Rehabilitation of iron water gates to improve distribution of irrigation water [Tajikistan]

technologies_1444 - 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:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
United Nations Development Program (United Nations Development Program) - Tajikistan
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CACILM Multicountry Capacity Building Project (CACILM Multicountry Capacity Building Project) - 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:

The recycling of broken iron water gates which can be used to regulate the water flow into smaller side canals were reconstructed along the main irrigation canal.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


This technology is based on the rehabilitation of iron water gates which regulate the water flow into smaller side canals along the main irrigation canal.

Purpose of the Technology: After the collapse of the Soviet Union irrigation facilities in the Shaartuz area were neglected and consequently broke down. In this arid environment, (only about 100 mm annual precipitation) many fields were subsequently abandoned due to a lack of irrigation water. Conflicts arose between people living upstream and downstream along the main irrigation canals as water flow could not be regulated anymore. During the wet spring period the side canals connecting the main canal with the fields had to be monitored day and night, and could only be plugged with vegetative material to protect the fields from flooding. Upstream users received all the water available, and at the same time suffered from waterlogging and water erosion. Downstream users however suffered from a lack of irrigation water, which led to severe conflicts between the different land users.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: In order to help solve these problems, during 2010 UNDP replaced the 32 damaged irrigation gates along the irrigation canal. 12 big and 20 small iron gates were set up to regulate the water flow. Water distribution was regulated according to norms defining water need per ha of irrigated field and taking into account crop and soil types. Farmers then paid for the irrigation water according to those norms. The financial contributions go the Water Agency and are used for canal maintenance. Ideally the channels require cleaning every year as they get filled up with sand and other dirt washed in by the water. Irrigation gates if used appropriately should not need repair for at least the first five years after installation. After that some minor repairs are required which can take up to 4-5 days for the concrete works to be finished and to dry.

Natural / human environment: As a result of the replacement of these water distribution facilities, the irrigation and ameliorative condition of 3,570 ha of land were improved, including around 1,000 ha of kitchen gardens. Around 32,000 people are now benefiting from this intervention. Livelihoods have greatly improved as farmers now feel encouraged to invest in agricultural activities. According to local farmers, now only 1 out of 4 people have to migrate to Russia whereas before the implementation of this sub-project most of them would have been forced to leave the country. As the neglect of irrigation systems from the Soviet times is a problem all over the irrigated lowlands of Tajikistan, this technology could prove highly useful for a more widespread application.

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:

Kabodion / Khudoikulov

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 10-100 km2

around 3'600 ha of land profit from the rehabilitation of water gates

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):


3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • access to water

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



  • Annual cropping
  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • legumes and pulses - beans
  • cereals - wheat (spring)
  • vegetables - root vegetables (carrots, onions, beet, other)
  • watermelon
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

Longest growing period in days: 240Longest growing period from month to month: March-October


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): degradation of vegetation cover, loss of topsoil through wind erosion, access to water is restricted.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): waterlogging, reduced rational use of water and land resources, flooding, water use conflicts, lack of irrigation water, water erosion

3.4 Water supply

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

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S3: Graded ditches, channels, waterways

Main measures: structural measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Pw: waterlogging
water degradation

water degradation

  • Hs: change in quantity of surface water

Main type of degradation addressed: Pw: waterlogging, Hs: change in quantity of surface water

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying

Main causes of degradation: over abstraction / excessive withdrawal of water (for irrigation, industry, etc.) (upstream users took all the irrigation water available), inputs and infrastructure: (roads, markets, distribution of water points, other, …) (due to the rundown irrigation facilities, waterflow could not be properly regulated anymore), governance / institutional (after the collapse of the Soviet Union, nobody ensured proper maintenance of the irrigation facilities)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

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

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

1. Hoist-Head Frame PS-50-100 01.000 – 1 unit
1. Embedded Frame PS-50-100 03.000 – 1 unit
2. Gate PS 50-100 02.000 – 1 unit
3. Backing block PS 50-100 00.001
4. Screw hoist 1 EV TP №820-165 Model B-73 – 1 unit
5. Screw M20x300.4.6.02 State Standard 7798-70 – 6 units
6. Screw nut M20.8.02 State Standard 5915-70 – 6 units

Technical characteristics:
1. Total mass - 90kg
2. Pressure – 1.25m
3. Full hydrostatic pressure – 0.8 ton
4. Rated force – 0.6 ton

Location: Shaartuz. Khatlon

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high (installation of the water gates)

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: control of concentrated runoff: drain / divert, water harvesting / increase water supply, water spreading

Height of bunds/banks/others (m): 2.25
Width of bunds/banks/others (m): 0.5

Construction material (concrete): concrete

Construction material (other): metal


UNDP Shaartuz, 2Ziyodaliev Street, Shaartuz

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Installation of irrigation gates along main irrigation channel

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 Installation of irrigation gates Persons/day 25.0 4.44 111.0
Construction material Watergate gates 1.0 300.0 300.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 411.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 411.0
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:


4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Cleaning of irrigation channels annual
2. Irrigation gates might need some minor repair after 5 years irregular

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

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Cleaning of irrigation channels Persons/day
Labour Repairing irrigation gate Persons/day 5.0 4.4 22.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 22.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 22.0

The costs are indicated for the installation of one big water gate.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The most determinate costs are those for the purchase of water gates. Cleaning of channels was not part of this project, and therefore only installation of water distribution facilities have been completed. Channels are usually cleaned by local users who are in many cases supported by international donors.

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
  • 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.

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.

Soil fertility is very low

Soil drainage / infiltration is poor

Soil water storage capacity is low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Availability of surface water: Excess in case of heavy rainfall events but at rest of the year the availabilty is poor/none.

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
Level of mechanization:
  • animal traction
  • mechanized/ motorized
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: 50-100 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 2% - 3%

Level of mechanization: Also manual labour.

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

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: Also 15-50 ha but less common

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

Land ownership:
  • state
Land use rights:
  • communal (organized)
  • water is paid
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)
  • water is paid

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

Comments/ specify:

indirect benefit

production area

Comments/ specify:

Previously the rehabilitation of water distribution facilities land was abandoned

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock

Comments/ specify:

water for household needs

irrigation water availability

Income and costs


Comments/ specify:

Previously the gates had to be monitored all the time

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


conflict mitigation

Comments/ specify:

reduced conflicts about water availability

Livelihood and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

Farmers feel more confident about investing in other agricultural activities as they can rely on having access to irrigation water which prevents them from needing to migrate for work.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity


harvesting/ collection of water


surface runoff


excess water drainage

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability


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 not 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 not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

Flood diversion channels were built and so in case of floods there is an emergency system in place.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

very positive

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


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • > 50%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

100% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on spontaneous adoption: UNDP paid for installation of water gates

There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: however the only issue with installation of water gates is that they require a sufficient amount of funding (mostly external).

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Reduced conflicts about water distribution as previously upstream users received all the available water and downstream users received nothing
Reduced workload as previously gates had to be constantly monitored
Improved livelihoods due to regular water access
Increased confidence of farmers to invest in other agricultural activities due to more guaranteed water availability
Less migration to Russia as income opportunities through agriculture have improved
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Improved regulation of water flow as previously some areas suffered from flooding and waterlogging whereas others did not receive enough water.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Ensure proper maintenance of the facilities

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

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
High costs involved with the installation of such an irrigation system along a whole canal If every collective farm along the river pays for the gates within their territory, the costs could be divided between them.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

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