
  2. water supply management;
  3. water demand management; and,
  4. assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) in implementing complementary activities that are funded with additional on-budget support.


Within these component areas, the IWMP will implement a range of activities that address water management for agricultural purposes across entire watersheds, including irrigation system rehabilitation and construction, small-scale water storage projects, watershed conservation such as forestry and rangeland rehabilitation and management, on-farm water management, improvement to water governance, and community-based water resource management. All such activities will assist the MAIL in implementing its responsibilities under Afghanistan’s 2009 Water Law. The IWMP will provide technical assistance and other support to MAIL. Also, MAIL will directly receive up to $100 million in on-budget funding support to design, execute and monitor activities that complement work being done by the IWMP implementing partner. It will benefit from pilot activities demonstrated by the implementing partner, as well as through its own experience in developing on-budget projects. MAIL and the implementing partner will work hand-in-hand to enhance MAIL’s ability to replicate and expand programming when the IWMP ends. The IWMP will be launched in the Northern River Basin, centered in Balkh province.

Activity Description

The project provides the following services during the lifetime of its implementation:

  • Governance and Capacity Enhancing: Develop and strengthen an enabling environment for sustainable, integrated agricultural water resources management through training, technical assistance, and other activities that support implementation of the Water Law
  • Water Supply Management: Enhance resiliency and sustainability of the water supply for agricultural production through activities such as irrigation system rehabilitation and construction, water storage enhancements, and watershed conservation
  • Water Demand Management: Enhance efficiency and equitability of water demand in agricultural systems through activities such as on-farm water management and community-based water resource management
  • On-Budget Assistance: Enhance the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL’s) capacity to design, execute and monitor on-budget activities to complement the Irrigation and Watershed Management Program (IWMP)

Expected Outcomes

  • On-farm-water conservation and management practices improved, resulting in increased in productivity per hectare with 275 communities implementing improved natural resource management practices in RC-N and RC-East.
  • Improved soil-moisture retention and rainfall water management measures, resulting in increased rainfed agricultural productivity/hectare.
  • Rainfed farmers know how to use water harvesting techniques, deep cultivation, contour cultivation, and summer fallow techniques to manage “on farm” water.
  • Improved ability of communities residing around targeted river basins to collaborate, manage, and engage in decision-making activities relating to integrated water resources management for agricultural production; 200 new water user associations in the model areas using the “Crop Water Demand” system to manage water in their river basin.
  • Improved hillside stabilization, vegetative restoration, stream-bank stabilization, flood prevention, and erosion control in upper watersheds targeted by the program.

2012 - 2015

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