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Managing Canal Irrigation : Practical Analysis from South Asia - Robert Chambers

Managing Canal Irrigation

Practical Analysis from South Asia

By: Robert Chambers, Alan Buckwell (Editor), Ian Carruthers (Editor), Hassan Hakimian (Editor), Jonathan Kydd (Editor)

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Published: 22nd May 1989
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The many billions of dollars invested in canal irrigation in recent decades have had disappointing results. Rarely have projected benefits in well-being or production been achieved. In consequence, in the mid-1980s, further vast sums are being spent throughout the Third World on programmes for rehabilitation, canal lining, on farm development, and farmers' organisation.

In this book, Robert Chambers shows that much of this policy and practice is based on misleading research and misdiagnosis. When applied to the complexity and uniqueness of canal irrigation systems, the normal professionalism of civil and agricultural engineers, agronomists, economists, and sociologists, leaves gaps which are keys to better performance. In successive chapters, five such gaps are analysed and presented: main system management, including the scheduling and delivery of water, and communications; canal irrigation at night; management of canal systems jointly by farmers and officials; professional conditions and incentives for irrigation managers; and methods for diagnostic analysis to identify cost-effective actions for improvement.

Managing Canal Irrigation has been written for policy-makers, irrigation managers, consultants, researchers, trainers and teachers. It challenges all concerned with improving the performance and anti-poverty impact of canal irrigation, whether in government departments, aid agencies, consultancy firms, training and research institutes or universities, to re-examine their beliefs, biases and actions. By going beyond the limits of normal professionalism, the book presents a new syllabus for training, a new agenda for research and development, and points to new policies and topractical action to be taken in the field.

