Simpler designs for irrigation distribution systems
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CTA. 1999. Simpler designs for irrigation distribution systems. Spore 81. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/48464
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The Dilemmas of Water Division. Considerations and Criteria for Irrigation System Design L Horst. 1999. International Water Management Institute-Wageningen Agricultural University. 123 pp. SBN 92 9090 363 5 $40 (e36.40) $20 (e18.20) for developing coun
Problems with irrigation schemes in recent decades are often attributed to managerial shortcomings. Most efforts to solve problems are focused on improving the management or the capacity of water users' organisations. We should not forget the technical designs of the systems, says Lucas Horst. In The Dilemmas of Water Division, he looks back to the past and compares the different technical approaches of the former colonial powers. The French were keen on automated devices to distribute scarce water in irrigation schemes in West Africa. The Dutch designed structures to meet crop water demand on their plantations in Indonesia. Horst concludes that these design criteria have hardly changed since. Most irrigation systems still have adjustable structures to regulate water division through the various canals and tributaries. The designs look fine on paper but in practice these networks can be difficult to handle and are prone to, for instance, corruption. In times of water shortage, farmers start to adjust the devices themselves instead of leaving it to the responsible caretakers. Horst favours structures that divide water discharges in proportion to the area of land that each canal has to serve. If the total amount of water decreases, everyone automatically gets proportionally less. This means that systems are technically simpler and easier to manage. The Dilemmas of Water Division. Considerations and Criteria for Irrigation System Design L Horst. 1999. International Water Management Institute-Wageningen Agricultural University. 123 pp. SBN 92 9090 363 5 $40 (e36.40) $20 (e18.20) for developing countries) Publications Manager, IWMI, PO Box 2075, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Fax: +94 1 866854 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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