Water, Technology and Development: Upgrading Egypt’s Irrigation System 9780755620845, 9781860642166

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Water, Technology and Development: Upgrading Egypt’s Irrigation System
 9780755620845, 9781860642166

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Acronyms and Measurements

CF DSC EWUP hp

Continuous Flow Down Stream Control Egyptian Water Use and Management Project Horse power

IAS IIP IMS ISPAN

Irrigation Irrigation Irrigation Irrigation

Le lps

Egyptian Pound Liter per second

Advisory Services Improvement Project Management Systems Project Support Project for Asia and the Near East

MALR Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation MPWWR Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources O&M Operations and Maintenance RIIP

Regional Irrigation Improvement Project

RLM PL

Raised Lined Mesqa Pipe line Mesqa

USAID WUA

United States Agency for International Development Water Users Association

Measurements One feddan = 4420 m2 = 0.44 ha One Le = 1 US dollar = 3.42 Le (1992)

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Acknowledgments

Research is by nature an individual process. However, I could not have acquired the knowledge needed to conduct and complete this study without the expertise, insight and encouragement of a great many friends and colleagues to whom I owe heartfelt thanks. Dr. Max Lowdermilk (advisor to the Irrigation Advisory Service, MPWWR, on leave from Colorado State University) generously shared 35 years of world-wide experience in this research field with me, and introduced me to the community of irrigation specialists in Egypt. Associate Professor Søren Mørch (Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, Odense University) and Ole Olsen (Danagro Advisors) read and commented upon various drafts of the manuscript. Yehia Adbel Aziz, Project Director of IIP, and before him Hassan Shouman, extended a warm welcome to me to conduct my research for this book within the framework of their project. David Smith, Project Manager at USAID, gave me permission to work with the IIP project, and Ezzam Barakat, now General Director and Head of IIP, found time in his busy schedule for many thoughtful discussions during my time in Egypt. I am especially indebted to the staff at the IIP and the Irrigation Advisory Service. At the head office in Cairo: Gamal M. Ayad, Shinawi A. Elati, Ahmed Garnousy, Tony Gillman, Carroll Hackbart, Salem Mohamed, Ramchand Oad, and James Schoof. At the Minya office: Atef, Don Clay, Nabil Fawsy, Hamada, Madih Khafifa, Mamdouh, Abu el Noor, Edwin F. Shinn, Tarak, Aly Yehia, William Zaky, and Esam Zenatey. I am grateful to them all for many long days in the field, for their frank answers to my many questions and for providing me with invaluable insight into the technical and social issues of irrigation and Egypt’s farming systems. My colleagues at the Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, Odense University, Denmark have been more than generous with their time and expertise. I had many useful discussions with Director Lars Erslev Andersen and with Charlotte Wien while writing the manuscript. Haney Youssef provided excellent assistance during the field work,

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Professor Jens Lauritsen willingly gave me a forum in which to discuss aspects of statistical analysis, and Cindie Maagaard proof-read the draft of this manuscript. The Danish Council for Development Research provided generous funding for this research undertaking and I am most grateful for the confidence it has shown in me by doing so. Thanks are also due to the staff at I. B. Tauris, especially my editor Anna Enayat, for the effort and professional expertise they have put into the production of this book. Last, but not least, warm thanks to my family, Elisabeth and our children Julie, and Thomas, for their patience throughout the time I gave to the completion of the manuscript.

Martin Hvidt, Odense, Fall 1997

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Preface

At the brink of the twenty-first century there is, throughout the world, considerable pressure to change the way in which water resources are managed. Water has become a key problem and will remain so as populations mount, our manifest environmental problems increase, the major consuming sectors – agriculture, industry and domestic – compete for increasingly scarce resources, and conflicts over water acquisition between countries which share the same transboundary surface or ground water resources remain unresolved. Agriculture, with its irrigation needs, is by far the largest user of water accounting, in developing countries, for 80 percent of consumption (World Bank, 1993:26). Thus, it is within this sector that the greatest potential for water conservation through new management structures and improved technology is found. Ministries of Irrigation and Public Works Departments have often been the instrument through which public policy to settle new lands, stabilize water availability, redress drought conditions, and enhance agricultural productivity is implemented. One result of this state-led expansion strategy is that the area under irrigation in the world has more than doubled in the 30-year period following 1955 (Agnew and Anderson, 1992:138). For several reasons – land and water scarcity, a fall in commodity prices, a lack of financially sound investment projects for new irrigation development, and the complexity social, economic and environmental considerations impose on irrigation project design – from the early 1980s irrigation strategies began to stress production increases originating from raised productivity within already existing irrigation systems. In other words, the strategy of expansion was largely abandoned and replaced with a strategy of optimization which emphasizes the improved operation and maintenance of already existing systems. The management of irrigation systems and water resources is the focal point of this new strategy. Parallel to this change, significant changes are taking place at the overall political level. In the period after the Second World War there was a

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widespread belief that societies could be developed through a comprehensive state planning effort and an accompanying state-led engagement in the various productive sectors. By the mid-1980s, however, planning was found to be an inadequate response to the problems faced by societies, and the pendulum swung from the planning strategy to the now alldominating neo-liberal strategy. The neo-liberal strategy emphasizes greater reliance on market forces in determining the allocation of resources as well as better economic management of resources. Its buzz words – decentralization, deregulation, and privatization – are by now familiar to all. Within the irrigation sector this shift in policy has led to various attempts to reform irrigation agencies and develop administrative procedures which emphasize the devolution of tasks and functions to lower levels of the agencies. According to the World Bank Water Policy Paper (1993:15): Because of their limited financial and administrative resources, governments need to be selective in the responsibilities they assume for water resources. The principle is that nothing should be done at a higher level of government that can be done satisfactorily at a lower level. The neo-liberal strategy calls in addition for the joint public – private management of water resources. This entails a divestment of water management functions, operation and maintenance tasks to farmers or other types of private institutions. In their current formulation, such strategies are termed, for example, ‘turn over and self-management’, ‘transfer of irrigation systems’, or ‘participatory irrigation management’. From an operational point of view, the aims of such strategies are to give farmers a felt or de facto ownership of the lower part of the systems. This, it is thought, will stimulate improved operation and maintenance, allowing for more efficient, timely and economically sound water deliveries. State agencies are in turn relieved of responsibility for such tasks, and the cost involved in them. While such reforms might be relatively simple to comprehend, and agree upon, they have proved difficult to implement. Reforming old and well-established, construction oriented, top-down, supply agencies in the direction of more decentralized, participatory, market oriented and demand driven agencies, is a complicated, conflict prone and time consuming process entailing strong political commitment not only among top decisions makers at the national level but also within the sector itself and among the end users of the water services, the farmers. This book should be read as a detailed analysis of the attempts to improve the performance of the Egyptian large-scale public irrigation system, along such lines. It analyzes the improvement process as it has been undertaken in a specific ongoing development project, the prototype

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Irrigation Improvement Project (IIP) financed by USAID and the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources (MPWWR). The IIP was conceived to address the main problems faced by the agricultural sector – namely lower than potential productivity, and an increasing scarcity of water – and to accommodate the effects of the current drive towards the liberalization of economic policy. At field level, the IIP aims specifically to improve the Egyptian irrigation system in order to provide adequate, reliable and fair water deliveries to the farmers. If farmers’ control over water is increased, increases in production, wider adoption of bio-chemical agricultural technologies, water savings and environmental sustainability are expected to follow. The IIP was set up to field test and further develop a package of improvements encompassing both institutional changes within the irrigation agency itself and significant social and technical changes at field level. By mid 1996, these improvements had been adopted as the model for improvements to be undertaken nation-wide through the National Irrigation Improvement Program (NIIP). In other words, the IIP is to be understood as model for the way the government wishes to bring the Egyptian irrigation system in line with the demands it will be facing by the turn of the century. The IIP is a state-of-the-art prototype project, especially in terms of the approach followed in involving the end users – the farmers – as the joint managers of water resources. Farmers, through newly established Water Users’ Associations, are involved in the design, implementation and maintenance of the physical structures of the irrigation system and the allocation and distribution of water. Because these improvements are implemented in the context of the Egyptian large-scale public irrigation system, and as such represent a much more complex undertaking than improvements of small-scale, community or privately owned systems for which there is more world-wide experience, the IIP’s experiences are extremely useful, not only for the Egyptian government, but also for irrigation management researchers and professionals in this expanding field. The research project that provided the core material discussed in this book aimed to analyze the initial results of the IIP effort to improve the performance of the Egyptian irrigation system in the old lands. More specifically, its aim was (i) to document and analyze the impact of the IIP project on its end users (farmers), on three selected variables: water control, land saving and farm income, and (ii) to analyze the possibility that a demand-driven spread of the IIP improvements could occur in the Egyptian farming community. Chapter 1 of the book outlines the background to the problem. It also

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provides a detailed description of the traditional irrigation system in Egypt and the proposed changes to it, namely the technological package delivered by the IIP. Chapter 2 reviews current state-of-the-art of thinking on the improvement of irrigation systems performance. Chapter 3 develops the framework for analysis used in this study. Chapter 4 describes the field survey method and Chapter 5 provides a background description of the three field survey areas. Chapters 6 to 8 offer specific analyses of the impact of the IIP improvements on water control, land saving and farm income. Chapter 9 summarizes, concludes and spells out the contributions that the study has made to this new, but crucially important field.

