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Sustainable Non-Price Allocation of Irrigation Water: An Outline

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Khouzam, Raouf F.
Conference: Designing Sustainability on the Commons, the First Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Duke University, Durham, NC
Conf. Date: September 27-30, 1990
Date: 1990
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1305
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): sustainability
water resources
Abstract: From Introduction: "Recognizing that implicit free irrigation policy does not lead to any kind of water conservation, the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources (MPWWR; henceforth) is developing a cost-recovery scheme. In some new land areas a farmer is required to pay an annual service charge of LE 88 per feddan ($1 = LE 2.75) of his farm regardless of the amount of water used or even the area left fallow. Farmers, however, have refused to pay and have challenged the decision in the court of law. MPWWR responded by closing down the irrigation stations; they were reopened within two weeks when the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation paid part of the charges. "Confrontation between the government and the farmers is the result of designing policy without evaluating ist compatibility with the existing institutions. One explanation of this phenomenon is that irrigation departments, knowing about the technical aspects more than about the human ones (Levine 1980; p. 51) emphasize the first. Another possible reason is that local institutions enhance farmers feelings of power and independence which reduces the government's command over the agricultural sector (Hunt 1988; p. 348). "This paper focuses on farmers group management of a common-property irrigation source. The group-management model is claimed to be better than the neoclassical model in meeting the group objectives. The following section reviews the problems associated with the allocation of water among a group members. Next, it highlights the reasons for resorting to group management. Based on that real-life experience, an outline for a group model (vis a vis central, command area or on-farm model) is derived. The outline may be adopted in other similar areas in Egypt, LDCs and DCs where water distribution faces difficulties."

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