Technologies

Cascading Rock Irrigation Channel [Tajikistan]

Boloi Dasht (Tajik)

technologies_1454 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 80%

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:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
CAMP - Central Asian Mountain Partnership (CAMP - Central Asian Mountain Partnership) - 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:

Yes

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

A cascading rock irrigation channel lined with fast growing poplar trees, constructed on rocky slopes to channel water runoff from the high mountains for human use at the valley floor.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

A one metre wide, 300m long, irrigation channel constructed of stones, that is built into the steep slope of a mountain gorge. The channel is 0.5m deep and is lined with poplar trees that help stabilise the structure. The water runs down the channel from the top mountains, with water splashing onto the poplar trees. At the foot of the channel the water is used to irrigated cultivated land and provide drinking water.

Purpose of the Technology: The main purpose of the cascading rock irrigation structure is to capture surface water run-off from the top of the mountain and channel it to where it can be utilised for human use such as drinking water, sanitation, and irrigation. The uneven surface of the rock channel slows the pace of the water thus preventing scouring at the foot of the channel. The channel also provides a suitable environment for the cultivation of poplar trees which in turn can help reduce water and wind erosion on the slopes, thus preventing rock and debris movement down onto the cultivated lands on the valley floor.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The channel is dug perpendicular to the steep slope and lined with stones gathered from the mountainous slopes. This activity is labour intensive, but can be more efficient with the use of donkeys. The stones are placed upon/on top of each other in the base of the channel, and used to line the sides of the channel to retain the water. The soil along the edge of the channel is cleared of debris and stone until it is suitable for the planting of poplar cuttings. The cutting are supplemented with organic fertiliser. The channel is financed by the land owner, with voluntary support from the community.

Natural / human environment: The cascading rock irrigation channel is located in a remote steep mountainous gorge where there is a shortage of land for cultivation. Water is in short supply, especially during the hot summer months. Subsequently the inhabitants have a high dependency on irrigated water from the top of the mountain range. The majority of the residents have a semi-subsistence living and are highly reliant upon the cultivated land where they grow a range of crops (e.g. wheat, potatoes. etc), fruits (e.g. apricots) and poplar trees for selling and construction purposes.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

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

Country:

Tajikistan

Region/ State/ Province:

Sogd region

Further specification of location:

Ayni

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)
Comments:

Long and narrow geographical areas were chosen for implementation of the technology. The technology was replicated ten times in this community area.

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
Comments (type of project, etc.):

The technology was constructed in 1992 and 1997 based upon ideas generated from the local inhabitants.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • improved access to water

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

Cropland

Cropland

  • Annual cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - wheat (winter)
  • root/tuber crops - potatoes
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • stone fruits (peach, apricot, cherry, plum, etc)
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

  • (Semi-)natural forests/ woodlands
  • Tree plantation, afforestation
Tree plantation, afforestation: Specify origin and composition of species:
  • Monoculture local variety
Products and services:
  • Protection against natural hazards
  • construction
Other

Other

Specify:

Wasteland: The mountain slopes are mainly devoid of vegetation.

Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Water and wind erosion, rockfalls and debris movement.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Debris movement due to excessive rains damaging crops and infrastructure.

Selective felling of (semi-) natural forests: Infrequent felling of poplars.

Forest products and services: timber, protection against natural hazards

Other forest products and services: construction

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Forests / woodlands: Fp: Plantations, afforestations

Constraints of wastelands / deserts / glaciers / swamps

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

Cropland

Cropland

  • Annual cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - wheat (spring)
  • root/tuber crops - potatoes
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • stone fruits (peach, apricot, cherry, plum, etc)
Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

  • Tree plantation, afforestation

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed
Comments:

Number of growing seasons per year:

1

Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 180Longest growing period from month to month: March-October

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)
  • water diversion and drainage

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
structural measures

structural measures

  • S3: Graded ditches, channels, waterways
Comments:

Main measures: vegetative measures, structural measures

Type of vegetative measures: aligned: -linear

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
  • Wm: mass movements/ landslides
soil erosion by wind

soil erosion by wind

  • Ed: deflation and deposition
Comments:

Main type of degradation addressed: Wm: mass movements / landslides

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying, Ed: deflation and deposition

Main causes of degradation: deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires) (Removal of forest vegetation many years before.), Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts) (Extreme events lead to debris movement covering fertile lands.)

Secondary causes of degradation: war and conflicts (Lack of natural resources during civil war led to the cutting of many of the trees preventing slope movement.)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The drawing shows in plan and profile the cascading rock channel. The slope of the mountain is 30 degrees, a one metre wide channel, 0.5 m deep, is dug into the slope. The channel is lined with stones. The soil either side of the channel is cleared of rocks, and poplar branches are planted at 1m intervals lining the channel.

Location: Veshab Boloi Dasht. Ayni Sughd Region Tajikistan

Date: 2011-05-04

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate (An understanding of how to build the basic structure without it collapsing and able to meet the discharge capacity of the water.)

