External Disturbances and Institutional Response in Management of Small-Scale Irrigation Systems in Pakistan and Nepal

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"Irrigation systems operate under the environment of pressure from several external and contextual factors. The small-scale community irrigation systems are exposed to the risks from fluctuating natural events such as increasing floods unpredictability due to irregular rainfall patterns; droughts and degradation of river beds and soil erosion. In such context, this paper looks on the institutional change and resulting water rights and operational rules-in-use in the small-scale community-managed irrigation systems in Pakistan and Nepal. The findings show that farmer-managed irrigation systems (FMIS) have been better able to cope with such external disturbances by following the local irrigation customs and collective action. In contrary, the agency-managed irrigation systems (AMIS) working under strong bureaucratic control and fixed rules are facing serious threats. The paper brings analysis of policy change and impacts of such changes on entities (Resources, Resource users, Public Infrastructure and Public Infrastructure providers) in Social Ecological Systems (SESs). The study draws conclusion on how the two different management regimes governing irrigation systems leads to different operational rules-in-use and management outcomes; and their ability to cope with the external disturbances."



externalities, institutional change, water management, irrigation