Water being a scarce resource, and facing intense sectoral competition in most settings, its efficient management, becomes the need of the hour. Also, with growing exponential population, the additional demand for food has to be met. Efficient management of each single drop of water and increasing agriculture productivity becomes a viable solution. In such a scenario, Participatory Irrigation Management approach to irrigation management assumes greater significance. UP Water Sector Restructuring Project has its focus on Participatory Irrigation Management activities.
The project envisages the formation and operation of water users’ associations that will change the paradigm of irrigation and drainage management in its area to be more participatory and community driven. These stakeholders are expected to participate in decision making on water resource management. Significant emphasis has been given to training and capacity building to help ensure the attitudinal and mindset change required by UPID and other government staff in outreach and encouragement of participatory management approaches, as well as the capacity upgradation required by the village stakeholders in becoming more self-reliant and able to adopt new processes and techniques to improve their livelihoods.
Formation of Water User Associations (WUA) is a precursor to the concept of PIM. Based on it, Water Users’ Associations at minor level were conceived as strong farmers’ organizations capable to undertake responsibilities of operation and maintenance of minors for better remunerative agriculture production to enhance rural income specially of farming community. For better discharge of responsibilities it was necessary to equip them with formal tools. Capacity building of these WUAs is the best tool to enable them discharging their functions efficiently.
1.1 AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATORY IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT (PIM)
The aim of formation and fostering of water users’ association is to establish new technically viable institutions with full autonomy in their operations required to carry forward the water sector reforms as per the State Water Policy issued by Uttar Pradesh Government and to achieve the following development objectives
• Increase in area (hectares) served by irrigation systems in Gomti-Sai sub-basins which have been effectively rehabilitated and modernized,
• Increase in agricultural productivity (net benefit per Unit of water delivered in Rs/m3) in the modernized systems.
• Increase in fisheries production in targeted water bodies (tons/year) and • Increase in targeted stakeholders incomes.
• Reduction in cost of operation and maintenance of canals.
• Increase in the area of irrigation in the tail reach of canals.
• Reduction in barren land in command area and optimal use of fertilizers, pesticide etc
• Reduction in water table in the area where it is in unsafe zone. Also the objective of this transfer of management is that the farmer community obtains knowledge of scientific ways for increase in agricultural production and higher profit with low expenditure so that agriculture becomes a profitable occupation. This shall include equitable, economical and efficient water use, and obtaining good quality seeds, fertilizers, insecticides etc.
Besides above aims, the formation of water users’ associations shall encourage participatory approaches in irrigation management ensuring following objectives:
(i) Equitable, efficient and timely water distribution.
(ii) Protection, operation and maintenance of irrigation system.
(iii) Protection of environment and ecology.
(iv) Conjunctive use of water and practices of scientific and economic use of water.
(v) Enhancement of agriculture production and its productivity through intensification and diversification i.e. better cost recovery.
(vi) Better participation of women and marginal groups.
(1) TO UP IRRIGATION DEPARTMENT
• The officers of UPID could devote their time and energy on head-works and conveyance system to effect reliable and dependable supplies.
• Improved relationship with farmers; less mistrust.
• Less problem getting water to tail-enders; reduced complaints of inequity. • Increase in irrigation efficiency-job satisfaction.
• Better implementation of operation plans of water delivery.
• More time to attend the technology of water management.
• Less widespread and scattered responsibilities; relief from bothering about unauthorized outlets, obstructions and minor maintenance problems.
• Relief from bothering about contractors
. • Improvement of credibility of individual Engineer.
(2) TO THE STAKEHOLDERS (THE FARMERS)
• Increase in crop yields and income due to scientific and economic use of water.
• Reduced conflict among farmers and better resolution of conflicts.
• More reliable and predictable water because of agreement with the Irrigation Department and by better water distribution.
• Better maintenance, from sense of owning/ managing the system.
• Gap between head and tail end reduced.
• Less water-logging because of careful use of water.
• Possible organization for other development activities.
• Less opportunity of corruption, especially regarding maintenance of funds.
• Better mutual trust between farmers and officers
. (3) TO UP STATE
• Scarce water resource used more efficiently.
• Higher yields.
• Avoidance of large establishment on collection of water rates
• Better collection of water rates, reduction of subsidy on irrigation
• Investments to be utilized optimally.
• Increase in social capital by way of empowered, viable and autonomous WUAs.
UPWSRP SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE OF PARTICIPATORY IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT (PIM)
The immediate objective of IMT policy should be the promotion of WUAs at minor canal level for taking up water distrib