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Dynamics of irrigation institutions: Case study of village panchayat in Kerala

  • Vineetha Menon

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • Antonyto Paul

    (Centre for Development Studies)

  • K.N. Nair

    (Centre for Development Studies)

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    Based on field work in a village panchayat in Kerala, analyzing the complex issues concerning the development and working of irrigation institutions, the present study reveals that successful management of irrigation is contingent upon the level of participation of the water users in the management. By comparing irrigation institutions under different property rights, the study identifies the significant factors that contribute to the success and sustainability of irrigation institutions. It is found that albeit the physical characteristics of irrigation systems and the heterogeneities of the members of the user groups do impact the outcome, it is the institutional environment as reflected in the presence of clear as well as flexible systems of rules and regulations, enforcement mechanisms, nesting and networking of such institutions etc. that have become the most crucial determinants. For this, presence of able and fair leadership and the manoeuvring of various sources of power are found to be essential.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 367.

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    Length: 59 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:367
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Peasanth Nagar, Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
    Phone: +91 471 2448 881
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    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612.
    2. Varughese, George & Ostrom, Elinor, 2001. "The Contested Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: Some Evidence from Community Forestry in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 747-765, May.
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