Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project
Award of Merit
Owner: Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority
Lead Design Firm: Mott MacDonald
General Contractor: Descon Engineering Ltd.
Constructed more than a century ago, the 140,000-km irrigation system that serves thousands of farms in this rainfall-scarce province was plagued by leaks, poor flow regulation and sediment build-up. It often left some farmers with too much water and others with too little. As part of a 10-year, $300-million partnership with the World Bank, the province’s water-supply infrastructure has been restored through a carefully sequenced series of projects, including canal dredging, embankment improvements and installation of new hydraulic structures. To address long-standing erosion along the Nara Canal, the irrigation system’s main trunk, two new fall structures were built that act as weirs. Construction was scheduled around temporary canal diversions to minimize impacts on agriculture and other water users. The close involvement of local water management boards helped instill valuable expertise to ensure responsive system oversight and maintenance in the future.