2012 Volume 80 Issue 3 Pages 289-296
In developing countries, participatory irrigation management (PIM) is promoted to achieve more sustainability and efficiency in irrigation projects. On the other hand, some industrial countries such as Korea, Taiwan and Japan tend to have public management of irrigation systems. Korea, in particular, has strongly promoted public management since the 1980s, and eventually abolished the irrigation association fee in 2000. To obtain information useful for the future consideration of public water management, this study analyzed the general backgrounds of the public irrigation management in Korea and the actual water management in Chungcheongnam-do and clarified the following: 1) the Korean Irrigation Association had a persistent tradition of government control, which led to complete public management by the Korea Agricultural & Rural Infrastructure Corporation in 2000; 2) the public management system has had a positive impact on the successful solution of inter-basin water adjustment issues; 3) contrary to the hope and expectation of the government, Korean farmers have lost their willingness to participate in water management because they have been excluded from the decision-making process and lost their irrigation associations under the new system of Korea Agricultural & Rural Infrastructure Corporation.