To find the best way to limit the free flow of groundwater, a new three-year project brings together the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Myanmar Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department; Aqua Rock Konsultants; CSIRO Land and Water; and the Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development, to understand groundwater usage in this part of the Central Dry Zone. This project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The area is known for its sparse rainfall and long dry season. To access water for irrigation and other uses, farmers here drill shallow wells and tap into shared groundwater reservoirs. A particular characteristic of these reservoirs, so-called artesian aquifers, is that the pressure within them causes the water to flow to the surface naturally, meaning that farmers and other water users do not need to spend money on equipment and fuel to pump the water up to the surface.