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chapt er 1 Irrigation in Egypt: The Traditional and the New System

This is a study of the de facto problems faced by the Egyptian farmers, and thus society at large, with respect to lower than potential productivity in the agricultural sector, scarcity of water, and the complex task of accommodating the new demands that have followed the liberalization of economic policy in Egypt.1 THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR OF EGYPT The Egyptian economy has traditionally relied heavily on the agricultural sector as a source of growth, both in terms of its contribution to GNP and as a source of employment for a significant part of the labor force. 2 This central role was reinforced by the strong performance of the sector initiated by the reforms that followed the 1952 revolution, and further supported by the inauguration of the Aswan High Dam in 1970 which allowed for a significant increase in the cultivated area and provided assured perennial irrigation to the entire Nile Valley and Delta areas. Table 1.1 shows that the agricultural sector now plays a less dominant role in the Egyptian economy. The decline in its share of the GNP, however, to a large extent reflects growth in other sectors (particularly oil but also services and construction) and the sector remains important for the future growth of the economy. Agricultural GNP grew in real terms at average annual rates of 2.7 percent in the 1960s, 3.5 percent in the 1970s (reflecting the beneficial effect of the Aswan High Dam) and 2.5 percent in the 1980s. Overall, the data indicates that if the contribution from the Aswan High Dam is excluded, agricultural growth rates have been modest. These modest rates seem to reflect two issues: an interventionist state policy which led to distorted price signals to the farmers, and the declining share of agriculture in total public investments during the last 25 years. The agricultural sector’s share of public investments dropped from 14 percent in 1962–66, to only 7 percent in the

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Table 1.1: Share of Agriculture in the Egyptian Economy

Share of Agriculture in GNP ** Share of Agriculture in Exports Share of Agriculture in employment

1974*

1980

1985

1990

30 25 47

25.4 22.5 36.7

19.3 17.7 35.8

19.9 20.3 n.a.

* The data from 1974 are derived from a different series than the data for subsequent years ** In 1987 constant prices, at factor cost Source: World Bank (1993a): Arab Republic of Egypt. An Agricultural Strategy for the 1990s (World Bank, Washington D. C.) p. 5.

period 1988–92, if one excludes the cost of the Aswan High Dam. Furthermore, of this 7 percent, 40 percent was allocated to horizontal expansion, which so far has failed to generate returns on the scale expected from it. Egypt has a total area of 238 million feddans (one million km2); but no more than around 7.3 million feddans, or 3 percent of the land, is used for cultivation. Of the cultivated area, 5.4 million feddans are ‘old’ lands located in the Nile Valley and the Delta, and 1.9 million feddans are ‘new’ lands reclaimed from the desert since 1952. With a current population of 55 million, agricultural land per capita is 0.13 feddans (0.053 hectares), among the lowest world wide (World Bank, 1993a:6).3 At present, it is estimated that the agricultural land is divided among three million land holdings representing roughly 17 million individuals. In addition, farming provides employment for landless labor. The Nile is the sole source of irrigation water available to Egyptian agriculture.4 It provides a volume of approximately 59 billion m3 of water per year to Lake Nasser (Abu-Zeid and Rady, 1992:94), given the average annual precipitation in the drainage basin of the Nile. At present, this volume barely sustains the demand for water in Egyptian society (AbuZeid, 1992:14). Egypt’s agricultural sector is unique in two ways. Firstly, over 95 percent of production originates from irrigated land, and secondly, the entire water source of the Nile originates outside Egypt’s borders (Abu-Zeid, 1992:2). THREE PROBLEMS FACED BY THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR The three major problems faced by the agricultural sector are lower than potential productivity, scarcity of water, and the complex task of

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accommodating the new demands that have followed the policy of economic liberalization. Lower than Potential Productivity Along with the gift of the Nile, a perennial source of irrigation water, Egypt has good soils and good climatic conditions, all of which provide excellent conditions for agricultural production and the application of intensive agriculture. When these factors are combined by the farmers the result is high yields for most crops (World Bank, 1993a:6–7). There is, however, considerable potential for increasing the agricultural productivity and quality of high-demand crops in the old lands through the wider adoption of improved technologies and cultural practices (World Bank, 1993a:13). The average yields for most crops are high in Egypt compared to those obtained in, for example, Spain, Portugal, USA, Brazil, India and South Korea (Devres Inc., 1993: Annex 11 p. 4). 5 But it is estimated that the yields of some crops could be increased by at least one third on the average, while the yields of selected crops like maize, sorghum and groundnuts could be doubled (Stoner, 1994:199). Actual crop-yield evaluations from specific development projects confirm these estimates (ILRI, 1988:62). Among the most fundamental reasons for public investment in irrigation systems is the fact that good control over water by the farmers is a prerequisite for the adoption of new agricultural technologies, such as fertilizer, pesticides, and high-yielding grain varieties.6 These improved technologies are primarily bio-chemical (in contrast to mechanical), and presuppose adequate and predictable water supplies. 7 Even though the Nile is under full control today, and the irrigation system in general performs satisfactorily – when water is plentiful (ISPAN, 1992:10–11) – research has provided ample evidence of the urgent need to improve farmer water control in Egypt.8 The studies available to us show that control over irrigation water and its distribution within the system, that is along branch canals and mesqas, is insufficient to provide the farmers with adequate, reliable and fair water distribution, and that this places a significant constraint on farmer water management. The rigidities of the present system, for example, do not allow for satisfying different water demands for different crops, and do not allow for the precise control over water, a prerequisite for adoption of state-of-the-art agricultural technologies.9 An in-depth analysis of the water control situation in the three areas in which the field survey reported in this book was conducted, support

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these findings on the absence of farmer water control. Reported problems are, for example, shortages of irrigation water during the peak summer period, severe inequalities in water distribution throughout the system and the deteriorating condition of canal physical structures. These factors were found to be critical in contributing to poor water control in these areas.10 It is nearly impossible to identify the exact impact of a lack of water control on productivity. One reason for this is that Egyptian society is a dynamic society in which manifest changes in the overall policy environment, such as input and output prices, take place. A second is that it is difficult to determine exactly what the lack of farmer water control means to a farmer in terms of ‘options not taken’. Farmer water control, however, is seen world wide as a basic factor facilitating a more widespread use of modern agricultural technologies because ‘… farmers do not risk substantial investments in agriculture when water supplies are undependable’ (Clyma and Lowdermilk, 1988:16). Increasing Water Scarcity The current supply of water barely sustains the current demand in Egypt. Furthermore, the demand for water is increasing. The growth rate of the Egyptian population is estimated to be 1.7 percent per annum (1992 to 2000), adding approximately one million new inhabitants to the country each year. From the present population of approximately 55 million, Egypt is expected to have a population of about 63 million by the year 2000, and 86 million by year 2025.11 In order to accommodate and feed this growing population, and to meet the demands of rising incomes, the government of Egypt has embarked on a strategy which aims at reclaiming an estimated 2.8 million feddans of low-quality desert land. For this strategy to succeed, adequate amounts of irrigation water must be available (World Bank, 1993a:6).12 In addition hydropolitical issues threaten to limit the amount of water available to Egypt from upstream riparian states. For example, the two upstream states – Ethiopia and Sudan – have had neither the political stability nor the money to engage in large irrigation development projects. If their conditions were to change, Egypt would be left with a reduced portion of the Nile flow. Only limited possibilities exist for expanding water resources within the Nile system. Examples are the Jonglei canal project (a bypass canal of the swamps of Sudan designed to lessen the evaporation of the White Nile), further exploitation of ground water resources, and changes in cropping patterns in the direction of less water-consuming crops.13 The most

