Irrigation in Peru

Irrigation in Peru

"Source": Portal Agrario (1994)

About 80% of all water withdrawal in Peru is used for irrigation, yet much of this water (65%) is lost due to reliance on inefficient irrigation systems.ref_harv|INRENA|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial Overall efficiency of water use in irrigation systems is estimated at about 35%, which is considered poor performance and is due mainly to leaky distribution systems and the wide use of unimproved gravity and flooding irrigation methods with an overall estimated efficiency of 50%.

Water is rarely metered and fees are mostly based on hectarage rather than on the volume of water used. Inadequate irrigation management together with inefficient irrigation systems lead to pervasive irrigation practices, with farmers applying water in excess of crop requirements and water availability. ref_harv|World Bank|Olson|Olson

The coastal region, due to climatic conditions, depends on the water supplied by rivers (surface water) of the Andean Chain channeled through irrigation systems. In 1997, surface water supplied 97% of the fields by gravity irrigation (822473 ha) and 3% by pressurized irrigation (19680 ha).ref_harv|Facultad|La Molina|La Molina In the Costa landholdings are relatively large and agriculture is mostly commercialized and devoted to exports.

In the Sierra and Selva, with 97% of Peru's water availability, surface water supplies agricultural fields by furrow irrigation. Irrigation systems consist of an open canal network, generally unlined, with rudimentary water intakes and distribution systems supplying small plots devoted mostly to subsistence agriculture. Less than 5% of irrigated land is equipped with improved on-farm irrigation systems.

Linkages with water resources

Peru has a high availability of water resources with about 106 river basins, and a per capita availability of 77,600 m3—the highest in Latin America. The Andes divide Peru into three natural drainage basins: (i) Pacific basin, with 53 rivers, (ii) Atlantic basin, with 32 rivers, and (iii) Titicaca basin, with 13 rivers. ref_harv|FAO|FAO|FAO

The dry Pacific basin, with 37 million cubic meters (m3) available per year, contains just 1.8% of Peru's water resources. Some 53 rivers, flowing west from the Andes to the coast, supply the bulk of the water used for irrigation. Of these rivers, only about 30% are perennial. Year-round irrigation water supply for about 40% of the irrigated area is unreliable, without some form of regulatory storage. The Atlantic basin holds 97% of all available water and receives almost 2 billion cubic meters annually. The Lake Titicaca area receives 10 million cubic meters annually. The majority of the rainfall occurs between November and May; the rest of the year irrigation depends on low-tech systems. ref_harv|FAO|FAO|FAO"Source": INEI (2007)

Environmental impacts of irrigation

Inefficient irrigation systems, poor irrigation management, deforestation, and pervasive practices using water in excess of crop requirements are taking an increased environmental toll. Ineffective irrigation has generated salinization and drainage problems in 300,000 hectares of the coastal valleys (of a total irrigated area 736,000 hectares), jeopardizing these lands' productivity and the quality of Lima's urban water supply. Drainage problems are also affecting 150,000 hectares in the Selva.ref_harv|IFPRI|Ringler|Ringler

Agricultural runoff, together with mining and industrial waste water, is also having an impact on water quality. Of the 53 rivers in the coastal area, 16 are partly polluted by lead, manganese and iron. Excessive deforestation in upper river basins due to nomadic agricultural practices is causing erosion problems in the Sierra, where 55-60% of the land is affected, and is increasing the amount of soil transported downstream.ref_harv|World Bank|Olson|Olson

Legal and institutional framework

Legal framework

Peru's Constitutional framework establishes sole ownership and managerial responsibility of water resources by the national government. The government allows water use under special conditions and appropriate payment of a water tariff, while maintaining ownership and ultimate control.ref_harv|INRENA|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial

The General Water Law 17752 (Ley General de Aguas, 1969) considers water as an agricultural commodity. The 1997 Natural Resources Law 26821 allows the transfer of water rights, including irrigation, from one party to another, which is incompatible with the General Water Law, and presents significant obstacles to the establishment and management of water property rights.ref_harv|World Bank|Olson|Olson

