GREEN Action Task Force leads various projects on multi-purpose water infrastructure (MPWI) that includes all man-made water systems, such as dams, dykes, reservoirs and associated irrigation canals and water supply networks, which may be used for more than one purpose (for economic, social and environmental activities). MPWI plays a significant role in the socio-economic development ensuring water, food and energy security. However, MPWI faces several difficulties as unsustainability of business models for financing, operation and maintenance, lower-than-expected performance or the emergence of unforeseen risks and negative externalities.
The OECD works on developing approaches and instruments to enhance MPWI sustainability and exploring the complexity in designing, financing, regulating and managing its projects with the objective to inform policy and decision-making.
A pilot project was conducted by the OECD in Shardara area, Kazakhstan, to test efficient use of water resources and higher economic return from existing MPWI systems. In the framework of this case-study a computer WHAT-IF model (Water, Hydropower, Agriculture Tool for Investments and Financing) was developed for economic assessment, including specific investment projects and various water allocation rules for normal, dry and super-dry years for agri-food, energy and water sectors. This model may also be used as a pre-feasibility tool in order to identify economically sound investments and provide information about prioritization and timing of these.