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promising way of tackling the water problem is, therefore, to expand resources through water conservation in the old lands by introducing more effective on-farm irrigation technologies and practices (World Bank, 1993a:25). At present, Egyptian agriculture consumes about 84 percent of the water used in Egypt (Abu-Zeid and Rady, 1992:94). This means that it is in this sector that the greatest potential for applying water-conserving measures is found. Even relatively small changes in the on-farm water use on individual farms will result in sizable savings on a national scale. Estimates of potential annual water savings of 15 percent are mentioned (World Bank, 1993a:25), while Egypt’s present water policy only calculates savings of roughly 2 percent (Abu-Zeid, 1992:14).14 In 1979 the Minister of Irrigation wrote that ‘Egyptian agriculture is considered to be one of the most consumptive of irrigation water in the world. This high consumption is not due to reasons related to soil, but is mainly related to the wasteful use of irrigation water’ (Samaha, 1979:253). Recent measurements show that farmers generally apply 50 to 250 percent more water than is needed by the crops and for leaching requirements (IIP, 1993d:10). Furthermore, the fact that there is much water logging in Egypt suggests that at certain seasons, and for certain crops, there is substantial over-irrigation and loss of water to open drains and return flows. One reason for this vast over-irrigation is the lack of water control, because with lack of water control ‘… the general tendency of farmers is to irrigate too soon and apply too much water’ (Clemmens, 1987:60). Thus, ‘… measures are necessary for ensuring the efficient use of the sector’s most important limiting factor of production – water’ (World Bank, 1993a:x). Changes in Economic Policy In March 1990, the government of Egypt launched a comprehensive economic and social reform program to facilitate the transition from a highly interventionist, centrally planned, economy to one that is decentralized and market oriented. In the agricultural sector, this has meant the elimination of crop area controls, mandatory deliveries of produce to government cooperatives, and the elimination of administratively determined input and output prices (World Bank, 1993a:ix–x). This restructuring also has significant implications for the irrigation system. Prior to the mid 1980s, all cropping patterns for individual farmers were determined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR). This placed the ministry in a position where it could allocate the required water volumes to each command area. This was done by applying

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a rigid rotational system, which generally provides water five days ‘on’ and ten days ‘off ’.15 But without predetermined cropping patterns, the issue of determining the specific water allocations has become much more complex. For example, different crops need different amounts of water. Long-rooted crops can be grown with the irrigation frequency provided by the rotational system, while short-rooted crops, such as vegetables, require more frequent irrigations with less volume per application. Thus, to achieve the full benefits of the free market, the liberalized cropping patterns require a corresponding ‘liberalization of water’. That is, liberalization of the way irrigation water is delivered and allocated to farmers for meeting real rather than assumed, crop evapotanspiration needs. Water deliveries in the present irrigation system, therefore, must be changed to a demand system in order to accommodate the different needs of individual crops. A second implication of this liberalization process is that the former policy of the government, that is to extract money from agriculture in order to improve and maintain the irrigation system, must be modified. Prior to liberalization, farm inputs had to be purchased from government agricultural cooperatives, and the farm output was delivered to these cooperatives. Farmers received lower than market prices for their produce, which resulted in the government extracting surplus income from farmers. This source of income no longer exists because all crops (except sugar cane and cotton) have been removed from government regulations and are now sold on the free market. It has, therefore, become necessary to devise other sources of revenue from the farming community for the improvement, operation and maintenance of the irrigation system. The method now legalized to mobilize resources from water users is cost sharing or cost recovery. Up to now, the only laws that have been passed govern the recovery of mesqa capital costs; but cost recovery studies are underway which call for resource mobilization from all beneficiaries of the Nile system, including navigation, tourism, industry, and municipalities. THE IRRIGATION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT The prototype Irrigation Improvement Project (IIP) was initiated by the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources (MPWWR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as way of mitigating the problems faced by the agricultural sector of Egypt. The IIP represents one of the first tangible efforts to redirect the Egyptian irrigation system towards a more efficient use of water resources and improved system performance. The IIP was begun in 1989 and terminated in September 1996 following a one year extension. By mid 1996, the improvements developed

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and refined under IIP had been adopted as the model for improvements to be undertaken nationwide through the National Irrigation Improvement Program (NIIP), sponsored by the World Bank and Japanese sources. Large sums of money are involved. The IIP is a USAID grant-assisted project with a budget of approximately $90 million and the World Bank replication project is estimated to cost approximately $400 million (Aziz, 1994:7ff). The IIP aimed at introducing a broad range of improvements at the institutional level, both at the macro- and at the micro-system level, with the overall goal of increasing the system performance of the Egyptian irrigation system. Among the most important improvements are: enabling the institutional structure of the MPWWR to strengthen its planning and analytical capacity, and making the organization more responsive to actual farmer involvement. At the macro-system level, an important improvement has been to rehabilitate and improve structures and canals. At the microsystem level (mesqa and farms) the improvements are meant to introduce changes in mesqa design, establish private WUAs on mesqas and federated WUAs on branch canals, and to provide knowledge to farmers concerning the optimum use of the technical change, the crop-water relationship and new types of crops. The IIP was a state-of-the-art prototype project, especially in terms of the approach followed in involving the end users – the farmers – through WUAs in the design, implementation and maintenance of the physical structures and the allocation and distribution of water by WUAs themselves. Because these improvements are implemented in the context of the Egyptian large-scale public irrigation system, and as such represent a much more complex undertaking than improvements of small-scale, community or privately owned systems, for which there is more worldwide experience, the IIP’s experiences are extremely useful, not only for the Egyptian government, but also for irrigation management researchers and professionals in this expanding field. This study aims to analyze the initial experiences gained from the IIP effort to improve the performance of the Egyptian irrigation system in the old lands. More specifically, from data collected between September and November 1992, the aim is to: 1. Document and analyze the impact of the IIP project to its end users (farmers), on three selected variables, those of water control, land saving and farm income. 2. Analyze the possibility that a demand-driven spread of the IIP improvements could occur in the Egyptian farming community.

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For these purposes, a detailed review of the specific attributes of the traditional Egyptian irrigation system and the proposed improvements implemented by IIP is undertaken below. Note that the IIP improvements are designed to address a number of shortcomings of the traditional Egyptian irrigation system. Their aim, however, is not only to restore the former efficiency level in this system but also to introduce a range of changes which are thought to provide the basis for the efficient use of water and land resources and increase production far into the next millennium. In other words, all the changes introduced do not directly reflect deficiencies in the current Egyptian irrigation system. For clarity, the ‘unimproved’ Egyptian irrigation system is in this book referred to as the ‘traditional system’ and its technology, the ‘traditional irrigation technology.’ The package of improvements implemented by IIP is termed the ‘Downstream Control technological package’ or just the ‘DSC package’.16 THE TRADITIONAL EGYPTIAN IRRIGATION SYSTEM This section is an introduction to the traditional Egyptian irrigation system, or more precisely, the technical and operational aspects of the system. It is, therefore, not a complete and detailed description of the system, but a presentation of key features of relevance for the purpose of this study. The term ‘irrigation system’ is defined here as a system which ‘captures, delivers, applies, and removes water from agricultural land’ (Keller, 1990:33). The Egyptian irrigation system is the result of generations of government attempts to control the River Nile and organize its water use for commercial purposes. For more than 5000 years, irrigation has been conducted in Egypt. It is not the intention here to repeat the historical factors of political, economic, and geographical origin which have shaped the present irrigation system.17 Two historical points should, nevertheless, be highlighted: the need to dam the River Nile, and the past water abundance. First, building dams to control the Nile water flow has been of utmost importance for the development of the country. The Nile flow varies greatly throughout the year and over the years. For example, 80 percent of the total discharge into Lake Nasser occurs between August and October, while the remaining 20 percent is spread over the rest of the year (Waterbury, 1979:23). This necessitates over-season storage capacity. Furthermore, substantial differences of discharge between years are present, which necessitates in-between-year storage capacity. In addition, means to control the floods in August to October need to be established. These factors have led to a major emphasis over the last 150 years on

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constructing dams to create over-season and over-year storage. 18 With the inauguration of the Aswan High Dam in 1970, the Nile flow was completely tamed. As Waterbury (1979:Chapter 5) polemically stated ‘… the Nile stops at Aswan.’ The second historical point to be highlighted is that, up to the present day, the system has been characterized by water abundance (Abu-Zeid, 1992:14). As pointed out by Wiener (1977:78), the importance of planning and efficiency in irrigation operations increases with the scarcity of the resource. The structure, management and technical properties of the Egyptian irrigation system have been designed and operated within a situation of water abundance, which means that up to the late 1980s very little emphasis was placed on improving the efficiency of the water use. The very critical water situation in 1988 was an eye-opener to the Egyptian water planners. Egypt was still vulnerable to the Nile flows, and ‘… needs for rationalization and reductions in water use emerged as common agreed possibilities to face the coming unknown’ (Abu-Zeid and Abdel-Dayem, 1990:330). A Note on Sources While there is an abundance of publications dealing with climatic, geographical, hydropolitical and historical aspects of the River Nile and Egypt’s exploitation of it, there is a remarkable lack of literature on the structure, organization and technical aspects of the Egyptian irrigation system. In this section, three main sources are used. First, the report of the Egypt Water Use and Management Project (EWUP) (1984): Improving Egypt’s Irrigation System in the Old Lands. Findings of the Egypt Water Use and Management Project, Final Report. This report provides a description of the system and an in-depth account of the local irrigation practices. The second source is Mehanna et al. (1984): Irrigation and Society in Rural Egypt which, like the EWUP study, lays out the irrigation system and shows the consequences for the organization of irrigation. This study focuses on the interlink between the technical aspects of the irrigation system and its impact on farmers’ irrigation behavior. This is an invaluable source of information on the farmer perspective of irrigation practices in Egypt. The third main source is the report, Irrigation Water Cost Recovery in Egypt. Determination of Irrigation Water Costs, prepared by the Irrigation Support Project for Asia and the Near East (ISPAN, 1992) sponsored by USAID and carried out by an American–Egyptian team. The terms of reference for the study were to ‘establish current and future cost

