Emergence and Stabilization of Institutions in Major Irrigation Commands a Case Study of Upper Krishna Irrigation Project in Karnataka (india)
Abstract: The development of canal irrigation as a whole reflects the dynamics of interaction between technology, institutions and society. The need for institutional change in water management in irrigation command is well established. Canal commands in India are remarkable for their institutional vacuum. One finds very little intermediation between irrigation engineers and irrigators. Little effort is made to bring into play rules, norms, policies designed to maximize productivity benefits and farmer welfare. Upper Krishna Project in Southern India is an exception to this rule. Ever since the thinking about UKP began in 1964, a range of policy interventions have been thought about debated and designed. Some of these are in operation and have produced a vibrant dynamic. The study attempted to explain how the design and transformation of irrigation institutions, as a result of years of trial and error, are related to the dynamics inherent in the socio-technical system. A key concept used for analyzing the emergence and stabilization of new irrigation institutions is water control through daily practices and strategies. The context of planning and design does not stop at the borders of a system, but fundamentally shapes irrigation management practices. The forms of organization at water distributary level and emergence of informal rule making at outlet have more to do with technology and embeddedness of engineers in the society in the changed socio-technical context.