Farmers participation in management of irrigation systems act of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh
The act provides for farmer's participation in the management of irrigation systems and delineation of water users association area in different states

Tamil Nadu farmers mangement of irrigation systems act, 2000

The act provides for farmer's participation in the management of irrigation systems and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The act provides for the delineation of Water Users Association area on a hydraulic basis, which may be administratively viable. Every Water Users Associations area shall be divided into territorial constituencies, which shall not be less than four, but shall not be more than ten, as may be prescribed.

The Water Users Association shall perform the following functions, namely:

  • to prepare and implement an operational plan and a Rotational Water Supply for each irrigation season, consistent with the operational plan, prepared  by the Distributory Committee and the Project Committee, and based upon the entitlement, area, soil and cropping pattern as approved by the managing committee or Distributory Committee, or as the case may be, of the Project Committee;
  • to prepare a plan for the maintenance of irrigation system in the area of its operation at the end of each crop season and carry out the maintenance works of both distributory system, water courses and field drains in its area of operation with the funds of the Water Users Association, from time to time.
  • to regulate the use of water among the  various sluices under its area of operation according to the Rotational Water Supply;
  • to promote economy in the use of water allocated;
  • to assist the authorities of the Revenue department of the Government, in the preparation of demand and collection of water charges;
  • to maintain in a register of water users, as published by the Revenue department of the Government;
  • to prepare and maintain an inventory  of the irrigation system within the area of operation;
  • to monitor flow of water for irrigation;
  • to resolve the disputes, if any, between the members of the Water Users Association in its area of operation;
  • to raise resources;
  • to maintain accounts;
  • to cause annual audit of its accounts;
  • to assist in the conduct of elections to the managing committee;
  • to maintain such other records, as may be prescribed;
  • to abide by the decisions of the Distributory Committee and Project Committee;
  • to conduct general body meetings, in such manner as may be prescribed;
  • to encourage avenue for plantation on canal and tank poramboke, and to protect and  maintain such plantations;
  • to conduct regular water budgeting and also to conduct periodical social audit, as may be prescribed; and
  • to remove the encroachments on canal,  drains and tank poramboke in the area of jurisdiction of the Water Users Association. 

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Rajasthan farmers participation in management of irrigation systems act, (2000) 

The Rajasthan Farmers Participation in Management of Irrigation Systems Act (2000) provides for farmers participation in the Management of Irrigation System and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The act provides for the delineation of water users' area and territorial constituencies. The Project Authority may, by notification delineate every command area under each of the irrigation systems on a hydraulic basis which may be administratively viable and declare it to be a water users area for the purpose of this Act. Every water users' area shall be divided into territorial constituencies which shall not be less than four but not more than ten, as may be prescribed.

The objects of the Farmers' Organisation shall be to promote and secure distribution of water among its users, adequate maintenance of the irrigation system, efficient and economical utilisation of water to optimize agricultural production, to protect the environment, and to ensure ecological balance by involving the farmers, including a sense of ownership of the irrigation system in accordance with the water budget and the operational plan. 

The Water Users' Association shall perform the following functions, namely -

  • to prepare and implement a warabandi schedule for each irrigation season, consistent with the operational plan, based upon the entitlement, area, soil and cropping pattern; 
  • to prepare a plan for the maintenance, extension, improvements, renovation and modernisation of irrigation system in the area of its operation and carry out such works of both distributary system and field drains in its area of operation with the funds of the association from time to time; 
  • to regulate the use of water among the various outlets under its area of operation according to the warabandi schedule of the system; 
  • to promote economy in the use of water allocated;
  • to prepare demand and collect water charges; 
  • to maintain a register of land owners as published by the revenue department;
  • to prepare and maintain an inventory of the irrigation system within the area of operation; 
  • to monitor flow of water for irrigation; 
  • to resolve the disputes, if any, between its Members and water users in  its area of operation;
  • to raise resources; 
  • to maintain accounts;
  • to cause annual audit of its accounts; 
  • to assist in the conduct of elections to the Managing Committee; 
  • to maintain such other records, as may be prescribed; 
  • to abide by the decisions of the Distributary and Project Committee; 
  • to conduct General Body meeting in the manner, as may be prescribed;
  • to encourage avenue plantation on canal bunds and tank bunds by leasing such bunds, and 
  • to conduct regular water budgeting and also to conduct periodical social audit in the manner, as may be prescribed.  

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Orissa pani panchayat act, 2002

The Orissa pani panchayat act (2002) aims to provide for farmers participation in the management of irrigation systems. The Act deals with the Farmers’ Organisation and gives an overall picture on the delineation of water users area as pani panchayat and constitution of pani panchayat.

It further describes the election of members of chak committee and that of the president and members of the executive committee of pani panchayat. Here, the policy talks about the eligibility criteria for membership, arrangement for all the elections and powers and functions of the executive committee.

In the clause of the delineation of distributary area and constitution of distributary committee, the policy mentions the role of the Chief Engineer in the process and the formation of the distributary committee and its constituents, the government’s role in nominating a member from amongst its functionaries, and the terms of the committee.

The policy then mentions of the election of president, secretary, treasurer and constitution of executive committee of distributary committee, the delineation of project area and constitution of project committee, election of president and constitution of the executive committee of the project committee and formation of a state level committee.

