New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $91 million loan to modernize the Vijayanagara Channel irrigation systems and prepare river basin management plans in the Krishna river basin that will help improve irrigation water use efficiency and contribute to improving sustainable water security in Karnataka.
The signatories to the second project loan for the Karnataka Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Program (IWRM) were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
“The investment program will help Government of Karnataka in strengthening its institutions involved in integrated water resource management and modernizing the irrigation system infrastructure for improving water use efficiency in the State ” said Mr. Khare after signing the loan documents.
“This second project loan will continue to strengthen state and basin institutions for IWRM and finance the modernization of Vijayanagara Channels by upgrading headworks and about 442 kilometers of main, distributaries and minor canals,” said Mr. Yokoyama.
The investment program, consisting of two project loans, will help Karnataka’s water agencies better draw up and roll out effective river basin management plans. The first project is helping the modernization of the Gondi irrigation system and supporting the state with preparing a new water resources policy and other water governance strengthening activities.
The project interventions are also tackling inefficient water use in agriculture that accounts for over 84% of the state’s total water use. This will improve water availability to meet the rising demand from other users in the state. About 30 water user cooperative societies will also be established and strengthened for improving their farmer irrigation canals under the second project. Improving irrigation efficiency under the investment program is expected to generate water savings of 1,700 million cubic meters for use on an additional 160,000 hectares of farmland. Annual farm incomes are also projected to rise by as much as 50% for some marginal households as a result of increased crop production, and about 1.5 million people could benefit overall.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $ 21.5 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
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