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Thread: Ministry of Water Resources - CADWM Programme - Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management.

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Ministry of Water Resources - CADWM Programme - Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management.

    Ministry of Water Resources

    CADWM Programme

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management



    STATUS OF PARTICIPATORY IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT (PIM) IN INDIA
    POLICY INITIATIVES TAKEN AND EMERGING ISSUES


    1. Introduction

    Since 1985 Ministry of Water Resources has been inspiring farmers’ participation in water distribution and management of tertiary system in the projects covered under the Centrally Sponsored Command Area Development Programme. The concept of involvement of farmers in management of the irrigation system has been accepted as a policy of the Government of India and has been included in the National Water Policy adopted in 1987. Provisions made in the National Water Policy of 1987 were as under:

    “Efforts should be made to involve farmers progressively in various aspects of management of irrigation systems, particularly in water distribution and collection of water rates. Assistance of voluntary agencies should be enlisted in educating the farmers in efficient water-use and water management.”

    In April 1987, the Ministry of Water Resources issued guidelines for farmers’ participation in water management, primarily for areas under the Centrally Sponsored Command Area Development Programme. The guidelines covered all aspects like past experience in India and abroad, objectives of PIM, area of operation of farmers’ associations in different irrigation schemes, duties and responsibilities of the farmers, training and monitoring.

    Recognising the need to provide legal backup to PIM in the country, Ministry of Water Resources commissioned an NGO, ‘Society for Peoples’ Participation in Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM)’, Pune to suggest suitable amendments in the existing irrigation acts which could be recommended to States for incorporation in their State Irrigation Acts. ‘SOPPECOM’ has been in the forefront of work relating to PIM and has successfully pioneered many action research programmes on formation of WUAs. The suggestions of ‘SOPPECOM’ were circulated to States during June 1998.

    Conferences at National, State and Project levels have been organized for creating awareness on Participatory Irrigation Management amongst farmers and officials.

    Ministry of Water Resources has been organising National level training programmes on PIM in various parts of the country for CAD functionaries. In addition, matching grant is also being provided to States for organizing State and project level training programmes for farmers and field functionaries.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Objectives of PIM.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    2. Objectives of PIM

    i. To create a sense of ownership of water resources and the irrigation system among the users, so as to promote economy in water use and preservation of the system.
    ii. To improve service deliveries through better operation and maintenance.
    iii. To achieve optimum utilization of available resources through sophisticated deliveries, precisely as per crop needs.
    iv. To achieve equity in water distribution.
    v. To increase production per unit of water, where water is scarce and to increase production per unit of land where water is adequate.
    vi. To make best use of natural precipitation and ground water in conjunction with flow irrigation for increasing irrigation and cropping intensity.
    vii. To facilitate the users to have a choice of crops, cropping sequence, timing of water supply, period of supply and also frequency of supply, depending on soils, climate and other infrastructure facilities available in the commands such as roads, markets cold storages, etc., so as to maximize the incomes and returns.
    viii. To encourage collective and community responsibility on the farmers to collect water charges and payment to Irrigation Agency.
    ix. To create healthy atmosphere between the Irrigation Agency personnel and the users.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Necessity of PIM.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    3. Necessity of PIM

    The old dictum is that necessity is the mother of invention. This may be judged in respect of PIM also with the following considerations:

    a) Need of increase in agricultural production: The human as well as bovine population has been increasing all over the world and more so in India. As such the need of food, fiber, fuel, fodder etc. has also been increasing with fast rate. It is, hence, imperative to increase the agricultural production to keep pace with the requirement. Irrigation being lifeline of agriculture, its development and meticulous management is the necessity of the day. All over the world and so in India, it is known that easy locations to tap surface water have almost exhausted. Increasing the existing reservoirs capacity and taking up of new projects is causing serious financial and social problems. So far as ground water development is concerned, it has its own limitations and the most important being over exploitation of this resource at many places particularly in many parts of India. Moreover financing is another constraint. Hence proper management of already created water resources development structures is extremely essential at this juncture, in order to strike the balance between need and the agricultural production. Since farmers are the real stakeholders, they have to come forward through their associations to look after their interest so that they get water from the system according to the predetermined time and space for planning their crops.

    b) Problem of fiscal availability: There is severe budgetary competition at the government level under different sectors. The ratio of financial outlay for the irrigation sector to the total outlay is coming down year after year. Moreover there are many uncompleted irrigation projects, where work is going on and there is demand of meeting the regional balance to provide irrigation facility almost all over. Under such circumstances, investment of more money by the Government on operation and maintenance of the old system appears difficult. Thus, farmers have to take up this responsibility themselves in order to avoid over burdening of the Government exchequer and to become selfdependent.

    c) O&M cost and recovery of irrigation charges: This aspect has already been discussed elsewhere which indicates that O&M cost is much higher than the recoverable irrigation charges as per present rate. Even these low rates are not being recovered in full.

