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Published: 07.31.2015

Improved Water Distribution Management

The Water Use Association (WUA) in the Lower Vaal area manages the distribution of irrigation water to hundreds of farmers over 1,120km of ageing canals and 1,873 abstraction points. The process needed to make it more efficient required difficult institutional reform combined with critical self-examination of operation and management practices. Coupled with a lack of adequate funding for expensive infrastructure improvements, the challenge was met using a variety of interventions leading to significant water savings.

At a project cost of US$148,000, the WUA implemented a Water Administration System tailored for the management of irrigation scheme water distribution systems to reduce loses. This enabled the water released into the system to drop by 11,580m3/ha, saving a total of 14,150,000m3/year. In addition to the savings, the scheme improved its overall competitiveness and improved crop yields per unit of water abstracted.