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The Socio-Technical Aspects of Water Management: Emerging Trends at Grass Roots Level in Uzbekistan

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Abdullaev, Iskandar; Mollinga, Peter P.
Journal: Water
Volume: 2
Page(s): 85-100
Date: 2010
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6637
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): water management
Abstract: "In Soviet times, water management was presented generally as a technical issue to be taken care of by the state water bureaucracy. Due to structural changes in agriculture in the two decades post-independence, irrigation water management has become an explicitly political and social issue in Central Asia. With the state still heavily present in the regulation of agricultural production, the situation in Uzbekistan differs from other post-communist states. Water management strategies are still strongly ‘Soviet’ in approach,regarded by state actors as purely ‘technical’, because other dimensions – economic, social and political – are ‘fixed’ through strong state regulation. However, new mechanisms are appearing in this authoritarian and technocratic framework. The application of a framework for socio-technical analysis in some selected Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) in northwest Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region shows that the WUAs are becoming arenas of interaction for different interest groups involved in water management. The socio-technical analysis of Khorezm’s water management highlights growing social differences at grass root level in the study of WUAs. The process of social differentiation is in its early phases, but is still able to express itself fully due to the strict state control of agriculture and social life in general."

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