Improving canal water management through participatory approach: a case study on secondary canal (Potho Minor), Sindh, Pakistan
Lashari, Bakhshal, author
Mahesar, Ali Asghar, author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher
Improvement in canal water management requires the strong and stable relationship and trustworthy among the water users in the command area of Watercourse (Tertiary canal) and Distributary/Minor (Secondary canal) and canal operating agencies. The potential conflicts on water distribution equity among the water users at secondary level canal could be achieved through establishing Farmer Organization (FO) at Distributary and Watercourse Associations at watercourse, training to the farmers, appropriate water measuring mechanisms and proper maintenance. Potho Minor is the secondary canal level network of irrigation system in Pakistan. The Farmer Organization on the minor was established in 2000. However, the process of social mobilization was started in 1999. Present study was carried out to assess the status on water delivery to farmers, water use efficiency and farmer's role for improving water distribution for sustainable irrigated agriculture. Based on data collected and analyzed in command area of the Minor, the status of irrigation water management demonstrates that the water delivery to the farmers along the minor length fluctuates between 25-190 percent, water availability is only 68 days out of 168 days allocated for the crop season, but it is abundant as estimated 5.9 mm/day against the required 2.83 mm/day. This all mismanagement has resulted in 34 percent system efficiency and 10 to 114 percent watercourse-wise efficiency. However, the participation of water users from Watercourse Associations and Farmer Organization in the maintenance of the distributaries/minors for sustainable irrigation management has proved that the cost of maintenance can be significantly minimized and work can be done in time. The maintenance cost estimated was about US$ 0.25 (Pak Rs. 15) per acre of land and the substantial benefit accrued was observed that the head-tail water delivery performance ratio improved significantly, though the head DPR was substantially decreased. Further, paper highlights the lessons learned from the maintenance activities and concerns for the future of Farmer Organizations.
Presented at Ground water and surface water under stress: competition, interaction, solutions: a USCID water management conference on October 25-28, 2006 in Boise, Idaho.