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Wageningen University (2011)

Improvement of water management practices in Balkh canal service area : Balkh district, Balkh province, Afghanistan

Ahmadzai, H.

Titre : Improvement of water management practices in Balkh canal service area : Balkh district, Balkh province, Afghanistan

Auteur : Ahmadzai, H.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2011

The field study was conducted at Balkh District of Balkh Province, Afghanistan to find factors that influence irrigation water productivity in the Right Balkh Canal service area. Key stakeholders, water right and its practices, allocation and distribution, irrigation management system as well as equity, adequacy, flexibility and reliability were evaluated through interviewing of farmers at the head, middle and tail reaches during the study period. Water stakeholders in the scheme are ; Directorate of River Basin which is responsible to control and allocate water for canal and Off-takes based on water availability. Irrigation Department is directly involved in the irrigation system and contact with local water masters. Mirab is in charge of overall management (operation, maintenance, water distribution and solving conflicts related to water) of the canal. While Chakbashi is water master for specific village that supervises daily operation and manage his village farmers during general maintenance and cleaning period. Nonetheless, these local masters are elected and paid by farmers. Furthermore, farmers are also involved in the system such as participation in the cleaning and maintenance of the canal. Water use right is clearly defined that water use for irrigation is free but water delivery cost has to be paid. Land and water owners are the farmers, and have the right to sell the land or water temporary and permanently. Water use right says that every water user should be fed equally by irrigation water within the same scheme. Water allocation were proportionally done in main intake from river, separation Off-take of Right and Left Balkh Canal as well as in every Off-take along the canal was based on landholding through traditional Paikal system. Water distribution was based on centuries old system among the farmers that each farmer had five minutes water per Jerib (0.5 ha) and distribution system was based on turn. For instance, every water user was getting water interval (turn) of water in the secondary or tertiary canal after exact 10 days in the tail reach while in the head and middle it was after each 7 days. Generally, water use right is really not implemented that is why water distribution along the canal were not equitable due to lack of flow control and distribution structure, improper water management of water users and low capacity of governmental officials. In the canal system, the management skills of concerned stakeholders should be enhanced for better water productivity in the area. Although Mirab and Chakbashies’ management had some limitation and they were not so effective but they are experienced water administrators in this traditional system and accepted representatives in the community therefore, it is proposed to be supported by government and water users in the existent situation to have enforcement and strong management as well as to have budget for maintenance of the canal.

Mots clés : water management / irrigation / water rights / water allocation / water distribution / afghanistan


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