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Wageningen Universiteit (1996)

Gated or ungated : water control in government-built irrigation systems : comparative research in Nepal

Pradhan, T.M.S.

Titre : Gated or ungated : water control in government-built irrigation systems : comparative research in Nepal

Auteur : Pradhan, T.M.S.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 1996

The control, allocation and distribution, of water is the core process of an irrigation system. It is the process by which the available water is divided and distributed to the smaller irrigation units within the system, which in turn is distributed further down to the individual water user who must control it to place it in the crop root zones in particular fields. This study is based on the thesis that water control is a function of both technical/engineering, and organizational and institutional arrangements (social) controls. The combination of the physical system and organizational arrangements in an irrigation system determines how much water goes where. An analysis of both aspects in the context of the local farming system should lead to the better understanding of the more general issues and complexities of water control in irrigation systems. This study presents three cases studies on water control in government-built and managed irrigation systems in the tarai Nepal. Water allocation and distribution practices during the consecutive crop seasons in the three irrigation systems located in three different places in the tarai region were studied from October 1991 to May 1993. There were two principal reasons for focusing research on the tarai irrigation systems. The first is that this region has the greatest number of and the largest area covered by government-built and managed large to medium scale irrigation systems. The second is the challenges and complexities in water control in the government-built and managed irrigation systems. An integrated approach which combined the study of the technical design and of organizational arrangements was followed. The historical development of the irrigation systems has also been traced to see the change or evolution of technical pattern and management practices over time. In addition to the study of the technical design of the irrigation systems, the concept of practice, which in this study refers to the visible actions and undertakings of people, has been used to understand how a certain type of water control technology provokes particular activities of water allocation and distribution. Both quantitative and qualitative data have been used.

There is historical evidence that canal irrigation in Nepal has been practised by farmers for centuries, but the development of modern canal irrigation systems in the country began only in the 1920s. The Department of Irrigation, established in 1951, is responsible for the planning, development and management of government irrigation schemes in the country. It consists mostly of civil engineers and is largely construction-oriented.

Mots clés : irrigation water / transport / water distribution / water policy / waterways / water management / irrigation scheduling / nepal

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Page publiée le 10 juin 2008, mise à jour le 1er juin 2022