    Often the cost of recovery of water charges by Government is more than the amount recovered. This is causing severe budget constraints to Government and consequently O&M could not be properly carried out resulting in system deficiency and unreliability of irrigation water to farmers. The Water Users’ Associations could play this role in a better way.

    d) Other compulsions: Besides above aspects, there are other compulsions like non availability of water when it is needed, taking immediate problems like leakages, adopting flexibility in water distribution and taking many more initiatives by farmers’ group to make their farm economy a sustainable proposition, PIM appears extremely necessary and worthwhile.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Provision in National Water Policy (2002).

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    4. Provision in National Water Policy (2002)

    Following modifications were made in the National Water Policy (2002) regarding the participatory approach to water resources management:

    “Management of the water resources for diverse uses should incorporate a participatory approach: by involving not only the various governmental agencies but also the users’ and other stakeholders, in an effective and decisive manner, in various aspects of planning, design, development and management of the water resources schemes. Necessary legal and institutional changes should be made at various levels for the purpose, duly ensuring appropriate role for women. Water Users’ Association and local bodies such as municipalities and Gram-Panchayats should particularly be involved in the operation, maintenance and management of water infrastructures/facilities at appropriate levels progressively, with a view to eventually transfer the management of such facilities to the user groups/ local bodies”

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Provisions in PIM Acts.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    5. Provisions in PIM Acts

    Recognising the need for sound legal framework for PIM in the country, the Ministry brought out and circulated in 1998 a model act to be adopted by the State Legislatures for enacting new irrigation acts/amending the existing irrigation acts for facilitating PIM. In accordance with the model act eight State Governments, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have enacted new acts. The legal framework provides for creation of farmers organisations at different levels of irrigation system as under:

    a. Water Users’ Association (WUA): will have a delineated command area on a hydraulic basis, which shall be administratively viable. Generally a WUA would cover a group of outlets or a minor.

    b. Distributary Committee: will comprise of 5 or more WUAs. All the presidents of WUAs will comprise general body of the distributary committee.

    c. Project Committee: will be an apex committee of an irrigation system and presidents of the Distributary committees in the project area shall constitute general body of this committee.

    The Associations at different levels are expected to be actively involved in: (i) maintenance of irrigation system in their area of operation; (ii) distribution of irrigation water to the beneficiary farmers as per the warabandi schedule; (iii) assisting the irrigation department in the preparation of water demand and collection of water charges; (iv) resolve disputes among the members and WUA; (v) monitoring flow of water in the irrigation system etc.

    The functions of Water Users’ Associations, Distributary Committees and Project Committees are given in detail in the Annexure-1.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Status of Enactment of Legislation for PIM.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    6. Status of Enactment of Legislation for PIM

    As a result of various conferences/ seminars organised by the Ministry, there has been an increased consciousness in States about the need for actively involving farmers in management of irrigation system. Accordingly States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have enacted exclusive legislation for involvement of farmers in irrigation management. Government of Bihar has issued a notification “The Bihar Irrigation, Flood Management and Drainage Rules, 2003”, in exercise of the powers conferred by The Bihar Irrigation Act, 1997. Details of the Acts/Rules are given in Table 1.

    Table-1: State-wise Position of Enactment of New Act/Amendment of existing Irrigation Act

    Sl.No.
    Name of State Position of issue / amendment of Irrigation Act
    1 Andhra Pradesh Enacted “Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems
    Act, March, 1997”
    2 Assam The Assam Irrigation Water Users Act 2004
    3 Bihar “The Bihar Irrigation, Flood Management and Drainage Rules, 2003”
    under the Bihar irrigation Act, 1997
    4 Chhattisgarh Enacted “Chhatisgarh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki Bhagidari
    Adhiniyam, 2006”.
    5 Goa Enacted “Goa Command Area Development Act 1997 (Goa Act 27 of
    1997)”
    6 Gujarat Gujarat Water Users Participation Management Act, 2007
    7 Karnataka Promulgated an Ordinance on 7th June 2000 for amendment of the
    existing Karnataka Irrigation Act 1957.
    8 Kerala Enacted “The Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act 2003”.
    9 Madhya Pradesh Enacted “Madhya Pradesh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki
    Bhagidari Adhiniyam, 1999” during September 1999.
    10 Maharashtra “The Maharashtra Management of Irrigation Systems by Farmers
    Act,2005”
    11 Orissa Enacted “The Orissa Pani Panchayat Act, 2002”.
    12 Rajasthan Passed the “Rajasthan Sinchai Pranali Ke Prabandh Me Krishkon Ki
    Sahabhagita Adhiniyam, 2000”.
    13 Sikkim “Sikkim Irrigation Water Tax 2002” and “Sikkim Irrigation Water Tax
    (Amendment) Act 2008”
    14 Tamil Nadu Enacted the “Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems
    Act, 2000”.
    15 Uttar Pradesh Enacted the “ Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Management Act, 2009”



    Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Manipur have drafted their PIM bills which are in the process of enactment. There is the likelihood of Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh following the PRI Acts. Thus majority of States have decided to move towards PIM. The State-wise details of WUAs formed are given in the Table 2.


    Table- 2: State-wise Number of Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) and Area covered by them

    Sl.No
    Name of State Number of
    WUAs formed
    Area covered
    (‘000 ha)
    1 Andhra Pradesh 10800 4169.00
    2 Arunachal Pradesh 39 9.02
    3 Assam 720 47.04
    4 Bihar 67 182.36
    5 Chattisgarh 1324 1244.56
    6 Goa 57 7.01
    7 Gujarat 576 96.68
    8 Haryana 2800 200.00
    9 Himachal Pradesh 876 35.00
    10 J&K 39 2.758
    11 Jharkhand 0 0
    12 Karnataka 2557 1318.93
    13 Kerala 4163 174.89
    14 Madhya Pradesh 1687 1691.88
    15 Maharashtra 1539 667.00
    16 Manipur 73 49.27
    17 Meghalaya 123 16.45
    18 Mizoram 110 14.00
    19 Nagaland 23 3.15
    20 Orissa 16196 1537.92
    21 Punjab 957 116.95
    22 Rajasthan 506 619.65
    23 Sikkim 0 0
    24 Tamil Nadu 1457 1176.21
    25 Tripura 0 0
    26 Uttar Pradesh 245 121.21
    27 Uttaranchal 0 0
    28 West Bengal 10000 37.00
    Total
    56934 13537.94

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Constraints in Implementation of PIM (Issues).

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    7. Constraints in Implementation of PIM (Issues)

    There may be a necessity and practicability in adoption of PIM yet there are a number of constraints in making the PIM sustainable in the long run. Some of these are:

    a) Lack of legal back up and policy changes: In many States, there is no or very little legal back up and clear-cut policy decision at the Government level to take up PIM, which is a big impediment in implementation of PIM. For the actual irrigation management transfer and operation of PIM in an irrigation project, policy changes and legal back up are essential. This is important for distributing required quantity of water at minor / distributary take off points, taking up correction of system deficiency, claim to get the maintenance funds proportionate to its portion transferred to associations, collection of water charges and retaining some portion of it for WUAs functioning, fixation of water rates, incentives to farmers, resolution of conflicts etc. Clarity on legislation is also required in certain States.

    b) System deficiency: In older projects, there are many problems like deterioration of old control and measuring structures, leakages and seepage at various places, erosion of banks and beds, siltation and weed infestation. These are serious problems, hindering farmers to take over the system management on technical and financial considerations.

    c) Uncertainty of water availability: This is another important aspect, as farmers will understandably be reluctant to take on the responsibility for managing the system unless deliveries of water are made reliable, flexible, practical transparent and responsive to need. The engineers on their part may not be confident about ensuring supply of the requisite quantity of water to the WUAs, as would be obligatory in terms of the MOU signed between Irrigation Agency and WUA.

    Further, the farmers who have their holdings at the head of the canal tend to appropriate more water than required, whereas the farmers at the tail end often fail to get their apportioned share of water. Head-enders, therefore, have vested interest in continuing the existing arrangements. The tail-enders may not be keen to form WUAs as water supply in such areas remains inadequate and erratic and they remain apprehensive that the situation will not be materially altered if an association is formed. These differences in perceptions and conflicts of interests inhibit the coming together of head end and tail end farmers.

    d) Fear of financial viability: Maintenance and operation of the system demands huge finances. Farmers have got the apprehension that in absence of surety of finance, it would be difficult for them to fulfill the requirement of funds for operation and maintenance. They feel that when Government is not able to handle the system with huge money available with them, how farmers would be able to do justice?

