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Irrigation Management Transfer

Strategies and Best Practices

Irrigation Management Transfer by Asian Development Bank
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Over the years, various factors like increased competition for water, fiscal constraints
faced by the government in continued subsidies for irrigation management, the
demonstrated improvement in water use equity and efficiency when managed by the
users, have led to the devolution of irrigation management to users. Irrigation
Management Transfer (IMT), that is, the relocation of responsibility and authority
for irrigation management from government agencies to the users, such as water
users’ associations, has been adopted in more than 25 countries across the
world. However, its implementation and adaptation across and within countries
has been varied and is at different stages of development.

This work, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), New Delhi, is a synthesis
of strategies and best practices adopted by various countries with respect to
IMT. It identifies key concerns such as the structure and functions of water
users’ associations, financial mobilization and constraints, repair and
maintenance of physical structures, operation of canal systems and capacity
building and monitoring mechanisms. It also identifies enabling environments,
including regulatory mechanisms and the role of non-governmental organizations.
The last section of this volume distils critical issues and strategic options
and suggests a way forward. It is largely based on secondary sources, although
some field-based studies and visits were carried out across various states in

SAGE India; December 2007
258 pages; ISBN 9788132100188
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Title: Irrigation Management Transfer
Author: Asian Development Bank