Building and Energizing Water Institutions: A Case Study of Irrigation Management Transfer in Gujarat

D. D. Tewari
S. Khanna

DOI: 10.2190/ES.31.3.a


Internationally speaking, irrigation management reform has a history of 50 years, but significant work has only been done in the past two decades. The experience of Gujarat province of India is relatively new and needs to be analyzed. The success of irrigation management transfer programs in Gujarat is attributed to the evolution of institutional rules which brought a variety of positive socioeconomic changes in terms of increased household income and reduced migration from villages—an unprecedented change in the area's history. The study explains how credible institutions were built, how new institutional rules were innovated and applied, how open information flow among the beneficiaries and stakeholders of the program was facilitated, and finally how the program promoted competition by exposing the scheme to the reality of scarce water resources. Some important lessons are gleaned from the scheme. The success of irrigation management transfer depends upon: developing a systematic method of collection of water charges; developing a system of repair and maintenance; developing a documentation system for beneficiaries; developing a responsible democratic governance; developing a culture of learning skills, ensuring a regular reliable supply of electricity; and finally on a culture of institutional endurance.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.