The EU-funded and Landell Mills-managed Panj-Amu river basin programme (P-ARBP) organised a workshop to share P-ARBP field experience on integrated water resources management practices. The event was held in September in Herat City and delivered to the Harirud-Murghab River Basin Agency’s social and technical institutions. The workshop was attended by 140 participants over three days, including professors, engineers, Water Users Association (WUA) members, an organisation set up by the project, and senior officers from the Ministry of Energy and Water.
The Ministry of Energy and Water requested the workshop for the Harirud-Murghab River Basin Agency due to the success of previous experience sharing events from P-ARBP, which have proved very valuable in helping to achieve better control of water resources. This marks the first time that P-ARBP has been invited to share its knowledge with another major river basin agency. With information gained from the workshop, members of the Water Users Associations are able to better control their water resources and distribute water sustainably. The Director of the Harirud-Murghab River Basin plans to share the experience obtained from the workshop to the sub-basins to ensure capacity building and further decentralisation.
Topics covered were the role and responsibilities of the Water Users Associations, the river basin and sub-basin agencies; importance on watershed protection; applied hydraulics, and better water distribution based on adapted hydraulic structures and irrigation methods. Management and design tools were distributed to the participants, including the ‘Guidebook for the Establishment and Operation of Water Users Associations’, and the ‘User’s Manual for the Design of a Cross-Regulator and a Head Regulator on Permeable Foundations Using a MS Excel Spreadsheet’.
P-ARBP has been running since 2004, and is currently the main vehicle in the country for the improvement of rural livelihoods through integrated water resources management. The project rehabilitates and develops irrigation infrastructure as well as supporting the Ministry of Energy and Water in the development of a regulatory environment, and the creation of a new river basin management organisational structure. These organisations can now effectively address water allocation and water quality issues in the basin and sub basins.