It also covers the procedure for recall of a president of a farmers’ organisation, constitution of sub-committees in farmers' organisation, farmers’ organisation to be a body corporate with a distinct name and capacity of entering into contracts and of doing all things necessary, role of the competent authority to make changes in farmers’ organisation, disqualification criteria for candidature or memberships of the farmers’ organisation, and conditions and procedures for filling up of vacancies that arise due to any reason. 

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Maharashtra management of irrigation systems by farmers act, 2005

The Maharashtra Management of Irrigation Systems by Farmers Act (2005) was enacted with the following objectives to -

  • promote and secure equitable distribution of water amongst its members;
  • maintain adequately the irrigation systems and ensure efficient, economical and equitable distribution and utilisation of water to optimise agricultural production;
  • protect the environment;
  • ensure ecological balance
  • actively involve the members inculcating amongst them a sense of ownership of the irrigation system; and
  • safeguard and promote the common interests of its members pertaining to irrigation and agriculture in the area of operation.

The act deals with the delineation of areas under management of irrigation system by farmers and the supply of water to land under management of irrigation. Water from the canal system shall be supplied to the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) at various levels, from tail to head on bulk basis measured volumetrically as per their water entitlements by Canal Officer or upper level Water Users’ Association, as the case may be.

The rates for supply of water to a Water Users' Association shall be on the volumetric basis measured at the point of supply. The Appropriate Authority shall have the power to levy the minimum charges as prescribed to Water Users' Association if water is not demanded or used for irrigation by Water Users' Association in a season as per the Applicable Entitlement.

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Madhya Pradesh sinchai prabandhan me krishakon ki bhagidari adhiniyam, 1999

The act facilitates the formation of farmers organization by delineating every command area under each of the irrigation systems on a hydraulic basis. The objectives of the farmers' organisation shall be to promote and secure distribution of water among its users, adequate maintenance of the irrigation system, efficient and economical utilisation of water to optimise agricultural production, to protect the environment, and to ensure ecological balance by involving the farmers. 

The Water Users' Association shall perform the following functions, namely-

  • to prepare and implement a warabandi schedule for each irrigation season, consistent with the operational plan based upon the entitlement, area, soil and cropping pattern as approved by the Distributory committee, or as the case may be, the Project Committee; 
  • to prepare a plan for the maintenance of irrigation system in the area of its operation at the end of each crop season and carry out the maintenance works of both distributory system and minor and field drains in its area of operation.
  • to regulate the use of water among the various pipe outlet under its area of operation according to the warabandi schedule of the system; to promote economy in the use of water allocated; 
  • to prepare and maintain an inventory of the irrigation system within the area of operation; 
  • to monitor flow of water for irrigation,
  • to resolve the disputes, if any between the members and water users in its area of operation; 
  • to conduct regular water budgeting and also to conduct periodical social audit in such manner as may be prescribed. 

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Chhattisgarh sinchai prabandhan me krishkon ki bhagidari adhiniyam, 2006

An act to provide for farmers participation in the management of irrigation system and related matters was approved by the State legislative assembly in March 2006. The old Act "Chhattisgarh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki Bhagidari Adhiniyam 1999" was repealed after enacting the new act.

The act explains the constitution of farmers organization and delineation of command area,  in particular the delineation of water user’s area/ distributary area/ project area and constitution of Water Users Association, Distributary Committee and Project Committee.

The farmers’ organisation under the act may decide to federate and form a state level farmers federation to facilitate interactions of the state government and non government organizations with the farmers, to support farmers participation in management of irrigation systems and further to coordinate and deal with allied activities relating to irrigated agriculture. Furthermore, the State Government may be notification, constitute a Policy Committee.

The objects, powers and functions of the farmers’ organization are clearly laid out. The act has sections on - funds and resources of farmers organization, offences and penalties, settlement of disputes etc.,

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Andhra Pradesh farmers' management of irrigation systems act, 1997

Participatory irrigation management was initiated in Andhra Pradesh with the enactment of Andhra Pradesh Farmers Managed Irrigation Systems (APFMIS) Act in 1997. The reforms focused on the constitution of a three-tier management system controlled by water-users to reduce government management of irrigation systems.

The act created Water User Associations as independent legal entities at the minor (tertiary) canal level. They were comprised of all the water users who are land holders (including tenants) in a water users’ area. Apart from this at the distributary (secondary) level there were the Distributary Committees and Project Committees (at project level).

The District Collector may by notification and in accordance with the rules made under this Act, in this behalf delineate, every command area under each of the irrigation systems on a hydraulic basis which may be administratively viable; and declare it to be a water users' area for the purpose of this Act provided that in respect of the command area under the minor and lift irrigation systems, the entire command area may, as far as possible, form a single water users' area. 

Every water users' area shall be divided into territorial constituencies, which shall not be less than four but not more than ten, as may be prescribed. The act then deals with the –

  • election of President and members of the Managing Committee of Water Users Association, 
  • delineation of distributary area and constitution of the Distributary Committee
  • election of President and constitution of Managing Committee
  • delineation of project area and constitution of Project Committee
  • election of Chairman and constitution of the Managing Committee/ Apex Committee/ Constitution of sub-committees in farmers' organisation etc
  • functions of Water Users Association, Distributary Committee/ Project Committee
  • power to levy and collect fee
  • resources of Farmers' Organisation
  • offences and penalties, settlement of disputes, appeals, recovery of dues etc  

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