The aim of water managers in Korea is to assess the degree to which agricultural water use can be reduced while maintaining rural societies and conserving sound ecosystems. Toward this aim, a new irrigation management system for the Korea Rural Community and Agricultural Corporation (KRC) has been implemented in Korea to resolve the issues and to reduce wastage of agricultural water. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recommended that farmers should be charged for irrigation water and that they participate in the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems. In addition, the Vitalization of Rural Improvement Act was enacted to develop water resources for rural communities and amenities. However, there are still questions as to how much of the country's rural water supply should be devoted to irrigation and ecosystem conservation. A practical strategy has been devised in which farmers receive incentives for voluntarily reducing agricultural water use. In addition, new eco-farming tourist programs could be developed to utilize the year-round circulation of water through reservoirs, irrigation canals, paddy fields, fish-ways, regulating ponds, drainage canals, and pumping stations; this would provide a boom to rural tourism in Korea.
Effective governance of natural resources is a key challenge facing many developing nations. There is general agreement that without effective institutions, resources will be underprovided and overused. What is less certain, however, is what these institutions might be and who ought to provide them. Should governments take the lead in supplying institutions and organizing collective action, should this task be resolved through market forces, or should resource users of a “common pool resource” be encouraged to take the lead? This paper presents the view that it is difficult for external actors to design optimal institutions and enforce rules at low cost because solutions tend to be conditional and situation specific. Therefore, local resource users are better equipped to develop or be major participants in developing institutional solutions. Support for this idea is drawn from empirical studies of irrigation systems in Nepal. Comparisons of the performance of farmer-managed irrigation systems with that of agency-managed irrigation systems show that the former consistently out perform the latter on most performance measures. This paper offers two key insights: developing effective institutions is as important as developing physical infrastructure and local resource users may be able to offer better institutional solutions under certain conditions than government agencies when resources are local in scale.
Afghanistan is relatively rich in water resources and land. However the last 3 decades of war and a series of droughts have caused many problems. These include a shortage of efficient institutions, organizational capabilities of staff and effective rules and regulations in regards to water use. Furthermore, a centralized structure of water management and overlapping mandates between institutions has led to poor coordination within the water sector and a general lack of information and data for planning. In addition, low public awareness among stakeholders' and damage of local traditional institution. The above factors have brought about negative impacts on water resources of the country. For example, in 1980 Afghanistan had a 3.3 million hectares irrigated land which has since been reduced to 1.8 million hectares - this has clearly affected the economy and environment of rural areas. As per the new Water Sector Policy, the Supreme Council for Water Affairs Management has been established. This is chaired by first vice president and its members are from line ministries. This, it is hoped, will improve willimproveiiii coordination between key stakeholders. Moreover, previous Water Law has been revised. River Basin Agencies/ Councils, Sub-basin Councils and Water User Associations will be formed in the five river basins as management institutions. The new Water Law focuses on stakeholders' participation in water management, equitable water allocation, and division of tasks at national, basin and sub-basin level including participation of all stakeholders in decision making. Based on new Water Sector Policy and Water Resources Sub- Sector, Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is carried out through the river basin approach; the objective of IWRM is to decentralize the activities gradually to river basins and sub basins and considerable use of water resources (Mahmoodi, 2006). Therefore, to achieve an integrated water resources management the following common policy principles are: • Integrated water resources development and management should be undertaken in a holistic and sustainable manner; • Management and development of water resources should be participatory methods by stakeholders; • Planning and development of water resources should be decentralized according to natural river basin boundaries. • Water sector development activities should be participatory and consultative at each level by all stakeholders. Thus, the goal of the Strategy is management and development of water resources, improved livelihood of present and future generation through: • access to safe drinking water supply; • Food security through water security; • Protection of people income sources from negative impacts of droughts and floods; • Access to hydro power in both rural and urban areas; • Water supply for improvement and development of industries (MEW, 2004a). In order to achieve these strategic goals, the following programs have been developed and are ongoing: 1 Institution development program and capacity building. 2 River Basin Management national program for poverty alleviation. 3 Rehabilitation of irrigation schemes program for modernizing of irrigation systems and prevention of water loss. 4 National Program for water resources development for identification of water resources, formation and application of water supply infrastructure. 5 Rural water supply and sanitation system for supply of safe drinking water of rural areas. 6 River bank protection program to control floods. Implementing the above programs, we can achieve our goals which are poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction, socio-economical growth and public welfare; they will result in improved rural development and sustainable environmental protection (ANDS, 2007).
