Groundwater can provide irrigation for rural communities where surface water is absent or unreliable. Technical, institutional and capacity limits have prevented rural communities from using groundwater for irrigation, and researchers have not demonstrated how to extract and use groundwater effectively for agriculture. A recent Australian-funded research project addresses each of these obstacles. This policy brief draws from the project’s findings and lessons to present policy options for irrigation using groundwater. It also suggests how to strengthen capacity and promote cross-sector coordination, and identifies priority areas for further research for redevelopment. The policy brief summarizes findings, outcomes and recommendations from a research project on groundwater irrigation implemented by the International Water Management Institute through the collaboration of Lao institutions and intermational partners, and is provided at the request of Lao PDR’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) was one of the international partners in this project.
Project website: http://gw-laos.iwmi.org/