2017-06-10Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/w9060419
Impact of Institutional Change on Irrigation Management: A Case Study from Southern Uzbekistan
The rapidly growing population in Uzbekistan has put massive pressure on limited water resources, resulting in frequent water shortages. Irrigation is by far the major water use. Improving irrigation water use through the institutional change of establishing water consumer associations (WCAs) has been identified as a way to increase agricultural production and meet the food demand in the area. However, most WCAs are not fully able to organize collective action or generate sufficient funds to carry out their responsibilities. This study investigated the water-resource-related challenges faced by WCAs and local farmers in Kashkadarya Province in Uzbekistan, using semi-structured expert interviews and focus group discussions. The resulting data were analyzed using qualitative analysis software (Atlas.ti). The results indicated that outdated infrastructure, poor governance, and farmers’ non-payment of irrigation service fees hamper sustainable water management. Greater trust and communication within the WCAs would make an important contribution to effective collective action and to the long-term sustainability of local associations.