Property Rights and Natural Resource Management: Equitable Water Distribution Using Indigenous Technology in a Farmers Managed Irrigation System in Nepal

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"Agency interventions for technological fixes and performance improvement as the most effective policy tool for irrigation management continue to produce counterintuitive and counterproductive results. Technological innovations designed and installed by local farmers using locally available materials can be a powerful tool for equitable water distribution and improve performance of resource base. Using a case study method, the paper demonstrates that Farmers Managed Irrigation System (FMIS) using local resources can consolidate indigenous knowledge bases and help strengthen institutional robustness for irrigation management. Results from the study indicate that while farmers have achieved equality across the landholding sizes, spatial inequality continues to be a challenge. The paper argues that property right structure created by local initiatives help reduce asymmetries of interests and endowments amongst irrigators which in turn help foster incentives to contribute to infrastructure maintenance."
property rights, common pool resources, equity, indigenous institutions, technology, water management, IASC