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Recent trends in irrigation management changing directions for the public sector

Briefing/policy papers

This paper discusses responses to the under-performance of irrigated agriculture, highlighting the changing relationships between the state and users in the operation and maintenance of publicly-funded irrigation schemes. It begins with a summary of the reasons for and responses to under-performance in the sector and then outlines the institutional and economic background that favours local cooperation and coordination in irrigation management. The focus of the paper is on management transfer and privatisation of irrigation, with reference to the broader problem of inter-sectoral water allocation and the accompanying transformation of the role of state agencies from implementation to service provision and thence to enablement and regulation.

Hugh Turral