Strengthening Watershed and Irrigation Management ( SWIM )

The Strengthening Watershed and Irrigation Management (SWIM) project supports sustainable, agriculture-led economic growth by increasing the sustainable and productive use of water and strengthening water resource management. Specifically, SWIM will:

  • Increase the sustainable and productive use of water for agriculture in targeted areas;
  • Strengthen the water regulatory environment; and
  • Strengthen local entities to manage water resources.
Activity Description

In support of the main objectives, SWIM (1) rehabilitates irrigation infrastructure and restores degraded watersheds, (2) supports collaboration between governing bodies for irrigation and water management, strengthens the capacity of water resource and irrigation training programs, and improves public outreach, and (3) improves technical and administrative capacity as well as capacity to resolve conflicts through community-based natural resource management. At the national level, SWIM supports the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to strengthen water resource management capacity and coordinate with USAID Regional Agriculture Development Programs to increase agricultural water productivity. At the local level, SWIM works with farmers and communities to help them manage their water and on-farm resources. A total of $4 million in grants will be provided to communities and non-governmental organizations, including women’s groups, for community watershed management activities.

Expected Outcomes


  • 30,000 hectares of land under new or rehabilitated irrigation services
  • 25 percent increase in water conveyance efficiency
  • 20 percent increase in crop productivity in improved irrigated lands
  • 300 Water User Associations or Irrigation Associations formed to coordinate operations and maintenance of irrigation systems
  • 16,650 hectares of upper watersheds restored

To ensure that water efficiency efforts are successful, the watershed restoration and transport zones that are the source of much of Afghanistan’s water for irrigation and other uses will be given concurrent attention. In the SWIM project, practical implementation of community led restoration will improve local governance and give immediate livelihood benefits to people. Specific benefits include income generation, flood protection, clean water provision, and conservation and enhancement of agricultural resources. SWIM integrates nutrition, climate change, and gender mainstreaming into implementation.