OVERVIEW: IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT RESEARCH-OLD THEMES, NEW CONTEXTS (pp. 5-10)
Abstract: Irrigation management started to become a significant concern within the development profession in the mid-1970s. It came mainly as a response to the rapid expansion of public investment in new canal system infrastructure from the late 1950s, especially in South Asia, and the increasing demands placed on the management of all system s by the spread of the Green Revolution in the 1960s. One of the outcomes of that concern was the formation of the International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) in 1984, with a mandate to work with developing country governm ents in analysing the main causes of poor system performance and management and helping to introduce effective programmes of remedial action.
PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT CAPACITY AUDIT: A METHODOLOGY FOR DIAGNOSING CAPACITY TO IMPROVE IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE (pp. 11-24)
Abstract: This paper presents an objective easy-to-use methodology for rapidly assessing the capacity of the managers and users of an irrigation system to respond positively to interventions to improve performance, and for identifying the types of interventions likely to succeed. The ‘Performance Improvement Capacity Audit’ is based on five basic questions on system design, operations, data collection, management framework and the will to manage. It is applied retrospectively on five systems to demonstrate its potential usefulness. The methodology complements others which focus on assessing actual and potential system performance.
DETERMINANTS OF FUNCTION AND DYSFUNCTION IN IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT (pp. 25-38)
Abstract: This paper suggests definitions of three elements essential to successful irrigation-water rights, infrastructure capable of delivering the service implied in the water right, and assigned operational responsibilities. Depending on whether the basic elements are properly matched, systems are defined as ‘functional’ or ‘dysfunctional’. The importance of interactions among these factors is illustrated through field examples. It is argued that performance analysis of dysfunctional systems is problematic, and functionality may be a prerequisite to significant improvements in performance. The definition of water rights, particularly as undocumented and unregulated usage develops, is likely to present the most difficult challenge to achieving functionality.
PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFITABILITY OF PADDY PRODUCTION IN THE MUDA SCHEME, MALAYSIA (pp. 39-60)
Abstract: The Malaysian government’s policies of price support and subsidies for rice production, free fertilizers and provision of agricultural extension services have enabled the farmers to increase rice output over time, particularly after 1984. The Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) improved the efficiency of water distribution and water use by investments in tertiary canals and farm roads and by improved data feedback systems. The farmers have also responded to labour and water shortages by adopting direct seeding in place of transplanting of rice and by integrated pest management practices. This paper presents a description of levels and changes in productivity and profitability of paddy production in the Muda irrigation scheme in Malaysia. It has been noted that, over the 1980s, there was a substantial reduction in rainfall and overall availability of water resources for irrigation in the region. Despite these adverse factors, farmers were able to increase total crop output by about 16% over the decade (1980-82 to 1990-91). Paddy output per unit of water released from the reservoirs increased by almost 45% in that period. The cost of production of paddy declined marginally over time for land owners as a result of reduced labour costs for transplanting rice. For tenants, the cost of production increased by about 17% owing to a substantial (50%) rise in land rents. Hence, higher yields have not resulted in higher incomes for farmers despite an increase in output price subsidies.
SELECTED EXPERIENCES WITH IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT TRANSFER: ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS (pp. 61-72)
Abstract: After three decades of rapid increases in investment in irrigation systems, there has been an almost equally dramatic decline in irrigation investment, brought about by relatively low grain prices, rising construction costs and increased concern about the environment. As governments have been forced to reduce their public expenditures, many of them are now instituting programmes to transfer either complete or partial responsibility for management of public irrigation systems to local water users. This paper explores this transfer process in Indonesia, Colombia, New Zealand and Nigeria. From this sample it can be hypothesized that in countries where governments have had the political will to increase water fees to close to the real O&M cost, the process of irrigation management transfer has been smoother. This reflects the fact that water users are encouraged to take over management responsibility in order to reduce water costs. An equally important inducement for water users to accept additional management responsibility is better, more dependable delivery services from irrigation agencies.
SALINITY AND SODICITY IN PAKISTAN’S PUNJAB: A THREAT TO SUSTAINABILITY OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE? (pp. 73-86)
Abstract: The development of groundwater for irrigation in Pakistan’s Punjab has lowered water tables and markedly reduced the extent of waterlogged lands. However, the incidence of salinity has not been reduced at the same rate. This paper reviews IIMI’s research studies in Pakistan, in which over the last five years soil and tubewell water samples have been collected at several research sites. Electrical conductivity of the saturated soil extract (ECe) and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) were found to be significantly higher in irrigated areas that have limited access to canal water of good quality. There are indications that farmers use irrigation water from tubewells to minimize the effects of salinity, e.g. by increasing the frequency of application when crops show signs of salt-induced water stress. Evidence is presented that farmers are not succeeding in the same way with respect to sodicity.
Water for Sustainable Development in the Twenty-FIrst Century, edited by Asit K. Biswas, Mohammed Jellali and Glenn Stout, Bombay, India, Oxford University Press, 1993
Stockholm Water Symposium 1994: Integrated Land and Water Management-Challenges and New Opportunities, Stockholm, Sweden, 9-13 August, 1994