In 2003 the government approved a 10-year National Irrigation Strategy (Ministerial Resolution 0498-2003-AG) aims at improving irrigation and drainage system technologies by creating a framework for national, regional, and local cooperation in the planning and implementation of irrigation projects (see below). Also, the Technical Irrigation Program (Programa de Riego Tecnificado-PRT-Law 28585 and its Regulation DS 004-2006-AG), approved in 2006, aims to repair, develop, and improve irrigation systems throughout Peru. ref_harv|INRENA|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial

A draft National Water Resources Management Initiative, currently under revision by the Agrarian Committee, (see Water resources management in Peru) will recognize water's multisectoral nature and modify the previous institutional and legal framework, including irrigation, to carry out integrated water resources management. ref_harv|World Bank|Olson|Olson

Institutional framework

The institutional reforms of the past decade reduced the technical tasks under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture ( [ MINAG] ) and created numerous semi-autonomous executive units and special programs at the national, regional, and local levels. PSI ( [ Programa Subsectorial Irrigacion] ), under INRENA ( [ Instituto de Recursos Naturales] ), is the institution carrying out the PSI programs aimed at improving the WUBs' managerial and technical capacities. The National Watershed Management and Conservation Soils Project ( [ Programa Nacional de Manejo de Cuencas Hidrograficas y Conservacion del Suelo-PRONAMACHCS] ), under INRENA, promotes integrated water resources management and conservation in river basins, with emphasis on the highlands. The National Meteorological and Water Resources Service ( [ Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia e Hidrologia-SENAMHI] ) studies and disclosures information regarding climate events and their impacts on water resources.ref_harv|MINAG|Portal Agrario|Portal Agrario The Technical Administration of Irrigation Districts (Administration Tecnica de Riego-ATDR), under INRENA, aims to promote sustainable water use and resolve conflicts at the irrigation district level.

In 2008, Peru’s Government created a National Water Authority(ANA), under MINAG, replacing the Intendancy of Water Resources, previously under INRENA. ANA is responsible for designing and implementating sustainable water resources policies and irrigation nationally.ref_harv|news|Andina|Andina It should be noted that ANA does not presently have representation at the local level.

The National Government continues to transfer duties to the regional and local governments, especially after the Decentralization Law and the 2003 law establishing regional governments. One of the newest responsibilities of these bodies consists of the implementation of the Technical Irrigation Program. Finally, four River Basin Agencies (Jequetepeque, Chira-Piura-Chancay-Lambayeque, and Chillon-Rimac-Turin and Santa) complete the actors involved in WRM at the local level. ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie This proliferation of actors with distinct jurisdiction areas (regions, irrigation districts and river basins) add to the complexity of WRM at the local and national level.

Farmers/organizations and on-farm water management

There are 112 WUBs in Peru comprising about 1,500 Irrigation Commissions (Comisiones de Regantes–CIs).ref_harv|HUAMANCHUMO|HUAMANCHUMO|HUAMANCHUMO et al., 2008 Most of the irrigation infrastructure in coastal areas is managed by 64 WUBs, comprising about 300,000 water users.ref_harv|World Bank|Mejia|Mejia WUBs are less developed in the Andes and the Amazon, where water for irrigation is managed by more traditional organizations, Irrigation Committees (Comites de Regantes).ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie

WUBs are private, nonprofit, and collectively owned organizations responsible for the O&M of collective irrigation infrastructure and the administration of water tariffs in one particular irrigation district.ref_harv|FAO|FAO|FAO WUBs consist of representatives of Irrigation Commissions (Comisiones de Regantes) and non-agricultural water users groups which are responsible for water distribution in their irrigation subsectors and must participate financially in the planning and maintenance of the collective irrigation infrastructure. WUBs elect a Board of Directors to administer financial resources and implement WUB agreements and dispositions. WUBs face several challenges: (i) increased pressure of water resources due to competing demands, (ii) deteriorating irrigation infrastructure, (iii) lack of financial sustainability, (iv) lack of technical capacity to manage irrigation, and (v) ambiguous role of Juntas, Commission, and Committees among themselves and with the Government.ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie

National irrigation strategy

In 2003, the Peruvian Government approved a National Irrigation Strategy (Politicas y Estrategia Nacional de Riego en el Peru) Resolucion Ministerial N 0498-2003-AG. The strategy had been prepared by a multisectorial technical commission consisting of representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture; Housing, Construction and Sanitation; Economy and Finance; and the National Association of Users of Irrigation Districts.ref_harv|MINAG|Comision|Comision

