Maintaining the value of irrigation and drainage projects


The report, resulting from a desk study, examines how maintenance affects project economic outcome. It is intended as a demonstration of the returns to maintenance of irrigation systems, and the economic consequences of neglect.

Various institutional, economic, social and technical failings, which limit the effectiveness of maintenance in many parts of the developing world, are identified. A review is then made of issues affecting scheme performance, including policies for financing maintenance and analysis of project economic sustainability.

An outline analysis, linking maintenance expenditure with project returns then follows. The examples chosen are considered reasonably representative of conditions in South and South East Asia.

The study concludes that satisfactory maintenance produces high returns. The study recommends that more field data are needed to better define relationships between maintenance, system condition and performance so as to guide policies on maintenance.


HR Wallingford, UK. 58 pp.

Maintaining the value of irrigation and drainage projects

Published 1 January 1998