Negotiating participatory irrigation management (PIM) - A research study from the Indian Himalayas

This research paper published in the Journal of Agricultural Water Management draws on a case study from a village in the Shiwalik region of the Indian Himalayas and identifies the role of diverse actors in exploiting historic and ecological factors to derail the Participatory Irrigation management (PIM) reforms to frame water management problems. The paper explores the inter-linkages between socio-cultural, institutional and ecological factors in derailing the PIM reforms. Participatory irrigation management (PIM) reforms are implemented in India to facilitate farmers’ participation in irrigation management, through water user groups.

The paper reveals that PIM policies are never implemented, but integrated through the negotiation with other diverse policies and socio-cultural settings in (re)shaping water resources management. The analysis demonstrates that water is managed by multifaceted governance arrangements. In this governance arrangement, state-centric or market-oriented or community-centered institutional arrangements are not superior to each other, rather they incrementally and cumulatively superimpose to (re)shape water resources management.

The findings call for laying out broad principles/ideologies in the policy statements of the statutory public actors that allow other actors to integrate, adapt and make policy processes dynamic. To facilitate this processes, the paper calls for statutory public actors to regulate water distribution, build capacity of actors and offer diverse forums for actors to share and debate on the available information to take informed water-related decisions for a sustainable future.

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Post By: ashis