The Strategy aims at increasing the profitability and competitiveness of irrigated agriculture through sustainable use of land and efficient water use.ref_harv|MINAG|Comision|Comision The strategy aims at increasing water use efficiency through the rehabilitation and modernization of irrigation infrastructure and the improvement of its O&M; promoting equitable and sustainable water use through the technical improvement of irrigation and drainage infrastructures; developing technically and financially self-sufficient WUBs responsible for the O&M of irrigation infrastructure; and enhancing farmer investment in irrigation infrastructure by regularizing water rights, taking into account water availability and water use efficiency. The ultimate goal is promoting an integrated water management system aimed at considering multisectoral use of water, river basin conservation, and disaster reduction.


Water tariff and cost recovery

WUBs are in charge of collecting water tariffs. Only 50% of WUBs are financially and technically independent. The remaining WUBs are in the process or in need of assistance to achieve financial and technical sustainability.ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie Tariffs fluctuate from US$20-30 per ha, and collection rates vary from 10% in the Amazon to 68% in the Costa region.ref_harv|World Bank|World Bank|World Bank

The majority (83%) of the tariff revenues fund WUB activities. The remaining returns are allocated to cover O&M costs (8%) and to support the regional water authority, ATDR (8%).ref_harv|FAO|FAO|FAO In 2006, the Peruvian Government approved DS 054-2006-AG,ref_harv|peruvian|El Peruano|El Peruano by which 2% of the water tariff component aimed at funding WUBs (86% of the total tariff), will now fund the recently created Fondo Nacional de Agua (FONAGUA).ref_harv|peruvian|Ley FNA|Ley FNA FONAGUA, a multisectoral body, aims to promote integrated water use management in Peru.ref_harv|peruvian|Jouravlev| Jourlavlev

Investment and financing

According to MINAG, the cost of minor and major irrigation infrastructure in Peru is 11% and 48% higher, respectively, than the world average. Decentralization, together with the development of water resources management and irrigation institutions, created a multitude of entities responsible for irrigation investments at the national, regional, and local levels. The National Government has been investing in major irrigation infrastructure, mostly located in the coastal region although it plans to extend its efforts to the highlands as well. According to 2000 data, the National Government invested US$3.468 million to develop irrigation schemes in ten coastal projects. ref_harv|MINAG|Comision|Comision

Minor irrigation infrastructure is financed by the National Government in collaboration with the beneficiaries through a cost-sharing system. Since the creation of the Technical Irrigation Program (under PSI), financially sustainable WUBs have improved 5,282 ha of irrigation infrastructure, benefiting 1,085 producers, by raising US$5.5 million of a US$13.6 million project.ref_harv|Portal Agrario|MINAG|MINAG NGOs, Municipal Savings and Loan Banks, and Savings and Loan Cooperatives operating in almost all departments of the country are also providing products specifically designed to serve agricultural producers in Peru, including loans for agricultural micro-enterprises and irrigation improvement.ref_harv|World Bank|Olson|Olson

External cooperation

In 1997, the World Bank contributed US$85 million, out of a total of US$172.4 million, to a Subsectoral Irrigation Project (Proyecto Subsectorial de Irrigacion). The aims of the PSI were (i) increasing water use efficiency through the rehabilitation and modernization of irrigation infrastructure, (ii) institutional strengthening of selected WUBs, and (iii) improving technical irrigation systems. In 2005, the World Bank increased its involvement with PSI II, by investing US$10.26 million of a US$22 million project, aimed at extending improved irrigation systems and WUBs capacity building to all the coastal region. Currently the World Bank is collaborating with Peru's Government to extend PSI's technical and financial support to the Sierra.ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie

In June 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved US$200 million for a water resources reform program (WRRP) that would include irrigation structures and institutional and legal reform. In August 2007, the IDB approved an additional US$5 million to support capacity building efforts contained in the WRRP. The IDB is also implementing a water resources management plan for Peru's Maschón and Chonta watersheds. The objective of this US$1.2 million grant is to define the appropriate measures for improving integrated water resources management. ref_harv|IDB|IDB|IDB

