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Local Water Governance: Negotiating Water Access and Resolving Resource Conflicts in Tanzanian Irrigation Schemes


  • Johanna Kramm
  • Lars Wirkus


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Kramm & Lars Wirkus, 2010. "Local Water Governance: Negotiating Water Access and Resolving Resource Conflicts in Tanzanian Irrigation Schemes," Research Working Papers 33, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Koppen, Barbara, 2007. "Dispossession at the interface of community-based water law and permit systems," IWMI Books, Reports H040687, International Water Management Institute.
    2. van Koppen, Barbara & Giordano, Mark & Butterworth, J., 2007. "Community-based water law and water resource management reform in developing countries," IWMI Books, Reports H040683, International Water Management Institute.
    3. van Koppen, Barbara, 2007. "Dispossession at the interface of community-based water law and permit systems," Book Chapters,, International Water Management Institute.
    4. van Koppen, Barbara & Giordano, Mark & Butterworth, John, 2007. "Community-based water law and water resource management reform in developing countries," IWMI Books, International Water Management Institute, number 138046.
    5. van Koppen, Barbara & Giordano, Mark & Butterworth, J. & Mapedza, Everisto, 2007. "Community-based water law and water resource management reform in developing countries: rationale, contents and key messages," IWMI Books, Reports H040684, International Water Management Institute.
    6. Oecd, 2009. "Peace and Security in Africa," OECD Journal: General Papers, OECD Publishing, vol. 2009(1), pages 63-85.
    7. van Koppen, Barbara & Sokile, C. S. & Hatibu, N. & Lankford, B. A. & Mahoo, H. & Yanda, P.Z., 2004. "Formal water rights in rural Tanzania: Deepening the dichotomy?," IWMI Working Papers H035857, International Water Management Institute.
    8. Juma, I. H. & Maganga, F. P., 2005. "Current reforms and their implications for rural water management in Tanzania," IWMI Books, Reports H038741, International Water Management Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret Atosina Akuriba & Rein Haagsma & Nico Heerink, 2022. "Do Governance Perceptions Affect Cooperativeness? Evidence from Small-Scale Irrigation Schemes in Northern Ghana," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(16), pages 1-21, August.
    2. Akuriba, M. & Haagsma, R. & Heerink, N. & Dittoh, S., 2018. "Sustaining small scale irrigation systems: the role of users," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277280, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Akuriba, Margaret Atosina & Haagsma, Rein & Heerink, Nico & Dittoh, Saa, 2020. "Assessing governance of irrigation systems: A view from below," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 19(C).
    4. Milind Dawande & Srinagesh Gavirneni & Mili Mehrotra & Vijay Mookerjee, 2013. "Efficient Distribution of Water Between Head-Reach and Tail-End Farms in Developing Countries," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 15(2), pages 221-238, May.

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