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Visits to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from South Asia and the Middle East, 1946–1990: An indicator of changing international programs and politics


International study programs have contributed to the diffusion of modern irrigation technologies, approaches, and problems. But the patterns and processes of international travel have received little attention to date. This paper examines foreign visits to the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from South Asia and the Middle East from 1946 to 1990. Using data from the Foreign Activities Branch of the USBR, we compare the participation rates from 16 countries in South Asia and the Middle East. India, Turkey, and Egypt had the highest rates of participation, followed by Pakistan, Iran, and Israel. The frequency of visits is influenced by political, economic, cultural, and institutional factors. But the most important factors appear to be foreign relations and geopolitics. Given the problems faced by national irrigation bureaucracies around the world, there is a need to focus more directly on political factors than in the past.

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Wescoat, J.L., Smith, R. & Schaad, D. Visits to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from South Asia and the Middle East, 1946–1990: An indicator of changing international programs and politics. Irrig Drainage Syst 6, 55–67 (1992).

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Key words

  • International irrigation
  • training
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • South Asia
  • Middle East