During the last decade, most of the major states of India have undertaken profound reform measures in the irrigation sector to facilitate farmers' participation in irrigation management either under externally aided irrigation development and agricultural intensification programs or through state government initiatives. These states emphasize decentralization of water management and empowerment of water users by encouraging the farmers to form Water Users Associations (WUAs) to take over the responsibility of operation and maintenance of downstream parts of the irrigation system, distribution of water among water users, and collection of water rates. Although thousands of WUAs have been formed across India and these have taken over the management functions of irrigation systems, the functional efficiency of WUAs in ensuring efficient water use and equitable water allocation is far from satisfactory. A careful examination of the implementation of participatory irrigation management (PIM) in India reveals that the process is fraught with many difficulties due to heterogeneity of farmers, caste-class cleavages, physical system inefficiency, half-hearted support from the irrigation bureaucracy, lack of committed local leadership, inadequate capacity building, and lack of proper incentives. The ultimate success and sustainability of the PIM movement depends on some fundamental factors, such as cohesiveness, common interest and collective efforts of water users, effective leadership of the office bearers of WUAs, political will of the party in power, bureaucratic commitment of irrigation executives, governmental patronage, legal support, financial viability of WUAs, and the catalyzing role of the change agents. To achieve the intended benefits of PIM, an integrated and comprehensive reform is necessary.
This paper analyzes the approach and principles that self-reliant farmers in a small- and a large-scale Muang Fai system in northern Thailand used in managing their irrigation systems. With keenness in water resources development, the farmers located their weirs where they could get abundant river flow and built their irrigation systems with an adequate capacity to supply water to all members on a continuous and simultaneous basis. These starting hydraulic conditions bailed them out of recurrent water conflicts that farmers with limited natural endowment and irrigation infrastructure faced. Hence, their attitude toward irrigation management was not geared towards conflict management. Rather, they were more oriented toward the structural approach in bringing about orderly irrigation management. Their participatory management process was composed mainly of a platform for exchanging information on physical conditions, water requirements and farming schedules, a forum for deciding a joint irrigation management plan, and a public commitment to honor the plan. The farmers who had agricultural productivity as their incentives and voluntarily identified themselves as Muang Fai members participated in the cross section of collective activities or functions, directly in the small-scale system, and through village sub-groups in the large-scale system. With close proximity, the small Muang Fai group used irrigation intake widths, which were relatively more precise, as the basis for water and cost distribution and kept straighter working rosters and financial accounts. With economy of scale, the large Muang Fai group used the more sloppy irrigation acreage as the basis for water and cost distribution and faced more risks of dysfunctions in their management process. However, the Muang Fai structural approach achieved an equilibrium because, in devising a harmonious irrigation management at the farm, village, and system levels, the horizontal as well as vertical social interactions between the members, their village irrigation delegates and their Muang Fai managers adhered to the principles that all members shall be equally treated, and all management activities shall be transparent and accountable to the members.
