Agriculture in Albania is economically important, contributing 21% to GDP and accounting for 58% of employment in the country. Although Albania is favored by water resources and an annual average rainfall of 1,485 mm, the fact that about 20 percent of the total of rainfall falls during the summer period makes irrigation indispensable for agriculture. Flooding and droughts are recurrent events in Albania, especially in the last two decades. As a result of Albania’s recent rapid economic growth, increase in population and urbanization, seasonal water shortages and water abundance have magnified serious weaknesses in the management of Albania’s water resources.
The project will rehabilitate and modernize systems and dam infrastructure; as well as improve the performance of organizations that provide irrigation services through institutional reforms and capacity strengthening of local governments, drainage boards and Water Users' Associations, and piloting public-private partnerships in service delivery to deliver irrigation services in three I&D pilot scheme.