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requirements for the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the main system irrigation and drainage facilities in Egypt, and to explore various mechanisms to recover such costs from system beneficiaries’ (ISPAN, 1992:3). As a prerequisite to fulfilling this goal, an in-depth description of the Nile system in terms of function, operation, capacity, users, and indirect beneficiaries of the various components was written. As such, this report has provided an invaluable insight into current issues facing the operation of the Egyptian irrigation system. General Characteristics of the Traditional Irrigation System A foremost characteristic of the irrigation system is its degree of centralization. Since the main and almost exclusive source of surface water in Egypt is the Nile, every drop of water that flows in the irrigation system is under total control because it is released from the Aswan High Dam. The size and complexity of the Egyptian irrigation system is tremendous. It consists of the Aswan High Dam, eight main barrages (diversion barrages), approximately 30,000 km of public canals, 17,000 km. public drains, 80,000 km. of private canals (mesqas) and farm drains, 450,000 private water lifting devices (sakias or pumps), 22,000 public water control structures, and 670 large public pumping stations for irrigation (EWUP, 1984:18; ISAWIP, 1990:5; ISPAN, 1992: appendix A). The system distributes approximately 59 billion m 3 of water annually, not only to cultivated land, but also for municipal and industrial use, to generate hydroelectricity and for navigation of freighters and tourist boats on the Nile. The system is a so-called ‘surface gravity system’ in that all canals are open and the water generally flows by gravity except for a small area in Fayoum Governorate. Approximately 20 percent of the water is pumped from the Nile to elevated canals on the west and east sides of the delta, thereby extending the area under cultivation (ISPAN, 1992: 8).19 The average slope of the system is 15 cm/km. The maximum head at Aswan High Dam is 175 m above sea level and at a distance of 1,205 km to the Nile estuary on the Mediterranean sea (Waterbury, 1979:149). The steepest slope is found in Upper Egypt, while the slope of the Delta is on average 10 cm/km. Each of the eight diversion barrages elevates the water level in relation to the unregulated Nile bed and the surrounding land. The main canals have their offtake at the upstream side of these barrages, and run parallel to the Nile although with a smaller gradient than the Nile bed. This provides water for approximately 80 percent of the agricultural area (ISPAN, 1992:8).

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A typology of water delivery canals The Nile system hierarchy is classified according to the order of canals starting with the main stem of the Nile (order 0) and descending though the system to principal canals, main canals, branch canals and sub-branch canals to the lowest order (order 7). The ordering system is not a consistent representation of canal size over the entire system. For example, an order 3 canal in one specific location might be larger in capacity than an order 1 canal at different part of the system (ISPAN, 1992:A5). For the purpose of this study, familiarity with the following types of canals is important. Principal canals (1st order) take water directly from the Nile and convey it to main canals (2nd order). No direct irrigation from this type of canal is allowed.20 Main canals (2nd order) take water from principal canals (1st order) and convey it to branch canals. No direct irrigation from this type of main canal is allowed.21 Branch canals (3rd order) receive water from main canals for conveyance to distributary canals. Rotation is normally applied at these canals. Water extraction by mesqas is conducted, and irrigation by direct outlets is permitted along lower reaches of these canals, where the branch canals assume size of a distributary (4th order canal). Mesqas (private ditches) receive water from branch or distributary canals for distribution either directly to fields or into marwas. Marwas (private offtakes from the mesqas) convey the water from the mesqas to fields located at a distance from the mesqa. A similar hierarchy of canals exists for extraction and conveyance of drainage water away from the fields. Here the process is reversed. The field drains collect water into collector drains, which flow into branch drains and then into different categories of main drains. The drainage system, although important for crop production, is not dealt with in this study. Legal Aspects of Irrigation ‘Law No. 74 for the year 1974 Relative to Irrigation and Drainage’ defines the public and private domains of the irrigation system and delineates the rights and responsibilities of individuals using both domains. 22 It further specifies responsibilities with regard to water distribution and drainage practices, the use of pumps, mesqas, navigation, and penalties for failure to comply. The law is administered by the MPWWR. In simple terms, the law states that the MPWWR is responsible for the

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entire irrigation and drainage system above mesqa level. The MPWWR is granted all rights to make decisions concerning the physical structures of the system, for example, the size of mesqa intake pipes, the rotation schedule and cropping patterns for certain water-consuming crops (rice). The mesqas are owned (not necessarily constructed) by the landowners, who are granted the right to ‘drive water … at a rate equivalent to the area owned by each [landowner] from the mesqa’ (A.R.E. Ministry of Irrigation, 1974: Chapter II, article 9). The responsibilities of the landowners are to maintain the mesqa and field drains, which include the removal of ‘hyacinth and other plants and weeds impeding the running of water’ and keeping the banks in good condition. (A.R.E. Ministry of Irrigation, 1974: Chapter II, article 10). In summary, there is a clear-cut division of rights and responsibilities in regard to the irrigation system. The farmers are fully responsible for the mesqa micro systems. Note that water rights are tied to the land and not to the owner of the land. This makes it impossible to sell water rights, as is the case in some other systems in the world (e.g. Maass and Anderson, 1978). Organizational Aspects of the Nile System According to the typology of irrigation systems presented by Uphoff et al. (1991:31–7), the Egyptian system is classified as a large-scale system. Such a system is characterized by five or more organizational/operational levels and exceeds 30,000 ha of served area. They note that: … with more than four levels both size and complexity transform the problems of irrigation management. It is practically impossible for water users on their own to handle such systems, and the mode of organization for agency management must take on a more prominently bureaucratic form (Uphoff et al., 1991: 36).

This is certainly the case in Egypt. The ‘prominent bureaucratic form’ is such that the MPWWR single handedly carries out all management tasks related to irrigation above the mesqa level. The ministry acquires, allocates, and distributes water and removes drainage water. The MPWWR also designs, constructs, operates and maintains the main system. It also makes decisions, mobilizes resources (from the state budget), communicates with staff and farmers, and engages in major conflict management, involving primarily the O&M of the main system. The administrative set-up The MPWWR consists of four departments (Irrigation, Finance, Planning and Mechanical & Electrical), four authorities (Drainage, High Dam, Coastal Protection and Survey), six public contracting companies and the

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Water Research Center, which operates 11 institutes (ISAWIP, 1990:6; ISPAN, 1992:A19). Two spatial units are in use within Egypt, namely, canal command areas and directorates. The command area (of which there are 50) represents a unit which is served by a particular canal. The directorate is an administrative unit, responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the irrigation system within its boundaries. At present, there are 22 directorates which are subdivided into 48 inspectorates and 167 districts (ISPAN, 1992:A4). District engineers are normally responsible for irrigation operations on 30,000 to 40,000 feddans (divided into 20 to 50 branch canals). In West Minya Directorate, for example, there are 16 district engineers. Each of them has around 10 gate keepers who are responsible for four to seven gates each. In addition to these, the district engineer has around 40 laborers for maintenance work.23 The total number of staff employed by for example Minya Directorate is 1,100, covering an irrigated area of about 500,000 feddans.24 Note that the district engineers and the gate keepers were the only personnel of MPWWR with whom the farmers were in direct contact before the IIP came into being. The cost of operation, maintenance and rehabilitation The annual expenditure for operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the Egyptian irrigation system is around 555 million Le/year, which amounts to 75.2 Le/feddan/year (ISPAN, 1992:xxvii). The money is allocated to the ministry through the state budget. The MPWWR has no income of its own because farmers do not pay directly for irrigation water. Farmers, however, pay or have paid a part of the irrigation water costs through indirect land taxes to the state treasury and through mandatory sales of major agricultural products to the government at low prices (Samaha and Abu-Zeid, 1980:145). As mentioned, the ongoing effort to lift the regulation imposed on the agricultural sector has led the Egyptian Government to seek new ways of recovering costs for investments in the system (ISPAN, 1992:xix) Operation of the MPWWR Water Allocation Two issues will be dealt with under this heading: building a water allocation plan and water delivery schedules. Concerning the water allocation plan, the procedure described below is currently undergoing change following the implementation of free cropping patterns. It is not known, however, to what extent this change has actually had an impact on water allocation planning.