Possible climate change impacts on irrigated agriculture

The effects of climate change in Peru can be seen in more extreme weather conditions and El Niño Southern Oscillation causing droughts and floods,ref_harv|INRENA|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial and the retreat of Andean glaciers.ref_harv|World Bank|Vergara|Vergara The combined impacts of global warming and extreme weather are likely to severely impact hydrology, decreasing the water flow available for irrigation downstream in the coastal region and altering crop productivity. The Andean Community ( [ CAN] ) estimates that climate change will cause US$30,000 million in losses or 4,5% of the GDP annually starting in 2025.ref_harv|Noticias|La Republica|La Republica

El Niño hits Peru approximately every seven years, producing economic and environmental damages and loss of life. In 1997-1998 El Niño caused US$2 billion in damages. Climate change is increasing the severity of this and other storms, increasing the vulnerability of Peru's poor, and damaging low technology irrigation infrastructures and agricultural crops. In the mountains, deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture increase erosion and the risk of landslides. These effects are felt both at their source and further downstream and include damage to crops, water resources, and irrigation. ref_harv|World Bank|Vergara|Vergara

Peru contains roughly 71% of the world's tropical glaciers. Some of Peru's perennial rivers are fed by glaciers that are rapidly disappearing due to climate change. Since 1980 Peruvian glaciers have lost 22% of their surface area (500 km2), equivalent to 7,000 million cubic meters of water (about ten years of water supply for Lima). Glacier retreat in the Andes has important repercussions on Peru's water resources, including irrigation production and hydropower generation.ref_harv|World Bank|Lajaunie|Lajaunie This trend will continue, and it is believed that the increased runoff will cause Peru to suffer from severe water stress over the next 20 years. Peru's water supply is predicted to then decrease dramatically between 2030 and 2050.ref_harv| peru2|The Economist|The Economist (See [ Impacts of Glacier Retreat in the Andes:Documentary] )

Lessons learned from the Peruvian model

PSI (Proyecto Subsectorial de Irrigacion) is delivering positive results on the Peruvian coast, combining financial support and capacity building with regularization of water rights. The model's success in the coast has led to its current expansion in the Andean region.

Part of the success comes from the Government and WUBs sharing investment responsibilities for irrigation infrastructure improvements through a cost-sharing system. The cost sharing system encourages WUBs to increase tariffs and collection rates in order to raise a percentage of the total investment (15% for large investments and 35% for on-farm investments) which would then qualify for the Government to fund the rest of the project. Since its implementation, 63,730 producers belonging to 19 WUB have improved the irrigation infrastructure of 197,150 ha along the coast, contributing 14% of the total investment. WUBs have also technically improved 5,282 ha of irrigation infrastructure on the land benefiting 1,085 producers by raising US$5.5 million of the US$13.6 million.ref_harv|Portal Agrario|MINAG|MINAG

Infrastructure rehabilitation and modernization is complemented by improving the management of irrigation schemes to ensure effective and sustainable use of irrigation systems. The capacity-building aspect of the Peruvian model includes strengthening the operation and maintenance requirements of the systems, and improvement of financial performance through increased volumetric metering, water tariff structure, and collection rate. Improving financial performance of the WUBs is linked to increasing farm incomes and therefore farmers' capacity to contribute to O&M costs as well as irrigation improvement investments. ref_harv|Portal Agrario|MINAG|MINAG

In addition, MINAG began a Special Program for Land Titling (Proyecto Especial de Titulacion de Tierras y Catastro Rural-PETTCR) in 1992 to combat the uncertainty of property rights and the atomization of the agrarian structure. The implementation of PETTCR has increased the number of registered agricultural lands from 7% to 81% in 2005.ref_harv|Portal Agrario|MINAG|MINAG PETTCR includes a proactive regularization of water rights based on water availability. Water security provided by formalized water rights is likely to encourage farmers to invest in their farming systems: for example, in improved on-farm irrigation technologies or conversion to higher value crops.

ee also

*Water resources management in Peru
*Water supply and sanitation in Peru
*Electricity sector in Peru

Cited References

*note_label|news|Andina|Andinacite news
first=Agencia Peruana de Noticias
title=Melting glaciers threaten Peru
date=March 17 2008
pages=p. 1

