1. Program objectives
To strengthen the irrigation infrastructure of modern farmland and enhance food security in response to adjustments in the structure of the agricultural sector; continue to improve farmland irrigation infrastructure, while planning and promoting major farmland irrigation projects in response to the needs of agricultural modernization; increase the number of retention facilities to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use; establish an effective allocation and utilization system for the agricultural use of water resources; promote agricultural irrigation water quality protection plans, strengthen the monitoring and management of irrigation water quality and monitor the quality of water used; provide guidance to Irrigation Agency Management Offices to develop agricultural water-based solar photovoltaic systems and small (micro) hydropower systems; improve the financial structure of farmland irrigation organizations, improve service capabilities and operations; better understand the irrigation requirements of suitable farmland outside irrigation areas as well as the development and allocation potential of agricultural water resources; plan and promote farmland irrigation facilities based on local conditions, in response to the current situation relating to farmland irrigation outside irrigation areas; Establish planning guidelines and a manual based on precision irrigation management techniques and green infrastructure thinking.
This program will systematically improve irrigation and drainage facilities, combine automatic hydrological forecasting and automated gate control, allocate water in dry seasons in water resource competing areas, effectively ensuring the stability of agricultural irrigation water supply and water quality needs, while establishing a high-efficiency water management mechanism and protecting farmers’ rights and interests; it will also cooperate with the government’s renewable energy policy, provide guidance to the Irrigation Agency Management Offices on developing agricultural water-based solar photovoltaic systems and small (micro) hydropower systems to improve the added value of farmland irrigation facilities; It will also comply with the requirements of rural area development by beautifying farmland irrigation construction landscapes, increasing recreational attractions and water-based recreational spaces in rural areas, to promote irrigation, ecology and life in farmland areas.
2. The main work items of the program are:
(1) Renewal and improvement of farmland irrigation facilities.
(2) Renewal and improvement of agricultural waterways in early farmland readjustment areas and redesignation of newly established farmland.
(3) Promotion of modern irrigation facilities.
(4) Enhancement of agricultural irrigation water use efficiency and maintenance of water quality.
(5) Improvement of organization and operation of farmland irrigation.
(6) Expansion of irrigation services.
3. Program execution period
The implementation schedule for the sixth phase is from 110/1/1 to 113/12/31.
4. Implementation steps (methods)
(1) Renewal and improvement of farmland irrigation facilities
- Each year, preliminary work is carried out one year before the annual program is proposed. Irrigation Agency Management Offices are asked to submit projects for the next year and prioritize them based on irrigation needs. The Irrigation Agency then dispatches personnel to conduct a preliminary review, and reject projects that do not meet the fundamental requirements of farmland irrigation renewal and improvement, with project priority readjusted based on the principle of priority selection.
- The priorities of irrigation facility improvement projects should adhere to the following: top priority to trunk, branch and subsidiary lines of the irrigation system, with second priority to the inner surface of small and medium waterways, the basic principle being to reduce the loss of water and ensure the safety of the waterways; The priorities of farmland drainage improvement projects should adhere to the following: top priority to large and medium drainage facilities, the second priority being small drainage facilities, with construction undertaken without a base to facilitate groundwater conservation, farmland irrigation and ecological environment maintenance; the top priority in improving the planning and design of waterways is to prevent waste and sewage from entering irrigation channels to maintain the quality of irrigation water.
- In order to increase cost efficiency, it is important to focus on the major and urgent projects affecting irrigation and water supply, or to increase retention facilities to regulate water storage, by planning or promoting major farmland irrigation facility projects. Irrigation Agency Management Offices handle preliminary operations and propose suitable projects after considering the scale of the facility, characteristics of the irrigation area, benefits of irrigation and drainage, conservation targets, use of the facility and current situation after changes in the terrain. Scholars are also hired by the Irrigation Agency to provide professional advice and select priority projects. Approved projects are prioritized to receive subsidies, as well as listed and monitored to ensure the results meet design and specification requirements. In this way, irrigation and drainage functions of farmland irrigation works benefit both farmers and local residents.
- The Legislative Yuan reviews and approves the central government’s general budget and then itemizes the amount of subsidy to be received by each Irrigation Agency Management Office, listing the priority projects according to the total statutory budget and the allocation principle detailed in the aforementioned project subsidy funding.
- After the Irrigation Agency has completed the procedures to approve a project, the agency will supervise the Management Office’s handling of such matters as contract issuance, construction, acceptance and final reports, in accordance with the Government Procurement Act, directions for construction from Irrigation Agency Management Offices and relevant regulations; The project will also be promoted in compliance with relevant regulations on management examinations and project quality supervision and inspection.
- In accordance with the relevant regulations of the Public Works Committee 108/5/10, the revision of the “Public Works Ecological Inspection Precautions” will be incorporated into inspection work, and reference the minutes of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan (COA) 106/9/27 Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program - Water Environment plan – “Overall improvement planning for river management and regional drainage in counties and cities – improvement of farmland drainage, ponds and irrigation ditches” implementation promotion meeting. Based on the implementation of each Irrigation Agency Management Office, a rolling review and ecological inspection mechanism is also necessary.
