The latest statistics on the total irrigated area in Romania show that irrigation systems are in place on just 24% of farmland, and most of these are not in operation. Of the 3.1 million hectares equipped with irrigation systems, only half are deemed to be serviceable.
Drainage systems are in place on a roughly equivalent surface area, while soil erosion is being tackled on around 15% of Romanian farmland. What irrigation systems there are in Romania are outmoded and do not enable an efficient use of resources, and there is a risk that decommissioning the irrigation infrastructure will create serious social, economic and environmental problems.
The main problems with the current irrigation infrastructure are its low hydraulic efficiency, the high electricity costs (for what are still pump-based systems) and high water charges.
What tools does the Commission have at its disposal to support programmes for the renewal of key irrigation infrastructure in Romania?