Narmada Water Resources ,Water Supply and kalpsar department (Water Resources) home
Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM)
Physical improvement is only a part of the solution. Maximum gains in water use efficiency can only be made when these are combined with better management practices. Keeping this concept in view, the State Government has decided to cover maximum possible command area under Participatory Irrigation Management to ensure that irrigation water is distributed efficiently and equitably in the command area and that it be used efficiently through Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). Where irrigation Co-Operatives maintain the canal network and field channels, expand irrigated area and distribute and provide tail-enders their fair and just share of water. Rehabilitation of existing canal network through stakeholders' participation to make water available to tail-enders is given priority.

The Government has taken up initiative to involve beneficiaries and stakeholders in irrigation management by enacting PIM Act in 2007. Under the provisions of this Act, Water Users' Association (WUA) is formed from amongst the beneficiary farmers in command area of an irrigation project. 90% of cost for community mobilization is borne by the Government. Rehabilitation of canals is completed by the Government before handing over to WUAs. The WUA contributes 10% of the rehabilitation cost. Preference is given to WUA to carry out rehabilitation by them. A canal can be handed over to WUA even prior to rehabilitation, if the WUA so demands. Advance payment of the order of 1/3rd of the estimated cost is given to WUA for starting the work.

Under the provisions of the Act, a WUA is authorized for :-
  • Collecting Govt. water charges
  • Retention of 50% for O&M permitted, rest goes to the Government
  • Deciding water rates higher than the Government charges
  • Retaining entire additional amount
  • Increasing women's participation in the WUA
Participatory Irrigation Management

As of today 1721 WUAs have been established in the command area of various irrigation projects and about 5.19 lac hectare area has been served by this WUAs under PIM.

Training and Capacity Building
The need of the hour was to explain and make the process known in its entirety to all direct and indirect stakeholders in the exercise. The reform process to yield projected results needed to be understood by the agency staff itself and by the farmers who were now expected to play a more proactive role in the entire process. Capacity building and awareness programs are basic to mold and prepare the stakeholders for the changed conditions and contexts. Water Resources Department through Water & Land Management Institute (WALMI) initiated systematic and intensive training courses and orientation programs for all stake holders at each level.

Preparation of detailed training modules, training of the trainers, training for all elected WUA presidents in workshops, training of Government staff, creation of Trainer's manual, continued and repeated training corresponding to needs were few of the basic focus of the capacity building exercise. Training modules on all subject areas were developed to make the stakeholders aware and conversant with related aspects in the reform agenda. Training of district and sub-district level functionaries through training of district level trainers who went on to transfer this to lower levels, extending the WUA presidents training subsequently to include all the members was followed to ensure that the training was expanded and decentralized gradually to include a wide variant of stakeholders.

Training & Capacity Building Approaches
To achieve the objectives of the water sector reforms program it is necessary to build the capacities of the farmers' organizations. Percolation and dissemination of the changes unfolding at the highest institutional level have to be understood and ingrained into the system at all levels to attain the designed improvements in the system. Orientation of the system towards the systemic objectives and projections becomes imperative in a reform process that is decentralizing roles and responsibilities and institutionalizing user participation into the system. Keeping these prerequisites in mind the department has integrated capacity building of the various stakeholders as an important constituent of the reform agenda to enable the WUAs undertake reform activities effectively. The key identified objectives of these capacity building activities include:
  • Creating a sense of ownership of water resources and the irrigation system among the farmers
  • Creating good coordination between the WUAs and the Water Resources Department engineers
  • Improving irrigation service deliveries through better operation &maintenance of the irrigation system
  • Encouraging collective and community responsibility on the farmers to collect water charges
  • Increasing agricultural production per unit of water
  • Achieving equitable distribution of irrigation water
A range of approaches and activities were identified for the implementation of the training and capacity building of the WUAs and other stakeholders in the reform process. Most of the interventions and measures for building up the capacities of the stakeholders were devised keeping the nature and chronological order of the activities and the responsibilities assigned to the WUAs in mind. A brief introduction is given about each of the identified approaches in the discussion below.

Exposure Visits
Exposure visits of selected WUA presidents to other model WUAs are chosen form of disseminating information and improving the capabilities of the farmers in irrigation management. The department has stressed the incorporation of exposure visits for the WUA Presidents to irrigation projects with well performing WUAs within the state.

The learnings from the exposure visits and clarifications are put on record to be used at a later stage. These visits have improved the understanding of the WUAs on efficient water management practices; made them aware that WUA decides the area to be irrigated, prepare irrigation schedule etc.; that regular meetings and records maintenance,

Financial transactions are audited for the self management by WUAs by appointing Secretaries; exposed them to the behavioral change unfolding in other command areas; the different approaches of participatory irrigation management; and other changes unfolding in the area of irrigation management. The exposure visits have helped in broadening the horizons of the farmers making them more amenable and receptive to the winds of change sweeping in the management of irrigation systems.

WUA Self Assessment
A calendar for PIM activities is prepared and widely publicized from amongst WUAs. Performance of each of the WUAs shall be judged based on indicators shown in the calendar. It is also under consideration to give incentive to the best performing WUA every year.

The Training and Capacity Building Program

Training and capacity building program in a modular form is designed and planned for WUAs.