This study reviews the success of the process used in the Second Red River Basin Sector Project. That Project concerned Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the Red River Basin of northern Vietnam and cut across the issues of institutional capacity-building, public awareness, poverty alleviation, gender, and stakeholder participation. Stakeholder involvement was highlighted in the study by a combination of two processes: from the province level upward initially, and then from the province level downward into local community involvement. First, the stakeholder involvement process was used to successfully set up a procedure for consensus-building in 25 provincial workshops, followed by clustering into five sub-basin workshops and finally by stakeholder interaction with the national-level administration to identify priorities and possible solutions for IWRM in the whole basin. The highest priority issues identified by stakeholders were irrigation agriculture, water supply and sanitation, flood control, and environment/biodiversity. Second, from the first stakeholder process, stakeholders were deeply involved in the process of water-sector planning in the priority water sub-sectors. This process was developed and successfully implemented beyond the expectation of most, given the scale. The facilitation process allowed stakeholders to interact in a transparent way, by building capacity and awareness and by setting up a rigid interaction process, with decisions taken stepwise. This method proved very empowering for participants because it even allowed consensus to be reached in highly resource-competitive situations on a strictly logical basis. In this stakeholder process, the case studies were carried out stepwise within two selected provinces in the northern Upland and then downward into smaller sub-basins until the commune and village levels were finally reached. Throughout, active stakeholder involvement took place in three main streams, aiming at informed decision-making over IWRM priorities. The stakeholder streams were (1) local authorities and (2) stakeholders at the province, district, and commune/village levels being the decision-makers and utilizing (3) technical experts providing specialized assessments. To begin with, the decision-makers, consisting of (1) and (2), succeeded in combining their views on water resource management and socio-economic development plans, thus taking responsibility for IWRM directed at poverty reduction. Local authorities and water users thereby set up informed decision-making process drawing on the technical experts' specialized assessments. This facilitation process in the case study project embodies the following lessons on institutional and local community involvement and learning through carefully structured stakeholder interaction: (i) stakeholder interaction processes in IWRM are essential in terms of shifting responsibility for project formulation and implementation toward the water users; (ii) the developed and tested participatory investment planning process has the potential to be scaled- up into broad applications; (iii) sub-projects could be formulated in this way at the pre-feasibility level in the two selected provinces; (iv) a priority list of potential sub-projects, prioritized by technical feasibility and poverty-reduction capacity can be set up; and (v) the selection process must involve awareness-raising and capacity-building.
Ancient irrigation systems were developed in Sri Lanka through construction of small village tanks, temporary river diversions, permanent river diversion and more sophisticated diversion-storage and water release systems. The management systems evolved together with the development. A cornerstone of the ancient management system was the active involvement of farmers in the management of irrigation systems. This management system was changed during the European colonization. Until the mid 1980s farmer participation in irrigation management was achieved through cultivation meetings held prior to the cultivation season. The deficiencies of this management arrangement resulted in the introduction of modern participatory management methodologies to irrigation in the mid 1980s. Initially, there was an attempt to recover a part of the cost of maintenance. However, this was not successful due to various reasons and the issue became a political one. Participatory management in irrigated agriculture has achieved many positive results. Some irrigation systems have achieved better cropping intensities and higher water use efficiencies through better water management. There has been an improvement in the equity of water distribution, more transparent water allocation and better acceptance of the management strategies by the farmers. The closeness between the farmers and officers has also improved. A change in the investment patterns can also be observed, with less money being allocated to development of the infrastructure and more attention on management. However, participatory management in irrigated agriculture can not be described as a complete success. The reasons for failure include dependency of farmers on state help, inadequate change of attitudes, and inadequate finances and other resources. Therefore, despite the long-term objective of achieving self-management of irrigation systems by farmers, the current situation is that the farmer organizations are dependent on the state support. Participatory approaches to environmental management are also of recent origin. The early attempts in this field carried out in 1990s are not considered sustainable, but have provided a few policy directions. The introduction of environmental policy and regulations has resulted in several procedures to be followed before implementing irrigation projects. The development institutions have undertaken planting new forests with the active participation of beneficiaries in the development projects. It can be seen that economic benefits to the community may serve as an incentive for the community to participate in the management of water resources and the environment. There is a need to adopt formal polices with regard to participatory management, as well.
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