Islamabad (Agencies): The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) on Monday approved a $100 million loan to address chronic water shortages and increase earnings on farms in southwestern Pakistan province of Balochistan .

“Agriculture is the backbone of Bolochistan’s economy,” said ADB Principal Water Resources Specialist Yaozhou Zhou. “This project will build irrigation channels and dams, and introduce efficient water usage systems and practices, to help farmers increase food production and make more money,” the ADB said in a statement.

The Balochistan Water Resources Development Sector Project will focus on improving irrigation infrastructure and water resource management in the Zhob and Mula river basins, he added.

Among the infrastructure that will be upgraded or built for the project is a dam able to hold 36 million cubic meters of water , 276 kilometers of irrigation channels and drainage canals, and facilities that will make it easier for people, especially women, to access water for domestic use.

The project will also establish a water resources information system that will use high-level technology such as satellite and remote sensing to do river basin modelling and identify degraded land for rehabilitation.