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Building a water allocation plan The general planning procedure followed to allocate the Nile water is for each ministry concerned to report its water requirements for the coming period (year) to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Water Planning (ICWP). The concerned ministries are: MALR (requesting all water for irrigation), Ministry of Electricity and Energy, Ministry of Housing and Public Utilities, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation) (A.R.E Ministry of Irrigation, 1981: Chapter 6). In the light of these requests, the ICWP decides on the actual allocation for each type of use of water and reports this decision back to the concerned ministries. It is the task of the MPWWR to carry out this plan through operation of the Nile system. One question is ‘how does MALR decide how much water to request?’ The flow in any branch or distributary canal should be based on crop consumptive needs as determined by: (i) the cropping pattern, (ii) the water requirements of each crop, (iii) the area served, (iv) the type of soil, and (v) expected conveyance and on-farm losses (EWUP, 1984:20). There are well-established measures for the crop-consumptive water use given specified seasons and type of soils (IIP, 1991b). If MALR knows which crops are to be grown and the size of the areas planted with each crop, it is quite simple to calculate the water requirements and add some extra to compensate for losses and leaching. This is the normal procedure followed. How can MALR know the cropping pattern a year in advance? Egyptian agriculture in the past was, as mentioned above, highly regulated. The area planted with sugar cane, cotton and rice (the most waterconsuming crops) was known precisely because it was decided by MALR (in cooperation with MPWWR) and implemented through the two types of cooperatives that extended services to the farmers – the agrarian reform cooperatives and the agricultural cooperatives. 25 Furthermore, all farmers followed a crop rotation pattern. In Upper Egypt, for example, two main types of cropping patterns exist. Those with and those without sugar cane. Sugar cane often stays in the ground for five years. When cut, the ratoon remains and produces a new crop. So sugar cane land is used only for sugar cane during these years. Second, the cotton rotation is on a three-year schedule, with cotton the first year, followed by maize and then wheat as the summer crops. Given these rotational cropping patterns, the MALR can easily extrapolate its wateruse needs.26 The result of this planning exercise is a day-by-day plan for the volumes of water to be released from the Aswan High Dam, with allocations for each principal, main, branch and distributary canal. It is the responsibility

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of the district engineer and his gate keepers to allocate the determined amounts within their areas. Delivery Schedules The traditional Egyptian irrigation system is operated on a turn, or rotational, basis.27 This system was introduced in order to keep water levels high in canals from which irrigation takes place, and to constrain farmers’ water use (Shouman and Hackbart, 1992:5). Different types of rotations exist, but the predominant type in Middle Egypt – and among the mesqas included in this survey – before the improvements was the 5/ 10 rotation. Groups of mesqas, thus, have access to water the five days the system is ‘on’ and are left without water the following 10 days when the system is ‘off ’.28 Figure 1.2 depicts the 5/10 rotation.

Day of month 1–2–3–4–5

16–17–18–19–20

1–2

On

On

Rotation: On

Off

Off

Figure 1.2: Schematic Presentation of 5/10 Water Rotation

From an agricultural point of view, the 5/10 rotation is suitable only for growing long-rooted crops such as sugar cane, maize, wheat, and berseem, and not for short-rooted crops like vegetables, which require more frequent irrigation.29 This rotation is applied to a main or branch canal by dividing the canal into, for example, three sections of nearly equal size, based on irrigated area.30 For the first five days in a 5/10 rotation schedule section, one canal is allocated water, which means that all the intake gates at the distributary canals are opened. At day six, the distributary canals in section one are closed, and the flow is shifted to section two, etc. This is depicted in Figure 1.3 below. While this system seems relatively simple to operate, it is quite complex in practice. As can be seen, a ‘turn’ is defined according to time. In practical terms it is difficult to provide the same quantity of water to each of the different sections on the canal. Due to losses of water from such causes as seepage, leaking gates, and possible illegal water extraction in the upstream sections (section one or

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1st turn:

2nd turn:

3rd turn:

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Open

Closed

Closed

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Closed

Open

Closed

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Closed

Closed

Open

Head

Tail

Head

Tail

Head

Tail

Figure 1.3: Schematic Presentation of the Rotation System

two) while they are ‘off ’, the water flow to the downstream section is reduced. In extreme cases, up to 40 percent of the water can disappear over a distance as short as only 14 km, as documented by EWUP (1984:25). Furthermore, inequity of water deliveries among the canal sections is most likely because it is nearly impossible to maintain the same water level relative to the field in the different sections of the canal. It should be remembered that discharge increases exponentially with hydrological head, which means that even smaller differences in water levels can provide substantial differences in the volume of water delivered. 31 EWUP (1984:26) documented a highly uneven distribution of water along branch canals for this reason. As a consequence of the lack of an adequate quantity of delivered water, farmers often ‘modify’ the systems to deliver higher quantities. The size and number of mesqa outlets are frequently manipulated to increase supplies (Mehanna et al., 1984:144). EWUP (1984:21) found that up to 72 percent of the mesqas in the surveyed areas possessed ‘illegal’ outlets. A second and very important issue concerning the rotational system is the timing of the water deliveries: whether the shift from one section to the next actually takes place on the scheduled day. In some or most locations it does (MacDonald & Partners Ltd., 1988; Mehanna et al., 1984:139). But in others the rotation schedule is ‘observed somewhat loosely with water coming and going both later and earlier than scheduled’ (IIP, 1991c:2/10). Thus, the operation of the rotational system is complicated, due to three factors: (i) Gates must be opened and closed and constantly regulated

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during an ‘on’ period. That is, gate keepers regulate each gate three times a day. (ii) The District Engineer must possess a thorough knowledge of the specific areas and its topography, etc. (iii) Water is political gold, which means that ‘… one could view water not only as a substance needed for agriculture, but also as one of the scarce currencies diverted to maintain the structure of general village political relationships’ (Mehanna et al., 1984:10). This affects the operation of the system at the local level because political relations might interfere with the strictly technical allocation of the water. As further pointed out: … for a variety of reasons, the compilation of the cropping pattern information of a region is never very accurate and also infractions can alter the levels of water on sections of a given canal. Therefore, engineers depend on past experiences, as well as on complaints by users – and not just on theoretical computations to make their daily decisions about water levels (Mehanna et al., 1984:98).

Each of these issues has, in addition, direct bearing on farmer water control. Water Lifting vs Gravity Flow Irrigation water is delivered 50 to 75 cm below field level, which forces the farmers to lift water. By lifting water, farmers incur a pumping cost, which was thought to make them conserve water (EWUP, 1984:27; Mehanna et al., 1984:19).32 Originally, the entire system was operated by gravity flow. In the latter part of the 1950s, initiatives were taken by MPWWR (at that time, the Ministry of Irrigation) to convert first the delta, and later the rest of the system, to a below grade system. But as pointed out by Mehanna et al. (1984), different systems do exist side by side. Three major types of irrigation systems can be identified within the Egyptian system: The Delta lift system, the Ibrahimia Canal system, and the Fayoume gravity system. The Delta was completely transformed into a lift system, while Fayoume is by nature a gravity system. The Ibrahimia Canal system covers Middle Egypt, from Asyut in the south to Beni Suef in the north. The authors describe the system as a mixed gravity and lift system. In general terms the reason for the mixed system is that the topography of the area allows both forms to exist. This finding is supported by the field survey data collected for this study which showed that, in fact, a small proportion (approximately 10 percent) of the farmers had actually been able to irrigate their land primarily by gravity prior to the improvements. Water lifting is conducted with diesel-powered pumps and, in rare

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cases, by sakias. Each farmer either owns or hires a pump when he wants to irrigate. It is common to observe three to 10 pumps lifting water consecutively from one mesqa when the rotation is ‘on.’ The traditional mesqas are termed ‘low level mesqas’ and the practice of individual pumping by a multitude of pumps is termed ‘multiple point lifting’ (Shouman and Hackbart, 1992:). Farmer Organizations Mehanna et al. (1984) draw the following conclusion in respect to irrigation organizations in Middle Egypt: In contrast to the other systems we studied [the delta lift system and Fayoume gravity system], there are no permanent traditional local water user groups of any kind in most of Middle Egypt. This results from two aspects of the local ecology and technology: First, the technologies employed are highly individualistic. … Secondly, discouraging the formation of fixed groups is the changing technological requirements and the multiple sources of water. This has generated a capacity for ad hoc contingent cooperation for what are sometimes fairly complex operations, but which do not involve the same … people from one time to the next. (Mehanna et al., 1984:68).

