Improving water management in Myanmar’s dry zone for food security, livelihoods and health

Improving water management in Myanmar’s dry zone for food security, livelihoods and health

This reports suggests key findings under topic areas, including:

  • Managing water variability is key to improving livelihoods in the dry zone
  • Reduced rainfall is making rainfed farming more difficult but remains the dominant livelihood
  • Access to water is more limiting than availability
  • Formal irrigation is under performing
  • Priority investments

In 2012-2013, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), in collaboration with National Engineering and Planning Services (NEPS) and Myanmar Marketing Research and Development (MMRD) Research Services, undertook a rapid assessment on behalf of the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust (LIFT) to: (i) assess the water resources of Myanmar’s Dry Zone; (ii) evaluate key issues associated with water availability, access and management; and (iii) identify priority areas for investment in water management that would improve livelihoods and food security of the local communities.

The study encompassed: (i) a review of existing information and published literature on water resources in the Dry Zone of Myanmar; (ii) meetings and interviews held with government agencies and development partners, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), with water-related programs in villages in the Dry Zone; and (iii) a village-based survey. Particular attention was given to evolving patterns of groundwater use for irrigation, in light of its increasing importance and concerns about sustainable use of the resource.

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