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FG LandschaftsökonomieThe forgotten factor: Drainage. Its role for sustainable agriculture

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Titel | Titel


Förderung | Funding

Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)


Laufzeit | Duration



Projektleitung| Project Leader

Waltina Scheumann 


Projektteam | Project Team

Waltina Scheumann

Claudia Freisem


Kooperationspartner | Cooperation Partner

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)


Schlüsselwörter | Keywords

irrigation, dainage, sustainable agriculture


Zusammenfassung | Summary

From December 3 to 7, 2001, Germany will host the International Conference on Freshwater in Bonn. The present study on The Forgotten Factor: Drainage - its Role for Sustainable Agriculture

is intended as a pertinent and scientific input for the Conference. It addresses both the participants of the conference and the wider audience interested in learning more about water and the worldwide discussion process on this important issue on the natural resources management agenda.

The focus of this paper is on drainage, an often neglected factor of irrigation systems, though it is one of the most important conditions needed to increase their sustainability. Drainage infrastructure and

drainage management serve many purposes beside their main aim of drainage, avoiding waterlogging and salinity, and in this way safeguarding the value of agricultural land.

While in some developing countr ies the irrigation sector is undergoing institutional changes aimed at improving performance and achieving financial sustainability, drainage infrastructure and its management are rarely part of this picture. While the state has refrained from operating

irrigation systems, instead transferring them to water users organizations , similar options for designing stable and viable drainage institutions have proved difficult to implement and hold less promise of success. The particular features of drainage systems make them a difficult task for transfer and farmer participation. Investment in drainage systems and their management remains a challenging task for government agencies and development assistance.

The study has high relevance for the International Conference on Freshwater. It no only provides a revealing analysis of the obstacles in the way of any effective drainage management, it also points to many examples of good practices.


Web Links | Web Links



Veröffentlichungen | Publications

Scheumann, W.& Freisem, C. (2001). The Forgotten Factor: Drainage. Its Role for Sustainable Agriculture. Gutachten im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), German Development Institute (GDI), Bonn.


Scheumann, W.& Freisem, C. (2002): The Role of Drainage for Sustainable Agriculture. Journal of Applied Irrigation Science 37(1): 33-61



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