Asia accounts for more than two thirds of irrigated area in the world, much of it still gravity-fed; about 85 percent of all water withdrawn in the region is used for irrigated agriculture. Given growing pressures from industries and cities, and incipient demands for enhanced environmental flows, there is increasing pressure to modernize Asia’s irrigation systems to increase efficiency and to move water toward additional irrigation, but also increasingly urban-industrial uses. However, irrigation managers in charge of modernizing systems are seldom aware of the full range of energy linkages of existing and planned irrigation systems, and heavily energy-dependent modernization projects might fail to meet expectations if the many demands on energy sources, such as for pumping water and applying it to the field, for agricultural chemicals and machinery services, and for ensuring that outputs can be profitably brought to market cannot be fulfilled.
- Hua Xie, Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
- Van Manh Nguyen, Institute for Water Resources Planning (IWRP), Hanoi, Vietnam
- Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
- Yasmin Siddiqi, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, The Philippines