ADB to give $31 mn for water resource management in K'taka

ADB to give $31 mn for water resource management in K'taka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has inked a pact with India to provide a loan worth USD 31 million for sustainable water resource management in river basins in Karnataka.

"The ADB and the Government of India today signed a USD 31 million loan deal to boost water availability in selected river basins in Karnataka through implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and improved water efficiency in irrigation," ADB said in a release.

The loan is the first tranche of the USD 150 million Karnataka Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Programme approved by the multilateral funding agency in 2014.

The programme will improve irrigation efficiency in three river basins in the state, saving 1,700 million cubic meters of water that could be used on an additional 160,000 hectares of farm land, it added.

The ADB said farming this additional land could increase farm incomes by about 50 per cent and benefit about 1.5 million people.

"The tranche 1 loan will help modernise the Gondi irrigation system. Besides, the loan will help train and certify over 200 water resources department staff in integrated water resources management and build capacities of water users cooperative societies," said M Teresa Kho, Country Director for ADB in India.

Irrigating farmland siphon off over 84 per cent of the state's water but agriculture only contributes 16 per cent to the state's economy. Moreover, poor water infrastructure and lack of water-saving technologies result in substantial waste, ADB said.

The scheme includes preparation of an IWRM strategy for development and implementation of river basin plans for the selected river basins.

It will also strengthen capacities of staff in Karnataka's water agencies and enable them to draw up and roll out effective river basin management plans.

Under the first project, it will support modernisation of the Gondi irrigation scheme, while under the second project it will target Vijaynagara and the Tungabhadra left Bank Canal.

The Manila headquartered ADB has provided the first tranche of the loan from its ordinary capital resources with a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years.The first tranche of the loan will be implemented over 4 years from 2014-2018, ADB said.

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