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Title: Reliability in irrigation management : design, perception and reality
Author: Pirzada, Aslam Muhammad
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 9005
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2002
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Within a large scale surface water irrigation system in Sindh, Pakistan, the practice or irrigation is found to be significantly different from design. Qualitative issues such as the relationship between government staff and farmers, influence, bribery, law enforcement and theft are explored. The implications for irrigation management and the consequence for irrigation reliability and agricultural performance are identified and discussed. Reliability is defined in this research as "the degree to which the expectation of a given pattern of water supply is realised". A quantitative indicator is developed to compare a farmer's expectation of the water he will receive, with his perception of that actually received. This "Fulfilment Index" is shown to be a valid indicator of how farmers perceived the reliability of irrigation water supply. Agricultural productivity for a particular crop varies with the perceived reliability of water supplies; increased water reliability also encourages farmers to spend more on agricultural inputs, resulting in enhanced net incomes. In addition, only with assurance of water do farmers decide to grow more water demanding and potentially higher net income crops. In an inherently water short system where only a fraction of the command area is designed to be irrigated, farmers take action to get more water than their entitlement. Headreach and more influential farmers are found to expect water to irrigate nearly 100% of their land. They perceive anything less as unreliable. The fulfilment of these expectations requires illegal activities, supported by systematic theft and institutionalised corruption. The continuance of these practices is in the interests of these upstream and influential farmers and also the irrigation staff. Downstream farmers, in contrast, only expect to receive their entitlement. However, in the face of the unreliability caused by upstream activities, even to access the design flow they also have to take illegal actions. An example of downstream farmer organisation and concerted legal actions shows some potential for enhanced reliability although the long term sustainability is questionable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Crops