Article Series: Subsidies

Irrigation Country Case Studies

The GSI's irrigation country case studies identify and quantify irrigation subsidies in a variety of countries. These studies provide detailed insight into the extent of government support to the sector, and provide a starting point for assessing the impacts of these subsidies. 

Country Case Study - Measuring Irrigation Subsidies in India

This report estimates that subsidies to irrigated agriculture in major projects in just the four south Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala) were conservatively at least US$ 579 million per year from 2004 to 2008. The full subsidy is certainly substantially larger, as significant numbers of small- to medium-size schemes and substantial electricity subsidies to private groundwater irrigators were not included in the study.
The study concludes that without accurate information on subsidy volumes, public policy debate is hampered and the relative costs and benefits of alternative paths to policy goals are impossible to assess.

Country Case Study - Measuring Irrigation Subsidies in Spain

This study reviews all relevant public data sources on irrigation subsidy policies for a variety of geographical areas and from a range of political and institutional sources, based largely on information that Spain is required to report to the European Union, as well as a number of national public bodies, including the Autonomous Political Communities and River Basin Authorities.
The study finds that subsidies to Spanish irrigated agriculture are in the range of €900-1120 million per year (an overall subsidy rate of 55% - water user charges for projects meet only 45% of the costs). More than half of those subsidies finance the modernization and rehabilitation of water distribution infrastructures to allow for water savings.