Legislation on water user's organizations : a comparative analysis
FAO Legislative studies Series, Vol. 79

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ISBN : 9789251050279 EAN : 9789251050279
FAO
The organized participation of water users in the management of water resources is nothing new. Indeed, it is an ancient phenomenon, as institutions are known whose origins go back to the earliest civilizations. What is new, however, is the range and scope of authority and responsibilities of the late twentieth century’s water users’ organizations including, in particular, irrigation water users’ organizations. Since the mid-1980s, driven largely by financial pressures, there has been an upsurge in efforts by governments around the world to transfer management of irrigation systems from government agencies to farmer organizations or other non-governmental entities. This has occurred both in more and less developed countries, and in countries with more and less liberalized economies. Whether the transfer includes all or part of management functions, full or only partial authority, an entire irrigation system (or tubewell command) or part only of a system, such as distributary canal commands, organizations of irrigation water users have been increasingly assuming a pivotal role in the relocation of responsibility and authority for irrigation management from government agencies to non-governmental organizations. A robust regulatory framework for the corporate governance of water users’ organizations, and for resource management by them, is a fundamental ingredient to irrigation management transfer policies. The former will provide the configuration for healthy functioning of water users’ organizations, while the latter will concern itself with the way organizations obtain and manage the water and land resources they need to operate.