*note_label|History|Bethel|Bethelcite journal
author=Bethel, L.
title=The Cambridge History of Latin America
journal=Cambridge University Press

*note_label|MINAG|Comision|Comisioncite web
author=Comision Tecnica Multisectorial
title=Política y Estrategia Nacional de Riego en el Perú
date =2003
pages=pp. 1-3
accessdate=February 15 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|INRENA|Comision Tecnica Multisectorial|Comision Tecnica Multisectorialcite web
author=Comisión Técnica Multisectorial
title=Estrategia Nacional para la Gestión de los Recursos Hídricos Continentales del Perú
pages=pp. 3, 6–9
accessdate=March 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|Paper|Enguren|Engurencite journal
author=Enguren, F.
title=La agricultura de la costa peruana
journal=Debate Agrario

*note_label|Facultad|La Molina|La Molinacite web
author=Facultad Agricola La Molina
title=Peru Riego
work=Facultad Agricola La Molina
pages=p. 3
accessdate=March 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|FAO|FAO|FAOcite web
author=Food and Agriculture Organization
title=WUA Legislation Country Profiles: Peru
pages=pp. 1-2
accessdate=January 1 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|FAO|FAO|FAOcite web
author=Food and Agriculture Organization
title=Country Profiles: Peru
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accessdate=February 1 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|IDB|IDB|IDBcite web
author=Inter-American Development Bank
title=Project Getaway
pages=p. 1
accessdate=March 15 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|Peruano|INEI|INEIcite web
author=Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática
title=Indicadores Sociales: Pobreza
work=Censos Nacionales 2007
pages=p. 1
accessdate=March 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|peruvian|Jouravlev|Jouravlevcite web
author=Jouravlev, Andrei
title=Carta Circular de la Red de Cooperación en la gestion integral de recursos hidricos para el desarrollo sustentable en America Latina y el Caribe
pages=p. 1
accessdate=March 17 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|Noticias|La Republica|La Republicacite news
title=La Agricultura en Riesgo por Cambio Climatico
date=May 13 2008
publisher=La Republica

*note_label|World Bank|Mejia|Mejiacite web
author=Mejia, Abel
title=Republic of Peru: Supplemental Loan for the Irrigation Subsector Project
work=World Bank
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accessdate=January 19 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|Portal Agrario|MINAG|MINAGcite web
title=Experiencias Exitosas de Programas y Proyectos de Desarrollo Rural en el Perú
work=Portal Agrario
pages=pp. 56, 62–64
accessdate=January 18 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|World Bank|Olson|Olsoncite web
author=Olson, Douglas
title=Peru - La oportunidad de un país diferente: prospero, equitativo y gobernable. Capitulo 18: Recursos hídricos
work=World Bank
pages=pp. 409-411
accessdate=March 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|peruvian|Ley FNA|Ley FNAcite web
author=Peruvian Government
title=Ley que crea el Fondo Nacional del Agua
work=El Peruano
pages=pp. 324,599
accessdate=March 17 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|MINAG|Portal Agrario|Portal Agrariocite web
author=Portal Agrario
work=Ministerio de Agricultura
accessdate=February 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|IFPRI|Ringler|Ringlercite journal
author=Ringler, Claudia; Rosegrant, Mark, W.; and Paisner, Michael S.
title=Irrigation and water resources in Latin America and the Caribbean: challenges and strategies
journal=EPTD Discussion Paper

*note_label|peru2|The Economist|The Economistcite news
title=When Ice Turns to Water
date=July 12 2007

*note_label|FAO|Velazco|Velazcocite web
author=Velazco, Jackeline
title=Agricultural Production in Peru (1950-1995): Sources of Growth
work=Food and Agricultural Organization
accessdate=February 10 |accessyear=2008

*note_label|World Bank|Vergara|Vergaracite journal
author=Vergara, W., Deeb, A.,Valencia, A (et. al)
title=Economic Impacts of Rapid Glacier Retreat in the Andes
journal=EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Association

*note_label|World Bank|World Bank|World Bankcite web
author=World Bank
title=Staff Appraisal Report Peru Irrigation Subsector Project
work=World Bank
pages=pp. 5
accessdate=March 10 |accessyear=2008

External links

* [ Portal Agrario]
* [ Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática del Peru]

WikiProject Irrigation by Country


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