Six years later the IIP socioeconomic survey concluded from a study, with a sample of 1910 farm interviews from 11 canal commands in Egypt, that ‘water users do organize when it is in their interest to do so.’ It was found that water users organize when they have ownership in the process or activity. In addition this study found that water users and farmers have definite norms for organization. And when these norms are broken, they have means to discipline and control offenders (IIP, 1990e:37). The type of cooperation most often found is in the sharing of pumps, renting of pumps, and mesqa cleaning. Performance of the System ISPAN provided the following overall assessment of the Egyptian Irrigation System in 1993: The structural and administrative management system for water delivery from the Nile River is performing in a satisfactory fashion. There are only occasional reports that irrigated areas fail to receive expected water supplies due to problems with either structures or management (ISPAN, 1992:10–11).

However, they point out that ‘most structures are old and are beginning to deteriorate significantly.’ This is seen as a consequence of the recent budget limits which have resulted in inadequate maintenance, repairs, and replacement of structures. Finally, they point out that ‘the present irrigation

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system operates well when water supply is plentiful, but is vulnerable to major water shortages’ (ISPAN, 1992:10–11). However, as mentioned above, the irrigation performance is less satisfactory at farm level. The same study, for example, reports that although the Nile is fully controlled, there is limited control over water distribution within the system. Lack of efficient control structures below the outlet was one cause. Often command areas of up to 10,000 feddans were found to have only one regulator (ISPAN, 1992:11). This finding is supported by the EWUP study. It concluded that the actual distribution of water in the branch canals is not managed by volumes, but by maintaining constant water levels downstream of the regulators, with no specific control or flow measurements, leading to an uneven distribution of water within the branch and distributary canals (EWUP, 1984:20). THE IIP IMPROVEMENTS This section will present the components of the IIP improvements, designated the DSC technological package, as developed and implemented by the IIP project.The technological package implemented under the IIP prototype project was developed over a period of 18 years and should be viewed both as a direct response to the shortcomings of the traditional system and predicted demands into the twenty-first century. EWUP (1976–85) researched the macro- and micro-level system problems and tested a limited range of possible technical solutions to them. Its successor, RIIP (1985–87), began work on the main system structures and IIP (1988–95) refined the micro-level technology further, implementing it on a larger scale.33 The implementation process is still ongoing. As will be seen, the development of the DSC package has been a step-by-step process. The aim of those who developed this package was to seek the ‘best’ solution in contrast to the ‘optimal’ technical solution. The best solution takes into account the social, financial and political aspects of the environment in which the technology is to be implemented. 34 The purpose of the DSC technological package is to secure efficient water use and optimal crop production in Egypt, by providing farmers with the flexibility to irrigate at the time, rate and duration needed by the crops.35 The improvements of the delivery system are thought to lead to a more rational distribution of water supplies, less water usage, effective management and improved monitoring of the system. As mentioned above, the IIP strives to achieve a broad range of goals, encompassing not only improvements in the water delivery systems, but also institutional and

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policy changes within the MPWWR (Hvidt, 1994b). In this section, only the first aspect is discussed. The DSC package encompasses both technical and social changes in the irrigation works managed by farmers. The fundamental change introduced by IIP is to replace individual farmer pumping (at multiple points along the mesqa) by collective single point pumping. To achieve this end, IIP uses the following physical and organizational means (IIP, 1993c:3): continuous flow; high-level mesqas; single point lifting; downstream control/demand irrigation; Water-User Associations and an Irrigation Advisory Service A brief description of each of these is provided below aided by a series of photographs which are included in order to provide the reader with a visual understanding of the terms used through this chapter. Continuous Flow The centerpiece of the IIP effort is the implementation of continuous flow (CF) in the branch and distributary canals. Previously, only principal and main canals ran continuously, while branch and distributary canals operated on a rotational basis. The switch to CF enables farmers to irrigate according to the water needs of the crops. The concept of continuous flow means continuous availability of water, not more water. Over the course of a month a specific command area will receive the same amount of water as under the rotation system. For example, under the 5/10 rotation, the allocated volumes of water were supplied during the 10 monthly ‘on’ days. Under CF the same amount of water is supplied, but over a 30-day period. This implies that only onethird of the average daily flow rate supplied before the improvements is being supplied under the continuous flow regime. To compensate for the reduced flow, only one-third of the farmers will be able to irrigate during a day as compared to an ‘on’ day of the traditional system, but there are three times as many days during which irrigation can take place. Single point lifting and water scheduling along the mesqas facilitates the even spread of the water consumption of the mesqas over the entire month. From a technical point of view, continuous flow is facilitated by the installation of different types of flow control gates, for example, baffle distributors and constant head orifice (double) gates. The flow control gates regulate and limit the water flow into the branch canals. These gates are different from the downstream control gates which ensure a constant water level, but do not control the quantity of water passing (see below). The lower flow volume in the canals ultimately necessitates a downsizing of all hydraulic structures to provide for good system operation.

i r r i g at i o n i n e g y p t Photo 1: Mesqa number 44 at Beni Ibeid before improvement. This is a traditional lowlevel mesqa. Water is pumped from the mesqa onto the fields by a multitude of farmer owned pumps. Note the eroded banks and the narrow footpath along the mesqa. The latter is used for transporting pumps and bringing the crops out to the access road after harvest. This mesqa is relatively well maintained, and has recently been cleaned for weeds. Photo 2: Mesqa number 44 at Beni Ibeid after improvement. The picture is taken from the exact same location as the picture above. This mesqa is a raised lined mesqa. Single point lifting is made by a WUAoperated pumpset located at the head of the mesqa, and water flows by gravity to each field outlet. Note the improved road, which allows a vehicle to access the individual fields.

Photo 3: Typical field layout in basins. Note the field canal, the marwa, in the center of the picture, which distributes water pumped from the mesqa to each basin.

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Photo 4: The stand pipe, sump and pumps for a larger pipeline mesqa. The water pumped into the tank creates a hydraulic head, with a pressure that is sufficient to drive water into the pipeline at distances up to 1000 m.

Photo 5: As outlets, the pipeline mesqas are equipped with alfalfa valves. The valve plus the concrete nesting is termed ‘a raiser’. One is located at the head of each marwa. Note the padlock on the valve. Scheduling of water deliveries among farmers is done, for example, by allowing farmers at raiser 1 and 2 to take water on Sunday and Monday. Raisers 3 and 4 are open on Tuesday and Wednesday, etc. The padlock reflects problems with farmers attempting to withdraw water at raisers not scheduled to be open. They should be seen as a way for the WUAs to mitigate illegal water extraction. Photo 6: The automated downstream control gate at Herz–Numaniya branch canal. It maintains a constant water level downstream of the control structure.

i r r i g at i o n i n e g y p t Photo 7: Pumpsets are always stored in the homes of the owners when not used. Considerable time and effort is spent to transport the pump back and forth to the mesqa when irrigation is to take place. This study shows that on average 2 hours and 40 minutes were used for this purpose at each irrigation prior to mesqa improvements.

Photo 8: Security buildings are erected on the improved mesqas in order to prevent theft of pumps and spare parts. This allows for permanent fixation of the pumps, and thus, overnight storage of the pumps at the mesqa site.

Photo 9: The IAS staff undertakes training sessions for WUA leaders on various issues relevant for the operation and maintenance of the mesqa systems and organizational strengthening of the WUAs.

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Photo 10: The IAS staff assist the newly established WUAs with practical issues in the field. The photo shows an IAS engineer training a pump operator in pump maintenance and operation. Specifically, they are measuring whether the pump is operated at the correct rpm level. The pump is a 7.7 hp high-quality pump supplied as a part of the mesqa improvements. Note the wheels on the pump. At Herz–Numaniya, security buildings were not part of the mesqa improvement. Thus, the pump operator must transport the pump to a safe night storage each night or the WUA must hire a night guard. Photo 11: An example of farmer involvement in the design of mesqas. The farmers decided that the improved mesqa should follow the exact same path as the old one. In this case, the decision represents neither the optimal technical nor economical solution to mesqa improvements. Photo 12: A WUA leader showing the blue ink on his thumb. He has just deposited WUA money in the local bank and, being illiterate, he has signed with a thumbprint. In order to build viable WUAs – which can maintain and sustain both the mesqa system and the WUA organization – good accounting procedures within the WUAs are promoted by the IAS.

