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DECENTRALIZED GOVERNANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE IRRIGATION

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Dr.Deepak Kumar Das
M.Tech, Ph.D. Reader in Water Resources Engineering, Water and Land Management Institute, Pratapnagari, Orissa, India - 753051; Phone: 91-9338206720 (M), E mail: deepak_das62@yahoo.com More than 20 years of experience in imparting training, teach

Keyword(s): Decentralized Governance, Sustainable Irrigation, Participatory Irrigation Management
Article:
AbstractDECENTRALIZED GOVERNANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE IRRIGATION Dr. Deepak Kumar Das Sub-theme 5: Water Governance and Water Security; For oral presentation Summary Recently effective governance of different aspects of water resources development and management has been given top priority by planners and policymakers at local, national and international level. For proper operation and maintenance of irrigation systems and supply of irrigation water in adequate quantity according to farmer's need on time in a predictable, reliable and equitable manner, decentralized governance of irrigation infrastructure has been emphasized as an essential precondition. Devolving responsibility of irrigation management to farmersí organizations or Water Usersí Associations (WUAs), which is known as Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) has been found place in the national policies of many developing countries including India. This paper attempts to examine the decentralized governance aspects of institutional restructuring of irrigation in India with special reference to Orissa, which include Participatory Irrigation Management policy, legal acts and rules, programs and their implementation. The major objectives of the study are (1) To critically analyze the water policy, PIM Act and Rules, and the implementation of irrigation management transfer to farmers in different types of irrigation systems like major and medium canal irrigation, minor flow and lift irrigation projects highlighting its achievements and failures; (2) To identify the hindrances and obstacles in implementing PIM and achieving its objectives in surface water as well as groundwater irrigation command area; (3) To suggest measures for tackling the problems encountered in implementing PIM and how to make it effective for ensuring sustainability of irrigation infrastructure. The study concludes that the Water Users' Associations are more functional if they are formed spontaneously and demand driven. The WUAs should be endogenously created based on felt needs of water users, their common interest and collective effort under effective leadership. The existing social capital like social network, kinship ties, and community solidarity should be used to foster WUAs. The approach should be voluntary, bottom-up and flexible. The WUAs should be multifunctional. Along with the management of water, WUAs need to facilitate timely supply of good quality agricultural inputs like improved seeds, fertilizer, farmyard manure, farm implements at reasonable prices and most importantly micro-finance to farmers' self help groups (SHGs) in the irrigation command. The WUAs may also take up other allied activities like transfer of technology through effective extension services, marketing of agricultural produce and agro-processing for value addition, so that agriculture can be a profitable and paying enterprise
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