Support to WUAs and Apele Moldovei

The Irrigation Sector Reform was one of the most complex activities of the Transition to High Value Agriculture Project of the Compact. It focused on the legal transfer of the management and operation of the rehabilitated irrigation systems from public authorities to Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) and introduction of a modern water use rights system and appropriate legal and institutional frameworks to allow for private and/or donor investments in the irrigation sector.

To this end, the Compact and the Government of Moldova developed the basic legal framework that regulates WUA operation and drove the process towards the enactment of a new Water Law that regulates issuance of special water use authorizations for a longer term (up to 12 years) for WUAs and other water users.

The mission and the major objective of this activity is to address the WUA administration and management gaps by providing support to both the 11 WUAs established during the Compact program and Apele Moldovei Agency. Therefore, SDA Moldova’s efforts will be directed towards:

  • streamlining the existing rules and regulations to contribute to a better collection of membership and water fees for water delivered to WUAs;  
  • protection of WUAs against a non-competitive environment and considering specific rules regarding the pumping and water supply services provided by other entities or persons than WUAs within their coverage area;
  • providing assistance to WUAs in putting in place a mechanism to defend and protect their interests in the future.

SDA Moldova will pay more attention to building WUAs’ capacities for the operation and maintenance of the central irrigation systems rehabilitated during and after the defect notification period, as well as the skills to address logistical issues, comply with legal requirements and ensure their financial soundness and sustainability. This support will include, but will not confine to, the following:

  • Approaching donors and technical assistance programs to promote WUAs and irrigation schemes in order to be considered for their ongoing activities or plans for future technical assistance;
  • Administrative and management support to WUAs and ensuring that WUAs comply with the legal requirements, efficiently manage the relations with their members and stakeholders and collect the membership fees and have the appropriate skills to resolve potential conflicts with Apele Moldovei Agency and other state authorities;
  • Support to WUAs to form a federation able to lobby, protect and support their interests and initiatives at national and regional levels;
  • Cooperation with vocational schools, State Agrarian University and Technical University of Moldova to introduce specific trainings and courses in their education programs that will help in the future to form specialists with operation and maintenance skills for central irrigation systems.


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