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High-level Mesqas The introduction of high-level mesqas is another major feature of the DSC package. In the traditional Egyptian irrigation system, mesqas were ‘low level mesqas’, and were operated by water flowing by gravity into the mesqa, and from there lifted to the fields by a multitude of pumps situated along the mesqa. In contrast, the DSC package introduces the ‘high-level mesqas.’ As the term denotes, the water level is elevated above the field level, and when water is lifted into the improved mesqa, it flows by gravity within the mesqa to the field outlets. Thus, water users take water by opening their turnout gate or valves. Two types of high-level mesqas are introduced, either elevated concretelined mesqas (termed raised lined mesqas) or low-pressure buried PVC pipelines (pipe line mesqa).36 The hydraulic capacity of the mesqa is based on continuous flow and 16 hours operation per day, which provides for an economical design and spread of the withdrawal of water from the canal over this period.37 In general, only two or three farmers can take water at a time. This necessitates functional organizations among the water users to arrange and schedule the water flow. Single Point Lifting Single point lifting is an integrated part of the high-level mesqas. It simply means that water lifting from the level provided by the branch canal to the field level is concentrated at one point along the mesqa. This is a major change compared to the traditional system in which ‘multiple point lifting’ was practiced. Under multi point lifting each farmer had to

Figure 1.4: Arrangement for Raised Lined Mesqa Source: IIP (1991b): Planning, Design and Operation of On-Farm Systems by A. M. ElKashef (Cairo, Egypt) pp. 2–31.

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Figure 1.5: Arrgangement for Pipeline Mesqa Source: IIP (1991b): Planning, Design and Operation of On-Farm Systems by A. M. ElKashef (Cairo, Egypt) pp. 2–33.

own or hire a pump each time water was to be lifted from the mesqa onto the fields. At the improved mesqas, water lifting takes place only at the head of the raised lined mesqas (for pipelines, the pump(s) can be situated any place along the mesqa). The pump(s) used in single point lifting is owned by the farmers’ organization, the WUA. In order to optimize pumping costs and water delivery, larger mesqas serving between 50 feddans and 500 feddans are equipped with two or more pump sets of various horsepower sizes. This allows for flexibility of the delivered stream size and for less expense for fuel per volume of water pumped. Downstream Control/Demand Irrigation Downstream control, or demand irrigation, is defined by the lack of restrictions on rate, frequency or duration of the water flow, and the absence of external control by the water authority (Replogle, 1986:129). According to Burt (1987:82ff), a demand system is defined as one which automatically responds to user demands. A supply system is one in which deliveries are arranged and pre-set at the source. Upstream control is a control technique in which a check structure is operated to maintain a constant water level immediately upstream of a gate or a weir. Downstream control is a control technique in which a check structure automatically responds to conditions in the pool downstream of it.38 Thus, ‘upstream control’ is synonymous with a ‘supply system’, assuming that no spillage is allowed at the tail end of the canal which, to our knowledge, is not the case in Egypt. An upstream controlled system is a system in which the central authorities decide the flow rate, duration and

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frequency of the water flows, which essentially means that all important decisions concerning water deliveries are made outside and above the farming community. The traditional Egyptian irrigation system serves as an example of an upstream controlled system. ‘Downstream control’ and ‘demand deliveries’ are synonymous, and imply that the decisions concerning flow rate, duration and frequency are placed in the hands of the farmers. Running water from a household tap is a commonly used example of a downstream system. The user decides how much he or she will open the tap (flow rate), how long the water will flow (duration), and finally how often he or she will tap water (frequency). So downstream control provides the water user with the flexibility they need to irrigate in terms of timing, rate of flow and the duration required by the crops (Shouman and Hackbart, 1992). However, downstream control does not aim to provide unrestricted amounts of water. It seeks to provide farmers with water on demand within the limit of a maximum flow rate, based on the irrigation requirements of the area.39 As mentioned, the traditional irrigation system in Egypt is upstream controlled. As pointed out above, the MPWWR, through the district engineers and the gate keepers, allocates an amount of water to a given command area. If pumping from a branch canal exceeds the inflow, the canal eventually runs dry. When pumping is stopped the water level will rise again. Under continuous flow, each cubic meter withdrawn from the mesqas is immediately replaced by a new one, thereby keeping the water level constant. In the IIP project, downstream control is made possible by the installation of automatic downstream water level control gates. These gates are float operated and thus respond to water use downstream. If the water level drops at the downstream side of the gate, the gate opens to let more water in. When the downstream water level approaches its maximum, the gate will close.40 These gates do not control the quantity of water passing, but merely ensure that a constant water level is maintained. Their major advantage is to provide a constant water level, thereby preventing overtopping of canals and losses to the tail escapes. Furthermore, because they are automated, they should demand less management decision making (Muhammed, 1987:18). Water User Associations Water users at each improved mesqa are organized into private water user associations (WUAs), which own, operate, maintain and control their mesqa and the pump plant. The WUA is the organizational unit which

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combines all the features of the technological package for the purpose of improved water delivery. A WUA is defined as: …a private organization owned, controlled and operated by member users for their benefits in improving water delivery, water use and other organizational efforts related to water for increasing their production possibilities (IIP, 1990c:3).

More specifically, the WUAs are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the improved mesqas; the operation of the ‘single point lift’ pumping plant, scheduling irrigations among water users, collection of pumping charges, hiring pump operators, maintaining the mesqa and pumps and handling conflict among the users. Where the scheduling of water is concerned, before the IIP improvements each farmer would take water when it was available. Under the system, only two or three farmers can take water at given time, and only those who have paid the pumping fee that particular day are provided with water. A management/control system has been established which selects or elects marwa leaders at each mesqa. The marwa leader’s job is to make sure that his outlet follows the irrigation schedule. These marwa leaders are expected to form the WUA council, which is the major decision-making unit in regard to all aspects of the WUA. A different, but important, function undertaken by the WUA council is to act as a liaison between the Irrigation Advisory Service (IAS) – or other service institutions – and the farmers. Neither IAS nor other institutions (e.g. MALR) have the capability for dealing with a multitude of small farmers. Thus, the WUA council is to be seen as the unit to which these organizations direct their effort, and it is then the responsibility of the WUA council to disseminate information to all farmers along the mesqas. The WUAs further hold the prospect that the highly fragmented land holdings along the mesqas can be operated as one large farm unit.41 The WUAs are conceived as single-purpose organizations, which means that they are established with the sole purpose of improving water delivery and water use along the mesqas. At later stages, after the WUAs have become sustainable, it is planned that those along a branch canal form a ‘federated WUA.’ The idea is that the federated WUA will assume a different set of functions than the WUAs, for example monitoring CF and perhaps eventually wholesaling water. The Irrigation Advisory Service The Irrigation Advisory Service (IAS) has been established as a new service under the MPWWR, which supports the irrigation system and WUAs by providing the water users with services and technical assistance

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in relation to water delivery, water use and the process of WUA organization. IAS is an attempt to create an organization responsive to the needs and wishes of the farmers within the MPWWR, in order to provide water management services to farmers. Prior to the IIP, only MALR and the agrarian cooperatives were providing conventional extension services for farmers. This service, however, was limited to dealing with issues related to crops. By contrast, in its attempt to assist farmers in improving water control for increased agricultural production, the IAS deals with issues both related to water and to crops. It seeks to provide a constant stream of information to WUAs (not individual farmers) on the operation and maintenance of the mesqa systems and WUA finances, and motivates improvements, as well as making separate evaluations. IAS is concerned with total system performance and, therefore, monitors on-farm water usage. As WUA federations are established, the IAS will work with Agricultural Extension to provide such services as demonstrations of precision land leveling, field lay-outs and the like. A Note on Links Between the Components of the DSC Package One question raised by this presentation of the DSC package as implemented by IIP is: to what degree are the components interlinked? Or, stated otherwise, could only a limited number of the components be implemented, and still increase performance of the irrigation system? Some of the answers to these questions are as follows: (i) High-level mesqas and single point lifting are technically complimentary. For example, high-level mesqas with multiple point lifting do not make sense. (ii) As pointed out, continuous flow determines the number of days water is ‘on’, while downstream control regulates the rate, frequency and duration of water extractions. It is possible, however, to implement continuous flow without downstream control. This is quite similar to the situation during the ‘on’ days of the traditional system in which water gets more and more scarce, as more and more is pumped from the canals. This forces downstream farmers to stop irrigating while upstream farmers are taking water. So, to have continuous flow without downstream control is like having the traditional system, but with a greater number of ‘on’ days. In terms of the reverse situation, downstream control does not necessitate continuous flow. One could imagine a restricted downstream control regime in operation for a limited number of days during a month. Consequently, to have the one without the other is of limited use. In order to secure adequate, reliable and fair water deliveries which allow for meeting water needs of a highly diversified cropping pattern, both downstream control and continuous flow are necessary. (iii) Continuous

