Improving Agricultural Irrigation on the Balkhab River, Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, where 80% of the population is rural, irrigated agriculture is important for satisfying subsistence needs. While most of the irrigated agriculture is fed by diversion canal systems which tap surface flows, legal and physical water infrastructure in the region is generally poor. A math programming model is used to optimize irrigation strategies under different water-availability and policy scenarios. It is found that the construction of a reservoir could increase net revenues to a representative farming community by up to 30%. However, even greater benefits may result from increasing distribution efficiencies, depending on the initial level of conveyance losses. Further, property rights schemes may be implemented to distribute wealth more evenly through various zones at minimal cost to the agricultural community as a whole. These results may prove useful to policymakers or water authorities in reestablishing water rights.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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