Rehabilitating infrastructure for water efficiency
As was described above, high water usage in Central Asia is often a consequence of deteriorated infrastructure and inefficient irrigation techniques. Therefore, many donors have invested in the rehabilitation of irrigation systems and the modernization of irrigation technologies. Agriculture is an important means of income and its upgrading can not only make a contribution toward more efficient water use but also toward improving rural livelihoods. Donors have also financed projects to modernize hydropower plants in order to increase their efficiency and output, as well as to build new ones. Nevertheless, all donors agree that technical improvement and more efficiency alone cannot solve the water problems in Central Asia. It can only be one component in an overall approach that needs comprehensive management and governance reforms at local, national and regional levels. Therefore, many donors combine technical assistance with support to institution-building. The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, USAID, and many other donors and NGOs, for example, have been very active in establishing and supporting Water User Associations that are in charge of renovated channels at the local level.