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The Transformation of Water and Irrigation Management after 1990s: The Case of Korkuteli Irrigation Association

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Hüsniye AKILLI and Rana ÖNDER
They are research assistants at Akdeniz University

Keyword(s): Key Words: Irrigation Association, Neo-liberalism, Turkey, World Bank
AbstractLarge-scale transformations in Turkish public administration took place due to globalization and neoliberal policies. These wide-ranging changes also found room in water management policies. A trend from central government to local government, public ownership to private ownership, from an understanding of water as a right and social value to an understanding of water as a commercial good. General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (GDHW), which had the responsibility in national water management since 1950s, hands over its irrigation facilities to irrigation associations to increase efficiency and productivity, and to decrease maintenance costs. Moreover, these associations are restructured according to World Bank’s orientation projects and impositions. The number of irrigation facilities run by irrigation associations was only 17 in 1993. this number increased to 250 in 1997, and to 330 in 2005. This increase may be considered as a sign, which shows the retreat of state from irrigation management. The projects and loans of World Bank, “Drainage and Field Development (1986)”, and “Participatory Privatization in Irrigation Management and Investment (1998)” are main signifiers of the transformation in water management. The aims of these projects are to pass over maintenance and management responsibilities to farmers, to increase the number of irrigation associations, and to remove GDHW from such activities. This paper investigates Korkuteli Irrigation Association. This association is selected because it is the first irrigation association in Turkey (1942), and it is the first association, which took over management from the state. As such, the association has witnessed the transformations in water management policies along its historical experience.
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