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close this bookModern Water Control in Irrigation: Concept, Issues and Applications (WB, 1994, 116 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentRecent World Bank technical papers
View the documentIrrigation and drainage series
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentAbstract
Open this folder and view contentsPart I: Concepts and justifications
Open this folder and view contentsPart II: Notes on specific projects
View the documentReferences
View the documentANNEX 1: Methods of operation and structures for main and secondary irrigation distribution systems
View the documentDistributors of World Bank Publications
View the documentFriendly-user control structures


The paper is a contribution to the debate on how to transfer modern irrigation concepts and technology to developing countries. In modern schemes, irrigation is provided as a service to users that should be as efficient and convenient as possible. The authors argue that modern irrigation design is a thought process that starts with the definition of a proper operational plan. Scheme layout and equipment selection should be done in light of the operational objectives and the requirements of the farming systems. The paper addresses technological aspects but it is not a design manual. After an initial discussion of objectives and definitions, the paper reviews various elements of irrigation design and presents technological options. Additional design aspects related to maintenance, user participation, cost recovery and sustainability are discussed. Finally, the debate on the new design approach is opened with a presentation of supporting and opposing views.

Part II of the paper presents brief notes on modernized or rehabilitated irrigation schemes throughout the world, describing the characteristics and preliminary results of modernized schemes. An annex provides details of different water control methods. Some photos are attached to illustrate certain aspects of irrigation design.