(2) Renewal and improvement of agricultural waterways in early farmland readjustment areas and redesignation of newly established farmland
- The executive authority is the county/city government, and the implementation steps are followed in accordance with the “Farmland Readjustment Act” and its implementation rules.。
- At present, most farmland readjustment areas are adjacent to farmland in completed farmland readjustment areas. The selection of the readjusted area is based on scope for selecting readjusted areas stipulated in Article 6 of the “Farmland Readjustment Act” and when more than one half of the land in the readjustment area is held by private landowners, in accordance with Article 8 the municipality or county (city) competent authority is required to apply to the Ministry of the Interior for approval of farmland readjustment, at which point the Irrigation Agency drafts a plan to process subsidies.
- The Council of Agriculture is the competent central authority for the target industry and farmland readjustment, which includes allocating project funding. The Ministry of the Interior is the Central Competent Authority as stipulated in the Farmland Readjustment Act, and the land administration office under the ministry handles the planning and implementation of area selection, proposing plans, adjudication of land dispute cases, operational supervision, management and examination, guidance and compilation of related statistics etc. The Council of Agriculture cooperates with the Ministry of the Interior to provide integrated administration.
- The planning, design and construction of ecological projects shall be carried out in accordance with the COA’s “Guidelines on the Planning, Design and Supervision of Ecological Engineering Methods for Farmland Irrigation Construction.”
- Early farmland readjustment refers to farmland readjustments completed from 1958-1971. Considering that at that time the most common form of agricultural transport was ox and carts, agricultural machinery was mostly small and farmers covered constructions costs and agricultural waterways, the pathways between fields is only about 2.5-3m wide and usually not paved with gravel gradation.
- The renewal and improvement of agricultural waterways in early farmland readjustment areas is focused on the aforementioned farmland readjustment areas, which is equivalent to a second farmland readjustment, with the executing authority being the municipal or county (city) government.
- The widening of agricultural roads is implemented with reference to the “Planning and Design Standards for Agricultural Roads and Waterway Project Facilities in Farmland Readjustment Areas.”
- When planning and designing this project the Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Interior will take into consideration the maintenance of the rural landscape and the three-functions of agriculture.
- In principle the land required for the expansion of agricultural roads shall be contiguous to the original land for agricultural roads and waterways and the central government is not required to allocate funds for expropriation. Land acquisition is mainly to improve the water supply and drainage channels parallel to the agricultural road and install concrete U-shaped ditches, with the saved land used to widen the agricultural road. If the land is still insufficient, the improvements can only be made after the municipal, county (city) government expropriates or purchases land or when a farmer agrees to donates the land.
- In order to strengthen project quality control, project executing units should conduct progress and quality inspections based on the “Directions for Project Quality Sampling Inspection by the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan” drafted by the COA. In addition, a COA Project Construction Inspection Team and Irrigation Agency Project Supervisory Team will supervise the project and inspect construction quality.
(3) Promotion of modern irrigation facilities
- Encourage farmers to install irrigation facility pipelines: promotional agencies should use gatherings and publicity materials to publicize and notify farmers to file applications.
- Install an automated hydrological forecasting system: continue to guide the building and improvement of automated hydrological forecasting systems by Irrigation Agency Management Offices, to provide better access to real-time information flows and more accurately allocate irrigation water, while at the same time integrating and grading remote gate control and disaster prevention image monitoring to improve disaster response capability.
- Collate basic data on farmland irrigation: plan an electronic operations system for farmland irrigation related business, formulate standard operating procedures for system set up, complete electronic data process and key measurement indicators, avoid bottlenecks encountered by traditional management methods and combine with the results accumulated over the years from the aforementioned automated hydrological forecasting system, integrate with 3S monitoring technology, early warning management information system, and electronic environmental monitoring in an agricultural environmental, to create new farmland irrigation management values.
(4) Enhancement of agricultural irrigation water use efficiency and maintenance of water quality
- This involves applying GIS information and big data analysis strategies to ensure compliance with practical needs, so as to strengthen the efficiency of irrigation management operations, while also promoting the quality control and value-added application of GIS data as a foundation on which to develop a smart management platform to develop irrigation water, soil and crop resources.
- Promote regular observation and testing, reporting and value-added analysis of irrigation water data from Irrigation Agency Management Offices, to be integrated with information on agricultural water, soil and crop resources to better understand changes in demand for water between fields and develop better decision-making tools to develop irrigation water efficiency assessment and allocation.
- Prioritize the promotion of agricultural irrigation water conservation in water resource competing areas, while strengthening the implementation of facility renewal and improvement, building retention facilities, applying innovative technologies to promote agricultural irrigation plans, and an increase in integrated plans that adjust the available amount of water allocated to reduce the risk of water shortages and actively strengthen the utilization efficiency of agricultural irrigation water.
