Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Water Resources Development Project has been given the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) approval, and $3.60 million in concessional ordinary capital resources financing has been provided.

According to the project documentation, the Pakistani government asked the ADB for Project Readiness Financing (PRF) to get the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Water Resources Development Project ready.

The project supports Pakistan’s government’s Vision 2025 and the ADB’s country partnership strategy for Pakistan, 2021–2025, which places an emphasis on addressing food security challenges, building climate resilience, and investing in value-chain rural infrastructure developments. Improvements to irrigation systems, water storage and regulatory capacity, institutional transformation, and sustainable maintenance and operational management of water are all important aspects of this strategy.

The PRF is in line with the operational goals of the ADB’s Strategy 2030, which are to I eliminate persistent poverty and reduce inequality, (ii) accelerate the advancement of gender equality, (iii) enhance climate resilience, and (iv) support rural development and food security. The Indicative Country Pipeline and Monitoring Report for Pakistan, 2022–2024, published by the ADB, includes the PRF. Improving water resource management, especially irrigation water consumption efficiency, is one of the main strategic sector goals of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s medium-term development strategy for 2019–2023.

The PRF will enhance the overall implementation management ability of the PRF and increase the project start-up and early implementation capacity of the executing and implementing agencies, notably in the implementation of resettlement plans and procurement transactions.

In order to plan investments, the PRF will contact agricultural communities, especially women farmers, and other stakeholders. The ability to sustainably design the operation and maintenance of the planned investments will be strengthened by the digitization of information on the asset condition of irrigation and drainage systems, farmland level demarcation, water resources and demand measurements, and system performance.

The output and productivity of agriculture per unit of water is below the regional and worldwide averages. This is due to soil degradation, poor management of agricultural productivity and water resources, and a rising shortage of dependable, high-quality water supplies.

Water resources in Pakistan are scarce. Without considerable reform and demand control, by 2047, water demand might rise by 50%, far outpacing supply. The main forces boosting demand will be population and economic expansion. Irrigation will see the biggest increases, but home and industrial consumption will see the quickest rates of growth. It is quite unpredictable how Pakistan’s rainfall and runoff patterns, and consequently its water supplies, will change. It’s conceivable that drought conditions will occur more frequently.

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