Large- versus small-scale irrigation:Framing the level of irrigation investment discourse

Wednesday 31 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 357
Large Irrigation System by Rita Cestti

Large public irrigation systems in many regions have been problematic – are aging and in need of rehabilitation and modernization, have low utilization and in some cases have low productivity. Recent experiences in some parts of Africa and South Asia suggest that small-scale irrigation systems are easier to develop and manage. In other regions, results from medium- and small-scale community managed schemes have been mixed. The multi-lateral community has been supporting Governments as they attempt to reform and develop their irrigation sector, and a question always posed to the operational teams is: what institutional, governance and financing frameworks are needed to address sustainability issues affecting management and development of irrigation and drainage systems.

Key objectives are to: (i) promote knowledge exchange to address issues around the sustainability of irrigation management looking at them in terms of how they apply to small-scale and large-scale irrigation systems; (ii) identify differences that that would inform decision making on the scale to pursue in irrigation investments.

Representatives from multilateral community will be invited to reflect on their own lessons learned and experiences. This will then be followed by a facilitated session intended to draw on the experience of the panelists and participants.


14:00 Welcome and Introduction
Steven Schonberger, Global Lead Water for Agriculture and Practice Manager, Water Global Practice, The World Bank

2:10 Lessons Learned from Recent Experience with Small-Scale and Large-Scale Irrigation and Drainage Investments
Panelists (10 minutes each)
Rita Cestti, Practice Manager, Water Global Practice, The World Bank
Abel Mejia, Senior Water Advisor, Development Bank of Latin America
Richard Colback, Senior Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation
Jeremy Bird, Director General, International Water Management Institute

2:50 General Discussion 
Steven Schonberger

3:20 What Have We Learned From Each Other to Inform Decision Making on the Scale to Pursue in Irrigation Investments and Possible Next Steps
Steven Schonberger
Rita Cestti