    e) Lack of technical knowledge: Apart from the financial uncertainty, lack of technical input is one of the inhibiting factors to take over the system. When Government, having such qualified and senior Engineers, finds it difficult to manage the system, how untrained and uneducated farmers would be able to take up such a highly technical operation and maintenance work of big irrigation systems.

    f) Lack of leadership: On account of limited exposure of the farmers to the rest of the world and PIM in particular, potent leadership is lacking, rather on account of limiting knowledge. At times so called local leaders give the negative or unclear version before other farmers which further create misunderstanding among the farmers bringing them sometimes into a fix.

    g) Lack of publicity and training: Seeing is believing; and knowledge brings confidence in people. This aspect is lacking and there is a constraint to adoption of PIM.

    h) Demographic diversity: Due to variation in economic, ethnic, education levels etc. diversity of farmers, PIM is taking much time in this country. To handle this aspect deep study, analysis and solution need be found out.

    i) Mega irrigation projects: World scenario gives an indication that there are smaller projects in the countries of the world, where irrigation project transfer has taken care for PIM. In India, there are huge projects having very large distribution system and culturable command area sometimes more than 20 lakh hectares. Larger the project, complex would be its maintenance, operation and management aspects and so the formation and functioning of farmers associations for different necessary activities.

    j) WUAs v/s Panchayats: In many of the areas, where WUAs have been formed, there is a clash of interest among Panchayats and WUAs on who is to own the system, particularly when watershed schemes are being handed over to the Panchayats.

    k) PIM in efficient systems: Some of the northern States have raised apprehensions that when their systems are running very efficiently, why not PIM should form an integral part of the system of distribution already in operation.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Future Prospects of PIM.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    8. Future Prospects of PIM

    It has now been realised that without active participation of beneficiaries, the irrigation systems cannot be managed efficiently. The experience shows that wherever farmers have been actively engaged, the overall management of irrigation system and the water use efficiency have significantly improved. The legal framework, which has been established in various States, will ensure systematic involvement of beneficiaries in the management of irrigation system at various levels. There has to be however, a provision for adequate financial support to these organizations to carry out their responsibilities. The PIM acts of various States do have provisions for the financial management of these associations. For example acts of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh States mention that the funds of the farmers’ organizations shall comprise of the following:

    i) grants and commission received from the State Government as a share of the water tax collected in the area of operation of the farmers’ organization;
    ii) such other funds as may be granted by the state government and Central Government for the development of the area of operation;
    iii) resources raised from any financing agency for undertaking any economic development activities in its area of operation;
    iv) income from the properties and assets attached to the irrigation system;
    v) fees collected by the farmers’ organization for the services rendered in better management of the irrigation system;
    vi) amounts received from any other sources; and vii) investment of private sector in distribution and ancillary/extension services.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Rationalisation of Water Rates.

    Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management

    9. Rationalisation of Water Rates

    In several states the water rates have not been revised for a long time. Consequently the revenue collection is too meager to maintain the irrigation system. The Vaidyanathan Committee (1991) of the Planning Commission on pricing of irrigation water mentioned that on an average the revenue collection was Rs. 50 per ha as against the O&M requirement of Rs. 250 per ha. Thus, there is a dire need for rationalization of water rates so as to meet the expenditure on account of O&M of the system. Many of the States have already revised the water rates.

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    Thumbs up Status Of Participatory Irrigation Management - Women’s Role in PIM.

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    10. Women’s Role in PIM

    Considering the importance of women in terms of their numerical strength and the significant contribution they make to the agriculture labour force, it is realized that they should play an important role in the WUAs. However, as the poor status profile and various other factors inhibit their participation, compulsory regulatory means are considered necessary to bring in the desired gender empowerment.

    Recognising the scale at which PIM programme is to be implemented in the country, Government of India has given special emphasis on involving women in the process. In pursuance to the provisions in National Water Policy 1987 (and also 2002) on efforts to be made to involve farmers progressively in various aspects of management of irrigation systems, particularly in water distribution and collection of water rates, Ministry of Water Resources, while issuing guidelines in April, 1987, specifically emphasized the States to consider representation of women in the WUAs at all levels. Some of the State Governments have taken some initiative as under:

    “Madhya Pradesh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki Bhagidari Adhiniyam, 1999” enacted in September, 1999 ensures all farmers owners, be it men or women to be a rightful member of the outlet committee.

    While “Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems Act” of March, 1997 has not made any specific provisions for the women to be represented in the Managing Committees of WUAs, it is encouraging to note that quite a few women members have been elected as Presidents and Managing committee members. Similar is the story in other states.

    Despite the awareness in the matter, the marginal representation of women is not adequate in view of the magnitude of the problem.

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