Main technical functions: control of concentrated runoff: drain / divert, water harvesting / increase water supply, Prevent off site damage to cultivated land at the foot of the slope.

Secondary technical functions: Stabilisation of soil along the channel.

Aligned: -linear
Vegetative material: T : trees / shrubs
Number of plants per (ha): 600
Vertical interval within rows / strips / blocks (m): 1
Width within rows / strips / blocks (m): 1

Trees/ shrubs species: Poplars (safedor) are planted in vertical rows, 1m apart, on both sides of the 1m wide channel.

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 30.00%

Waterway
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.5
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 1
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 300

Construction material (stone): local stones and rocks

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 30%

Vegetation is used for stabilisation of structures.

Author:

Davlatov Davlatbek, Dushanbe City,Rudaki str.131,fl.19

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology unit
other/ national currency (specify):

Somoni

If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:

4.5

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

5.50

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Planting Poplars Spring, March
2. Composting spring
3. Construction of rock irrigation channel spring

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 Planting Poplars Persons/day 10.0 25.0 250.0 100.0
Labour Construction of rock irrigation channel Persons/day 60.0 25.0 1500.0 100.0
Equipment Tools Pieces 3.0 20.0 60.0 100.0
Equipment Donkey Donkey/day 20.0 22.5 450.0 100.0
Plant material Seedlings Unit 1.0 266.0 266.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Composte per tree 250.0 1.0 250.0 100.0
Construction material Stone tons 50.0 20.0 1000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 3776.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 839.11
Comments:

Duration of establishment phase: 1 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. tree tending every year
2. Maintenance of channel Spring

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 Tree tending Persons/day 7.0 25.0 175.0 100.0
Labour Maintenance of channel Persons/day 10.0 25.0 250.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 425.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 94.44
Comments:

The indicative cost of the technology was calculated based on 2010 prices.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

There was no real cost in construction of the rock irrigation channel. All labour, animal traction and materials were sourced locally for no cost, poplar seedlings are cuttings from local poplars, and organic compost for the trees was collected from local livestock.

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
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

Heavy Spring and Autumn Rain

Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: temperate. 4 months of snowing during the winter period.

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%)
Landforms:
  • 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:

Altitudinal zone: This area is located at 1500m

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 texture is rocky, shale.

Soil fertility is very low and nothing is growing on the adjacent slopes.

Soil drainage / infiltration is poor

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

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low
Comments and further specifications on biodiversity:

No natural propogation/reproduction on the slope and slow growth rate without irrigation.

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • > 50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
Gender:
  • women
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

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

Population density: < 10 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 1% - 2%

100% of the land users are average wealthy and own 100% of the land.

Off-farm income specification: Some of the incomes come from driving, teaching etc

Market orientation of production system: Poplars are used for personal construction projects but can be sold for $300 per tree.

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)?
  • small-scale

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

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

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • 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

Production

wood production

decreased
increased

production area

decreased
increased
Water availability and quality

drinking water availability

decreased
increased

water availability for livestock

decreased
increased
Income and costs

farm income

decreased
increased

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

reduced
improved

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved

Livelihood and human well-being

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

This includes wood for construction, improved water supply for irrigation and improved water quality for drinking and sanitation.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity

decreased
increased

water quality

decreased
increased

harvesting/ collection of water

reduced
improved

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Soil

soil loss

increased
decreased
Climate and disaster risk reduction

landslides/ debris flows

increased
decreased

wind velocity

increased
decreased

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability

decreased
increased

wind transported sediments

increased
reduced

damage on neighbours' fields

increased
reduced

damage on public/ private infrastructure

increased
reduced

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 not 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?
mass soil movement not well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

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

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

Comments:

Low initial expense due to inputs easily available.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

400 households

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

5% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

400 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

Comments on spontaneous adoption: Minimal replication in small areas of land, but no replication in recent years. (It appears in this area the implementation of the technology may have been optimised).

There is no trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Improved livelihoods and the variety and yield of crops.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? If the water was not available through the channel then the land would have to be abandoned.
The poplar trees provide a good source of secondary income.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
It reduces soil and wind erosion from the mountain slopes.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Further planting of trees.
It reduces rockfalls and debris movement, thus protecting the land down slope that is used for cultivation.
It provides water for irrigation and hence leads to an increase in crops yields and crop diversification down slope of the channel. These crops include wheat, potatoes, onions and some fruit trees mainly apricot.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Pipes form the channel to other areas.
Increased access to clean running water has improved sanitation and hygiene conditions for the inhabitants.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Further training on hygiene and sanitation.
The use of uneven rocks slows down the speed of the water in the channel and prevents water erosion at the base of the slope.

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?
The channel can become severely damaged after a harsh winter. The rock lining could be cemented in but that would increase the cost, and the trees would not be able to use the water that soaks through the channel.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The technology is a major construction activity that needs to be strategically positioned. The location should be carefully considered with help of specialists.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

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