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Solar powered water lifting - For Irrigation in the Nile Delta

Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI)










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    ضخ المياه بالطاقة الشمسية 2018
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    In the Nile Delta, Egypt, irrigation canals are frequently located below ground level, necessitating the use of pumps to lift water to the fields. This pumping is dependent on the use of fossil fuels, directly with diesel and indirectly with electricity. Recently, the agricultural sector is facing an energy crisis, as increasing electricity demand from urban areas results in frequent shortages and blackouts. This results in disrupting the regular irrigation scheduling to satisfy the crop-water requirements with the consequence of crop yields decline. In addition, the cost of pumping is expected to increse. Therefore, a low-cost alternative source of energy is required to ensure farmers have a reliable system to pump and irrigate.
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    Project
    Strengthening the Institutional Capacities for Sustainable Management of Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) in Sub-Saharan Africa - TCP/RAF/3613 2020
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    In recent years, solar-powered irrigation has become increasingly attractive to countries as a reliable, clean-energy solution for agricultural water management, especially in areas with low elevation topography and high solar radiation incidence levels. With investment costs for solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) decreasing, SPIS technologies are helping farmers reap a double benefit: more affordable irrigation and more consistent water availability. These technologies have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy used for water pumping by more than 95 percent, compared to alternatives dependent on diesel or fossil-fuel driven electricity grids. In water scarce countries, the provision of more affordable energy for the pumping of groundwater for irrigated agriculture can result in problems of groundwater depletion and quality deterioration. Thus, there is a need to think more systematically on the scalability of SPIS at national and local levels and the regulatory frameworks required. This project aimed at strengthening the institutional energy, water and planning capacities in Gambia, Kenya, Mali and Uganda as pilot countries, from which the project could position a series of policy and technical prescriptions to other sub-Saharan African countries, hence catalyzing regional coordination and knowledge exchange efforts. In light of the Strategic and Operational Plan of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union (AU-DREA) calling for support to AU Member States in applying the Principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), the project – with the AU-DREA as the governmental authority requesting the technical assistance – represents a concrete response to this call to action. The SPIS represent an untapped opportunity, and by mainstreaming and investing in these innovative irrigation systems, sub-Saharan African countries can simultaneously work towards agricultural development, gainful employment, rural poverty reduction and the sustainable management of natural resources, especially water.
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    Project
    Strengthening sustainable agricultural production for farmers through solar‐powered irrigation - GCP/GLO/708/GER 2019
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    There is growing interest in solar‐powered irrigation solutions around the world, as demonstrated by the increasing number of sales and requests for financing, installations and trainings. As investment, costs for the systems are decreasing and government subsidy schemes are being rolled out, solar technologies are becoming a viable option for both large and small-scale farmers. Solar-powered irrigation systems provide reliable and affordable energy and potentially reduce energy costs for irrigation. In rural areas without reliable access to electricity and/or diesel fuel, as well as in humanitarian crisis situations, these systems can provide a relatively flexible and climate-friendly alternative energy source. In humanitarian contexts in particular, solar pumps can enable people to access water locally and to support food security. During an international workshop held in May 2015, the idea emerged of a joint project aimed at synthesizing experiences with solar-powered irrigation systems around the world and ensuring greater understanding of policy implications for the sustainable use of this technology.

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