November 19, 2012

2012: Highlight # 45

WUAs in Maharashtra are supported by a long tradition of farmer-managed irrigation systems and a favorable policy environment. SOPPECOM reviews the working of 400 WUAs in Maharashtra...

Situational Analysis of WUAs in Maharashtra


Maharashtra has had a long history of farmer managed irrigation systems dating back to 15th or 16th century. However, the real impetus to formal decentralization of irrigation management to WUAs began only during the 1980s. Maharashtra has 4500 Water User Associations (WUAs) with a potential to manage 17 lakh ha of command area; these are at different stages of evolution. A new law of the Maharashtra government has mandated Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) and therefore he state’s ambition is to take this number to 9000. But what is the state of existing WUAs? This Highlight is based on a quick assessment of around 400 WUAs by SOPPECOM and their partners. Maharashtra leads Indian states in PIM. This Highlight offers a reality check.

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