|FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 40 Organization, operation and manintenance of irrigation schemes (1986)|
Good management of irrigation schemes is becoming increasingly recognized as an essential means to achieve successful irrigated agriculture. Consequently, in recent years, there has been a noticeable interest in studying existing irrigation schemes in order to learn where improvements can be made in their operation and maintenance. However, much of the recent literature on the topic tends to concentrate on the description and analysis of case studies in one or a few countries in a region. This paper is intended to fill a gap by taking a more global look at the experience gained in several places in various parts of the world and drawing some generalized conclusions.
Part I of the text is mainly concerned with organizational and management issues. An attempt has been made to provide a spectrum of the possible alternatives with some analysis of their pros and cons. Although it is recognized that local circumstances have a strong influence on defining the project organizational structure, improvements can be made based on experience gained somewhere else under similar circumstances.
Broad guidelines are provided in Part II for the activities that should be carried out in an irrigation scheme. Each of the chapters provides guidance, but they are not intended to be used as a manual. Each country or region must prepare its own operating manuals in the light of its specific circumstances.
During the long preparation of the publication, the author was exposed to a certain amount of experience at first hand and also had the opportunity to read many unpublished papers and reports. He received generous help from many professional people and institutions. It would be impossible to thank them individually without risking regrettable omissions, but the opportunity is taken here to thank them all.
Special thanks are due to Mr. A. Bottrall, Organization and Management Specialist, Overseas Development Institute, London, for his considerable contributions to Chapters 2 and 4, and subsequent reviews. The research work and fruitful cooperation with Mr. G.O. Uittenbogaard, Associate Expert, Irrigation Engineer, should also be acknowledged.
Finally, the author wishes to thank Ms. H. Tonkin for her commendable and dedicated work in editing the publication, and Ms. H. Smith Redfern and Ms. C. Tomalino Ricco for typing the publication.