- Establish a quantitative evaluation mechanism to determine the internal and external benefits of agricultural water for production, living and ecological functions, and evaluate the contribution of each function to the social economy and ecological environment.
- Hold Irrigation Agency Management Office irrigation water management operation improvement conferences and educational training. The exchange of irrigation management practices and technical promotions strengthens the effect of intelligent management technology tools for agricultural irrigation and enhances the efficiency of irrigation water allocation and improve disaster resilience.
- Compile core discourses on agricultural water resource management policy, update the overall water resource utilization situation, agricultural irrigation water characteristics, and research and analysis of agricultural irrigation water related subjects and policy guidelines, to promote public communication so as to improve understanding and recognition and thereby boost operational efficacy.
- Promote water quality monitoring in irrigation channels and continue to maintain and optimize the irrigation water quality operation management platforms of Irrigation Agency Management Offices to improve the quality of irrigation water.
(5) Improvement of organization and operation of farmland irrigation
- Develop specific financial grading standards and subsidy methods, formulate cost-saving and performance incentive measures, while strengthening management and examination efficiency to improve operational performance.
- Adjust the subsidy distribution benchmark, add site condition subsidies, deductions and other important measures, implement performance evaluations, and aim to expand the financial resources of irrigation organizations (Management Offices) and eliminate unnecessary expenditure, to improve their financial revenue and expenditure structure.
- Complete reviews of 7 Management Offices with financial difficulties including Taipei-Keelung, Nantou, Changhua, Yunlin, Pingtung, Taitung, and Hualien, and apply dual determination criteria: utilize number of years maintained and indicators of financial independence and sustainable operational capability to determine which subsidy should be received; in addition, based on the principles of performance auditing, important measures such as re-adjusting the subsidy allocation mechanism and adding a site condition subsidy ensure the subsidy can be applied by focusing on implementation performance evaluation, thereby improving subsidy effects.
- In order to strengthen the distribution mechanism of this special subsidy, an annual rolling review is conducted to ensure reasonable management and control of the recurring income and expenditure of those offices with less sound management of related financial income, in order to save on expenditure, develop restrictive measures and targeted management measures, such as: total budget control, control of personnel costs, staff headcount rationalization, reduction of the recurring expenditure budget, expenditure controls on newly constructed or renovated buildings, control of self-raised project funds and welfare costs.
- Strengthen the training of financial management personnel, and effectively utilize the land resources of Irrigation Agency Management Offices. This is subsidized by the Irrigation Agency in order to launch relevant training courses on revitalizing land under the auspices Management Office, with the aim of effectively operating the non-business land of the office, actively clearing office occupied land and continuing to promote the proper use of unoccupied buildings and land, thereby effectively increasing financial income and injecting new operating funds into Management Offices.
- In addition to the establishment, improvement, maintenance and management of farmland irrigation operations, Irrigation Agency Management Offices must also cooperate with the government to promote land, agricultural and industrial policies and rural construction, work with the government to carry out disaster prevention and relief work, provide irrigation and drainage services for the farmland within their own jurisdiction and build a high-quality agricultural production environment.
- The original goal was to actively utilize the existing resources and equipment of Irrigation Agency Management Offices as long as it does not hinder the establishment of farmland irrigation business, granting Management Offices a large remit, expanding the scope of diversified services and delivering on diversified farmland irrigation services, to expand financial resources, increase income, improve operational performance and self-financing capability, and reduce government subsidies.
(6) Expansion of irrigation services
- Irrigation service information is comprehensively inventories and organized. The purpose of the measure is to check whether there are sufficient water sources and ensure irrigation needs around suitable farmland are met. In addition to developing potential water resources for irrigation purposes, the feasibility of allocating existing water resources within the irrigation area can be evaluated as a reference for offering irrigation services to suitable farmland after an inventory is conducted.
- The overall strategic planning of irrigation services is based on the aforementioned investigation into the current condition of suitable farmland, water sources and irrigation needs, and based on its results detailed investigations and overall planning are conducted for suitable farmland with irrigation service needs.
- The implementing of irrigation service projects including the contracting out and execution of new construction and improvement projects should be based on detailed investigation and overall planning for suitable farmland with irrigation service needs, including the design results of precision irrigation management systems and irrigation projects incorporating the green infrastructure thinking.
- Promoting the integrated management of irrigation services. In order to ensure the aforementioned investigation, planning and installation work can be practically implemented, a database system platform and evaluation system is used to control project execution. In addition, the water rights and interests of farmers in existing irrigation areas are guaranteed and sustainable development of the benefiting area guaranteed through follow-up reviews and management mechanism discussions.
- Improvement and strengthening of the irrigation technology systems. Through the feedback and review of on-site investigations, project planning and design, and on-site construction experience it is possible to compile information on relevant domestic and foreign operating procedures, planning and design standards etc. to draft a farmland irrigation technical manual. Moreover, through the holding of symposiums for domestic experts it is possible to collect opinions, generate consensus, compile and edit a farmland irrigation technical manual, in the hope of improving the overall farmland irrigation technical system and strengthening the competitiveness of professional talent.