Water User Association [Tajikistan]

Ассотсиатсияи Истифодабарандагони Об

approaches_2458 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 86%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
land user:

Kassirov Gayur



Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CARITAS (Switzerland) - Switzerland

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Management and control of the water distribution, maintenance of the infrastructure and water conflict resolution by the locally organized association

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: Under the National land reform of the Republic of Tajikistan, land resources, which used to belong to kolkhozes and sovkhozes, were distributed to individual households. Such division had two consequences, on the one hand, villagers were given opportunity to develop the land privately as an income-generating source, and on the other hand, it intensified the conflicts over water. The government was not capable to solve the disputes over water and manage the water resources sustainably because of lack of finances and lack of staff. A water users association was created with the aim to replace the former Soviet water management system and to ensure systematic and timely distribution of irrigation water and maintenance, as well as to improve the infrastructure.

Methods: This approach involves thee different actors: association members (water users), the association and the government. The association members have to stick to certain conditions in order to join, namely, they have to pay annual membership fees and water taxes fixed by the government. Government, on its turn, ensures uninterrupted supply of the agreed amount of water and the association is responsible for the control and equal water distribution and all related technical works.

Stages of implementation: Steps involved in creation of the water users association.
1) Local leaders met with representatives of Vodhoz (local state agency, regulating water resources) to discuss creation of an independent association with a full mandate over irrigation water management; 2) Leaders organized a general meeting with people of 5 villages in Muminabad district to inform them about the role and importance of establishing a locally based association and discuss conditions for its membership; 3) Charter of the association was developed, 5 leaders representing villages were elected and the amount of a membership fee was agreed upon; 4) The association was registered as a legal entity; 5) Needed amount of water per growing season was calculated and agreed upon; 5) The Leaders (of association?) and Vodvoz concluded an agreement, according to which, Vodhoz is obliged to provide the required amount of water and the association leaders agree to collect the determined fees for water from the water users and to deliver it on time to Vodvoz.

Role of stakeholders: The role of the three main stakeholders (Vodhoz, association and water users) is to follow the rules of the association. There is a strong element of trust among the association and its members.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:



270 ha

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


2.7 Type of Approach

  • recent local initiative/ innovative

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (regulation of water distribution, water conservation, conflict resolution)

To establish a responsible body, recognized by the government and accepted by the local people, to manage water related issues and to maintain as well as to improve conditions of the infrastructure in the local level.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: The approach is addressing the problem connected with the use of the water resource. Incapability of the government to manage waters on the village level resulted in conflicts over water use, misusage of water and abundance of the infrastructure. This condition had a direct effect to productivity and to food security as a consequence.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

No funds available to maintain the infrastructure

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Annual membership fees

institutional setting
  • hindering

No strong and effective mechanism to regulate irrigation water resources at the local level.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Establishment of the water users association at the local level and respresented by local people.

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • hindering

Unclear situation with regard to water use rights and obligations.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: The condition that association was represented by the local leaders enlarged the trust among the population. During the general meetings local leaders of the association explained for what villages are paying and where money would be invested.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Association leaders

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers
  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

Water Agency/VODHOZ

If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

Association leaders

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation interactive It was members of the local community, who thought of the idea and they approached the local water agency.
planning interactive Local leaders organized the meeting where all interested villagers participated.
implementation external support Implementation was entirely through the local community.
monitoring/ evaluation none
Research none

3.3 Flow chart (if available)


Organizational chart showing the establishment set up of the Water User Association


Sady Odinashoev

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • land users alone (self-initiative)

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by by land users* alone (self-initiative / bottom-up)

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • field staff/ advisers
Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • public meetings
  • courses

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, greatly
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • financial
  • capacity building/ training
  • equipment

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



technical aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through observations; indicators: None

economic / production aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through observations; indicators: None

area treated aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through observations; indicators: None

area treated aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through measurements; indicators: None

management of Approach aspects were regular monitored by project staff, government, land users through observations; indicators: None

management of Approach aspects were None monitored by project staff, government, land users through measurements; indicators: None

There were several changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: None

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 10,000-100,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international: 80.0%; local government (district, county, municipality, village etc): 10.0%; local community / land user(s): 10.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
tools fully financed
  • construction
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
stone fully financed
wood fully financed
  • infrastructure
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
roads fully financed
schools fully financed
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • paid in cash

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Increase of yield. Farmers receive more yield from the small plots.

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly
Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly
Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Since the certain mechanism of water management was developed, water disputes significantly reduced and productivity increased

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

to improve crop production

  • increased profit(ability), improved cost-benefit-ratio

to improve yield

  • reduced workload
  • environmental consciousness
  • well-being and livelihoods improvement

improvement of villagers' well-being, whose main income comes from the agriculture

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Water management through such associations is of states' interest as well, and therefore state supports minilar initiatives.
Conflict resolution: Association leaders act as a conflict resolving body and due to their respectful position in the community, they are able to avoid serious conflicts.
Transparency: Association is initiated and regulated by the local leaders, therefore there is much more trust on them among water users.

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
sometimes it is difficult to collect money from water users.
membership fee is too low and not enough to make significant investment to maintanence of the infrstructure.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

Links and modules

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