Prefacep. xiii
List of figuresp. xix
List of tablesp. xxi
Glossary and conventionsp. xxiii
Abbreviationsp. xxvii
Poverty, Canals And Commonsense
Potential for the Poorp. 3
Poverty in South Asiap. 4
Production and livelihoodsp. 5
Who gains, who loses?p. 8
Gains in livelihoodp. 11
Employment and incomep. 11
Security against impoverishmentp. 13
Migrationp. 13
Quality of lifep. 14
Canal irrigation in South Asiap. 16
Performancep. 19
Area irrigatedp. 20
Waterloggingp. 21
Tailend deprivationp. 21
Average yieldsp. 24
Potentialp. 25
Thinking about Canal Irrigationp. 28
Two questionsp. 28
Purpose and performance: Objectives and criteriap. 29
Productivityp. 34
Equityp. 37
Stabilityp. 38
Well-beingp. 39
Perspectives and partsp. 40
Domainsp. 41
Dimensionsp. 42
Activities and linkagesp. 45
Normal Error
Learning and Mislearningp. 49
Mahi-Kadana: seeing parts and missing linksp. 49
MRP and HBP: failure through successp. 54
Islands of salvationp. 59
Mohinip. 59
Naurangdesharp. 62
Learning and mislearningp. 63
Reflections on researchp. 64
Determinants of researchp. 65
Approachesp. 66
Normal Professionalismp. 68
Introductionp. 68
The nature of normal professionalismp. 68
The challenge of canal irrigation: complexity and transiencep. 71
Normal irrigation engineeringp. 72
Engineers and waterlogging: plug, pump and drainp. 76
Normal social sciencep. 79
Normal reflexesp. 82
The common blind spotp. 85
Fixation Below the Outletp. 86
The fixationp. 86
Command Area Development in Indiap. 87
New warabandip. 92
Reasons for errorp. 99
Observationalp. 99
Bureaucraticp. 99
Professional and territorialp. 100
Psychologicalp. 100
A learning processp. 101
Professional Gaps As Centres
Main System Management: The Central Gapp. 105
A mental blankp. 105
Evidence and opinionp. 108
Less water than thoughtp. 112
Pros and cons of water to the tailp. 116
Practical political economy: can all gain?p. 117
Saving water for laterp. 120
Bad effects of excess waterp. 120
The paddy lock-inp. 121
Less water better deliveredp. 122
Main system scheduling and deliveryp. 124
Communicationsp. 127
Communication to managersp. 128
Communication to farmersp. 130
Canal Irrigation at Nightp. 133
Night blindnessp. 134
Scale and importancep. 135
Night irrigation below the outletp. 138
Farmers' plusesp. 138
Farmers' minusesp. 139
Factors affecting ease and difficultyp. 140
Above the outlet: control at nightp. 141
Type of conditionsp. 143
Irrigation performance at nightp. 144
Productivityp. 144
Equityp. 146
Stabilityp. 147
Practical actionsp. 147
Reducing irrigation at nightp. 147
Without water savingp. 148
With water savingp. 148
Waste and savingp. 152
Improving irrigation at nightp. 153
Making flows predictable and manageablep. 153
Improving convenience and efficiencyp. 153
Choosing easy cropsp. 154
Zoning for night flowsp. 154
Phasing for short nights, warmth and visibilityp. 155
Conclusionsp. 155
Farmers Above the Outletp. 158
The farmers' frontier: above the outletp. 158
Fact-findingp. 159
Local negotiationp. 159
Lobbyingp. 160
Appropriatingp. 161
Guardingp. 162
Operatingp. 163
Construction, capture and maintenancep. 165
Spontaneous action analysedp. 166
Irrigators' first priorityp. 166
The junglep. 168
Group boundaries, cohesion and leadershipp. 168
Too important for partisan politicsp. 170
Preconditions for actionp. 171
Farmer joint managementp. 172
Open meetingsp. 173
Channel and zonal committeesp. 174
Project level committeesp. 176
Propositions and implicationsp. 177
Managers and Motivationp. 181
The fourth blind spotp. 181
Conditions and incentivesp. 183
The transfer tradep. 185
Effects of corruptionp. 188
Costs to farmersp. 188
Bad physical workp. 190
Bad canal managementp. 190
Indiscipline of field staffp. 191
Demoralisation and distractionp. 192
Options for reformp. 193
Vigilancep. 193
Political reformp. 193
Disciplinep. 194
Separate O and M cadresp. 195
Rights and informationp. 198
Incentives and accountabilityp. 201
Enhanced professionalismp. 203
Conclusionp. 206
Analysis And Action
Diagnostic Analysis: Problems and Approachesp. 209
The last blind spotp. 209
Complicating factorsp. 210
Multiple objectives and criteriap. 210
Complexityp. 210
Uniquenessp. 211
Options for actionp. 211
Some strategic optionsp. 212
Land: size of area to be irrigatedp. 212
Location and intensity of irrigationp. 213
Crop choice and zoningp. 213
Timing: staggering of cultivationp. 214
Spatial and temporal cultivation rightsp. 214
Lift irrigation and conjunctive usep. 215
Modes and tools of analysisp. 216
Resource-based, top-downp. 216
Performance-based, bottom-upp. 217
Key probesp. 217
Diagramsp. 219
Modellingp. 219
Appraisal and diagnostic analysisp. 221
Multi-disciplinary, below the outlet (WMSP)p. 222
Whole systems (Indian Central Water Commission)p. 223
RRAs (Bottrall, Potten and Tiffen)p. 225
Options and techniques for appraisalp. 226
Planning, preparation and selectionp. 228
Existing informationp. 228
Offsetting tourist biasesp. 228
Checklistsp. 229
Interaction and timingp. 229
Consultation and considered answersp. 229
Action, analysis and appraisalp. 229
Practical Actionp. 232
Three false trailsp. 233
New constructionp. 233
Calls for coordinationp. 234
Normal standard programmesp. 235
Three points of entryp. 236
Operational plansp. 238
Rights, communications and farmers' participationp. 239
Performance monitoring and computer analysesp. 242
Linkages and sequencesp. 244
A new professionalismp. 246
R and D for gap methodologiesp. 247
Trainingp. 248
All can act: no need to waitp. 250
Referencesp. 253
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521347884
ISBN-10: 0521347882
Series: Wye Studies in Agricultural and Rural Development
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 22nd May 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.46