Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 31–44

Operation and maintenance in Asian irrigation: Reappraising government and farmer responsibilities and rights

  • E. Walter CowardJr
  • Norman Uphoff

DOI: 10.1007/BF01422977

Cite this article as:
Coward, E.W. & Uphoff, N. Irrig Drainage Syst (1986) 1: 31. doi:10.1007/BF01422977


A major policy concern in irrigation development is reducing government costs of both construction and operation and maintenance. There is increasing interest in shifting some of these costs to the farmers using the irrigation facilities. This paper discusses the opportunities for reducing certain direct costs to government by collaborative arrangements with water users so that the latter mobilize more of their own resources to implement specified O&M activities. Five propositions are discussed which suggest the prerequisites for successful collaboration: (1) reexamining the processes of design and construction now being used, (2) reorienting the policies and procedures of the irrigation agency, (3) increasing farmer involvement in operations, (4) increasing local organizational capacity, and (5) creating new financial procedures.

Key words

O&M activitiescosts and feesfarmer involvementbureaucratic reorientationlocal organizations

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Walter CowardJr
    • 1
  • Norman Uphoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell Irrigation Studies GroupCornell UniversityIthacaUSA