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Scarcity, Equity, and Transparency: General Principles for Success in Local Water Management

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Trawick, Paul
Conference: Building the European Commons: From Open Fields to Open Source, European Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP)
Location: Brescia, Italy
Conf. Date: March 23-25
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1334
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Europe
South America
Subject(s): IASC
water resources
irrigation
scarcity
optimality
Abstract: "This paper presents the results of a comparative cross- cultural study of successful farmer-operated irrigation systems in two different parts of the world--the Andes of South America and the Mediterranean coast of Spain-arguing that the same basic set of rules and operating principles is responsible for a sustainable positive outcome in local water management in each case. It addresses the general problem of accounting for the well-documented success of several irrigation systems that are notorious in the irrigation literature-Valencia, Alicante and Murcia--and demonstrates that this success can only be explained by unrecognized basic similarities that underlie the more obvious but superficial differences that have been noted previously by other researchers. Arguing for the existence of an optimal system for sharing scarce water that has emerged independently in many irrigation communities in several parts of the world, the author explores the implications of such a system for water management policy, for collective action theory, and for the challenge of achieving sustainable consumption in a limited world."

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