Chapter

Decentralization, Water Rights, and Markets: Bridging the Technology–Policy Gap in Indian Irrigation

Dik Roth and Linden Vincent

in Controlling the Water

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082247 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082927.003.0003
Decentralization, Water Rights, and Markets: Bridging the Technology–Policy Gap in Indian Irrigation

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Based on research in the warabandi and shejpali systems of irrigation prevalent in north-west and western India, this chapter proposes due consideration of technology in policy and institutional reforms in large-scale canal irrigation. Warabandi and shejpali represent two forms of water allocation corresponding to different technologies or design of canal irrigation systems. The chapter explores how the potential for market creation, redefinition of water rights, and decentralization varies in these systems. Though these three options are often considered as alternative approaches to irrigation management reform, they are rarely considered together or in relation to each other. Further, in most discussions of these, technology is a black box. How the potential of reform through these three approaches is shaped by the technology and systems of water allocation receives scant attention. This chapter makes a case for mainstreaming discussions of technology in proposals for irrigation management reform.

Keywords: canal irrigation; decentralization; warabandi; shejpali; water markets; water users’ associations; technology–policy gap; irrigation in Maharashtra; irrigation in Haryana

Chapter.  10202 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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