Inception Workshop for SDC funded project titled “Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) in South Asia”


January 21, 2020 - January 22, 2020    
All Day


IWMI - Global HQ
International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 127 Sunil Mawatha, Battaramulla, Colombo, 10120, Western

South Asia is the world’s largest user of groundwater for agriculture, withdrawing approximately 250 km³ of groundwater annually for irrigation. It is estimated that there are roughly 22 million irrigation pumps in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Groundwater pumping, fuelled by either electricity or diesel, has substantial carbon footprint. With growing concerns about climate change and carbon emissions from agriculture, the South Asian countries have pledged nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitments for reducing emissions from agriculture through promotion of solar irrigation, among other initiatives.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), through funding from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), has embarked on a four-year project called SoLAR. The goal of the project is to contribute to climate-resilient, gender-equitable, and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan by supporting government efforts to promote solar irrigation. So far, more than 200,000 solar irrigation pumps (SIPs) have been installed in the region, but often without explicit consideration for groundwater sustainability and gender and equity concerns. SoLAR project will work closely with all relevant stakeholders to support development of gender and socially inclusive, and groundwater responsive solar irrigation policies.

The purpose of the Inception Workshop is to formally launch the project in presence of all its partners and finalize a collaborative work plan for 2020. More than 50 participants, including all relevant government agencies from the four South Asian countries, as well as participants from the International Solar Alliance will join IWMI researchers and SDC representatives for a two-day deliberation at the IWMI Headquarters in Colombo on 21st and 22nd of January to discuss and approve the workplan for the year 2020. The government partners for this project are:

  • Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Bangladesh;
  • Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), India;
  • Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Nepal;
  • Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Nepal;
  • Federal Water Management Cell (FWMC), Pakistan;

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Pakistan.