Local Water Governance: Negotiating Water Access and Resolving Resource Conflicts in Tanzanian Irrigation Schemes
This paper explores conflictive negotiation processes over access to water. It focuses on the ability of farmers to access water in an irrigation scheme in Tanzania. In the case of irrigation, management and governance of water resources is a result of selforganization embedded in a matrix of institutional arrangements which derive from local formal and informal institutions. The governance system is characterized by conflictive negotiation processes over access of water. Conflicts occur over the direct extraction of water from the canal between single farmers, and about regulation patterns on the village level between the representatives of the different canals. Negotiation processes and the ability to access water are determined by the participants’ social position and power. The village’s social communities are highly heterogeneous and characterized by strong power differences (concerning capital, access to market, labour and authority). Even though conflicts about accessing water do arise, the existing institutional arrangements for the distribution are quite comprehensive and efficient. Nevertheless the exercising of these rules and the sanctioning differ according to the water availability.
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