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Impacts of Management Turnover in Two Irrigation Districts in Colombia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Vermillion, Douglas L.; Garces-Restrepo, Carlos
Conference: Voices from the Commons, the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Berkeley, CA
Conf. Date: June 5-8, 1996
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/782
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): IASC
water resources
Abstract: "This paper assesses the impacts of the transfer of management for two irrigation districts in Colombia from a government agency to farmer water users associations. Changes in governance and management roles, responsibility and rights are defined and related to incentives of the water users to achieve certain performance objectives. Since the transfer in 1976, the financial viability of the districts has improved primarily through increased water charges, sideline revenues and reductions in staff. Farmer-elected boards revised operational procedures and cropping patterns, which supported an enlargement of service area with the same water. A complete inventory of canals and structures documented that the schemes have been reasonably well maintained by the districts. Gross value of agricultural output has risen well ahead of inflation. The total cost of irrigation has declined relative to both cost of production and gross value of output. The paper also presents survey data on perspectives of farmers, irrigation staff and agency officials."

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