Water wheel pump system [Tajikistan]

technologies_1051 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 78%

1. General information

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

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CARITAS (Switzerland) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
NCCR North-South (NCCR North-South) - Kyrgyzstan

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 Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

A water wheel that powers a pump that provides water to an orchard further upslope.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


After the end of the Soviet era the mass irrigation system fell into disrepair, and many of the orchard areas subsequently suffered from dehydration and production levels declined. The case study plot is situated on a steep slope of 50° with stone/sand soils with high filtration rates.

As the irrigation systems no longer worked, the orchard in the Penjikent area lost much productivity and became very dry. As the quality of the soil is very poor the trees need much irrigation. The farmer often resorted to using a bucket to irrigate the orchards.

The land user developed a water powered pump using the flow from the existing river to pump water along a plastic pipe to the orchards. The pump can irrigate the orchard 200m above the river level. To help improve the process and regulate irrigation amount a large tank was installed in the orchard.

Purpose of the Technology: The purpose of the pump is to provide water 220m upslope to irrigate the orchards at minimal running costs, and not to be reliant on the often intermittent electricity supply.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The setting up the water wheel, pump, gear system, valves and piping system requires a certain level of technical knowledge. However, it is apparent that if you have a fast flowing river, water can be diverted to power a water wheel and a pump. Technical knowledge of the gearing will be required set up the ratios depending on the speed required for the water wheel.

Natural / human environment: In this area the very sandy soil, suffers from high infiltration rates and low water retention capacity. It is, therefore, unfavourable for growing any sort of water dependent crops. The water pump, albeit expensive in its initial financial expenditure does allow for irrigation of land, that would otherwise become increasingly denuded and degraded. The demise of the Soviet irrigation system means that the land users have had to invent and discover new innovative ways to irrigate the land.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:

Penjakent, Toshminor

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

This technology was developed by an individual in the region.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improved access to irrigation

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Grazing land

Grazing land

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

  • Tree plantation, afforestation
Tree plantation, afforestation: Specify origin and composition of species:
  • Monoculture local variety
Products and services:
  • Fuelwood
  • Fruits and nuts
  • Nature conservation/ protection

Livestock density (if relevant):

50-100 LU /km2

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The land is very highly degraded, there is also limited vegetation due to the poor water supply

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): The land was very highly degraded and the soil condition was very poor.

Plantation forestry: mainly orchards

Forest products and services: fuelwood, fruits and nuts, nature conservation / protection

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Cropland: Ct: Tree and shrub cropping

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Grazing land

Grazing land

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • full irrigation

Number of growing seasons per year:



Longest growing period in days: 220Longest growing period from month to month: March - October

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)
  • energy efficiency technologies

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
structural measures

structural measures

  • S11: Others
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type

Main measures: structural measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion, Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content

Main causes of degradation: Irrigation system (Water was not available for reafforestation.)

Secondary causes of degradation: change in temperature, change of seasonal rainfall, droughts (lack of rainfall is the main contributor to the degradation of the land.), war and conflicts

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation, mitigation / reduction of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Technical knowledge required for land users: high (The design of the pump needs technical input.)

Main technical functions: water harvesting / increase water supply, water spreading

Secondary technical functions: improvement of ground cover, improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing), increase in organic matter, increase of infiltration

Material/ species: grass from the plot
Quantity/ density: 3 sm

Structural measure: water pump

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Construction of water pump any

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Construction of water pump Persons/day 20.0 5.55 111.0 100.0
Construction material Machine parts for 1 pump 1.0 50.0 50.0 100.0
Construction material Welding rod for 1 pump 1.0 5.0 5.0 100.0
Construction material Drilling pump for 1 pump 1.0 1200.0 1200.0 100.0
Construction material Gear system for 1 pump 1.0 200.0 200.0 100.0
Construction material Valve gates for 1 pump 1.0 25.0 25.0 100.0
Construction material Stone for 1 pump 1.0 220.0 220.0 100.0
Construction material Pipes for 1 pump 1.0 1035.0 1035.0 100.0
Construction material Tank for 1 pump 1.0 500.0 500.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 3346.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 3346.0

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)


Costs are based upon 2010 prices.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The initial set up costs are quite high, but the actual operating costs are minimal.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Landforms: Also valles floors

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Topsoil organic matter: Soil is very degraded

Soil fertility is very low

Soil drainage / infiltration is good

Soil water storage capacity is very low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Ground water table: The higher up the slope the deeper the water table.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly Leaders / privileged

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 1% - 2%

10% of the land users are rich.
40% of the land users are average wealthy.
30% of the land users are poor.
20% of the land users are poor.

Off-farm income specification: Many people are interested in adopting of the technology.

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • state
Land use rights:
  • leased
  • Throgh association
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
  • Throgh association

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production


wood production


risk of production failure


production area


land management

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock


irrigation water availability

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs




Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge


Livelihood and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

Timber and fruit production has increased on the irrigated land.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity


water quality


harvesting/ collection of water


soil moisture


soil cover


soil crusting/ sealing


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability


buffering/ filtering capacity


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local windstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood well

In the winter months, the pipe may become frozen and split. The pipe could be insulated to help prevent this happening.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • single cases/ experimental
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

1 household

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

100% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: Many farmers and projects are interested in implementing the technolgy in the future.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Has improved their livelihood considerably, feel more secure.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
An increase in the production of wood, fruit and timber.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? More training on tree cultivation techniques.
Decrease in the workload, previously the trees were irrigated using a bucket
The quality of the soil has increased with a reduction in crusting of the surface due to drying out.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Took some time to pay for all materials
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
High initial cost. Loans could be made available.
High level of technical knowledge required to construct and maintain. Training could be provided to interested personnel.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

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