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Paddy irrigation and water management in Southeast Asia, Volume 1
Author:Rice, E. B.; Country:Myanmar; Bangladesh; Vietnam; Thailand;
Date Stored:2002/11/23Document Date:1997/04/30
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Earth Sciences & GIS; Water Use; Agricultural Research; Drylands & Desertification; Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions
ISBN:ISBN 0-8213-3914-1Language:English
Major Sector:Agriculture, fishing, and forestryRegion:East Asia and Pacific; South Asia
Report Number:16705Sub Sectors:Irrigation and drainage
Collection Title: * A World Bank operations evaluations studyVolume No:1

Summary: This Operations Evaluation Department study examines the impact of irrigation investments, operation, and maintenance in Southeast Asia. The review covers 6 gravity irrigation schemes in Thailand , Myanmar, and Vietnam. To compare the organization and effectiveness of operation and maintenance (O&M) between irrigation and flood control, the study also reviewed the performance audit findings from flood control schemes at three sites in Bangladesh. Although the six schemes are not performing as well as expected at appraisal, the performance gap cannot be attributed to decaying infrastructure or wasteful water distribution, as is expected when the dominant paradigm for government-operated, gravity-fed irrigation schemes applies. Rather, more important reasons are: falling paddy faults, overoptimism about the crop area to be served, and project design faults, including choice of unsuitable technology. Public agencies do a creditable job in operating and maintaining irrigation structures. Farmers, whether or not they are formally organized in water user groups, do cooperate to share water and to get essential maintenance done. Lessons learned are to: tailor prescriptions for improving O&M to actual behavior; simplify technology; emphasize capacity building for effective water distribution; take apt account of hydrological, topographical, and social factors; and favor crop diversification and intensification.

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