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flow, downstream control and high-level mesqas are interlinked because the mesqas are designed with a capacity that matches the water demand in the area served by the mesqa at peak water demand periods, assuming that water is available on a daily basis and in the quantities needed. If the improved mesqas had a larger capacity, they could provide adequate water without continuous flow and downstream control. (iv) WUAs are a prerequisite for the operation of the new mesqa system. When only one or two pumpsets and one mesqa exist, the farmers must cooperate in order to satisfy their irrigation needs. This requires the scheduling of irrigation turns among water users and collective arrangements to operate and maintain the mesqa system. (v) The IAS is a prerequisite for the facilitation of the improvements and the continuous transfer of knowledge to the WUAs. This enables the farmers to take full advantage of their improved water delivery system. In short, the IIP improvements consist of a range of components that are highly interlinked. The Implementation of the DSC Package A number of general points concerning the implementation of the DSC package should be mentioned. Firstly, no money is provided to the farmers. Aside from the fact that they are to repay the construction cost of the mesqa and the cost of the pump(s) on concessional terms, all aspects of the improvements are made on free market terms. Secondly, the farmers receive technical advice on implementing and operating their mesqa systems from the IAS free of charge. Thirdly, the mesqa systems are privately owned. This is important, because of the effect ownership has on farmers’ willingness to maintain and sustain the structures. Fourthly, the techniques and the organizational aspects of the improved system are made congruent with ongoing efforts to liberalize and deregulate Egyptian agriculture. The DSC package focuses on optimizing the water distribution, and thus provides for a much more specialized agricultural production. But specialization has its price. The shift to DSC requires that farmers give up individual pumping, and conform to irrigation schedules collectively decided upon by their WUAs. For farmers who were in a favorable water situation before the improvements, the benefits might not be as large as for other farmers. Furthermore, when implementing this technology, at least 80 percent of the mesqa water users must agree to have the improvements undertaken, and 80 percent of the mesqas on a given canal command must approve collectively. This may lead to conflicts between farmers who want the improvements and those who do not.

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Finally, the new mesqas are single purpose. For example, the improved mesqas do not allow for watering cattle or the submersion of water buffaloes in the mesqas. While this is not a serious problem, it means that women and young people must walk further to find watering places. One could argue that the new system thus imposes some limits on farmers which were not present before the DSC package was implemented. These limitations, however, are the price the farmers must bear in order to achieve the potential benefits resulting from the package. Summary: Two Types of Irrigation Technology In Figure 1.6 the features of the traditional irrigation systems are contrasted with the improvements implemented by the IIP project, in terms of the four aspects of technology: technique, knowledge, organization and product.42 Traditional Irrigation Technology

The DSC Technological Package

Technique:

Knowledge:

Technique:

Knowledge:

Rotation system Private pumps Earthen low-level mesqas Multiple point lifting

Pump operation Traditional farming knowledge

Continuous flow in branch canals Organizational pumps Improved mesqas: – Raised lined – Pipeline Single point lifting

Pump O & M Mesqa O & M Accounting practices Irrigation scheduling Organization building Scientific knowledge of agricultural practices On-farm water management

Organization:

Product:

Organization:

Product:

Ad hoc cooperation

Low yielding crops

Permanent organizations Delegation of responsibility Dissemination of knowledge

High yielding crop varieties Change in cropping pattern

Shared ownership of e.g. pumps Shared mesqa cleaning

Figure 1.6: Characteristics of the Two Types of Irrigation Technology

This shows that the IIP attempts to implement changes in all four parameters associated with technology. Clearly the IIP’s task is much more than one of mere technical improvement. It entails a system view, in which significant changes are undertaken both in the technical and management aspects of canal operation, in farmers’ organizations, the knowledge which is associated with these organizations and the technical

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tasks they are to undertake. Finally, it is concerned with the outcome of the process, the product, and thus with the productivity of agriculture. It is important, however, to point out that all the changes do not take place immediately when a mesqa is improved, and that the benefits to be obtained by the farmers are realized gradually. In this study, implementation is viewed as a process that passes through different phases. Each phase emphasizes different aspects of the improvements for the MPWWR, the IAS and the farmers. As shown in Figure 1.7 this process could be depicted in terms of three phases. Phase one, which is termed ‘establishment’, encompasses the construction of the mesqas, the organization-building process and acquiring the basic skills to operate the mesqa system. The focus of IIP/IAS is to establish both the technical and social aspects of the system, and to promote legalization of the WUAs and clear directions for repayment terms. The focus of MPWWR is to renovate canals and establish continuous flow. Phase two can be termed ‘fine tuning’ and can be thought of as an emphasis on deepening knowledge of, for example, on-farm water management, of organizational features of the WUAs, and fine tuning of both the technical and organizational processes. The focus of IIP/IAS is to support the WUAs by disseminating knowledge and initiating the

Technique

Knowledge

Organisation

Product Phase 3 "Full usage" Phase 2 "Fine-tuning" Phase 1 "Establishment"

Time after implementation

Figure 1.7: Phases in Implementing the Components of the IIP Technological Package

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establishment of federated WUAs. The focus of MPWWR continues to be on ensuring continuous flow. Phase three, which is termed ‘full usage’, reflects maturity in the farmers’ experiences with, and confidence in, the system to a degree to which changes in crop yields and cropping patterns take place. The focus of IIP/IAS is to support the WUAs and the federated WUAs by disseminating knowledge. The focus of MPWWR continues to be ensuring continuous flow. Notes 1 Note that most references in the text give year of publication followed by page number(s). Where there is no page number, the reference is to a major theme of the work in question. 2 The source for this section is World Bank (1993a:5ff) if not stated otherwise. 3 Both the figures for the size of the land and the number of inhabitants are susceptible to some uncertainty. See for example the discussion in World Bank (1993a:29–30). 4 The availability of reliable water supply from the High Aswan Dam is governed by the existing water-sharing agreement with Sudan, under which 55.5 billion m3 are allocated to Egypt annually (Abu-Zeid and Rady, 1992:94). However, if water is not used upstream, it is available for use in Egypt. In recent years the actual received volume has been about 59 billion m3 because Sudan is not currently utilizing its full share. Annual rainfall hardly contributes any addition to water supplies except in a narrow strip along the Mediterrain. Inferior crops like barley can be cultivated here without irrigation. Ground water is estimated to contribute about 2.6 billion m3 or 4.7 percent of the total water used in Egypt (Abu-Zeid and Rady, 1992:94). 5 See also World Bank (1993a:199ff) which include comparisons between Egypt, Morocco, China and Turkey, plus a range of Western countries. It should be noted, that the reported yields in the Devres Inc. (1993) study do not distinguish between irrigated and non-irrigated crops. 6 E.g Barker (1978:142); Haider (1987:1); Levine (1986:3); Richards and Waterbury (1991:163). 7 Other major reasons for investment in irrigation systems are that irrigated land produces more food and reduces the risk of crop losses from drought. 8 E.g. Abu-Zeid and Rady (1992:96); EWUP (1984:11–26); IIP (1990e:9); Mehanna et al. (1984:139); World Bank (1993a:26). 9 Studies from Pakistan and India show that improved water control results in higher cropping intensities, larger inputs of fertilizers, higher yields, and greater income per hectare (Lowdermilk, 1990:156). Other positive effects of improved water control encompass e.g. energy conservation and improved sustainability of the production environment due to lower water use. The concept of water control is further dealt with in Chapter 2. 10 IIP (1990b:3); IIP (1991c:2/12); IIP (1991d:2/12). The three field site areas are dealt with in detail in Chapter 5.

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11 The figures used are from World Bank (1994:Table 1 and 25). For a further breakdown of these figures see Bos et al. (1992:210ff). The total size of the current population and its growth rate are subject to debate. United Nations figures, for example, hold that the population in 1994 was approximately 62 millions, and project that the population by 2015 will reach 87 million, and by 2050 will reach 117 million. The current growth rate is estimated at 2.2 percent (United Nations, 1994). 12 According to calculations done on the basis of Abu-Zeid and Rady (1992:Table 3), an additional million feddans will demand about 5 million m3 of water a year. Consequently, this reclamation effort would add 15 million m3 to the water demand. 13 For further elaboration of these points see World Bank (1993a:25); and AbuZeid (1992:12ff). 14 See Stoner (1994:199) for at further discussion of the scope for water savings. 15 Except for the rice-growing areas in the Delta. 16 These concepts are dealt with in detail in Chapter 3. 17 For in-depth studies of these issues see e.g. Commander (1987); Richards (1982); Tvedt (1990); Waterbury (1979); Whittington and Guariso (1983). 18 Muhammed Ali initialized the construction of the first barrage over the Nile in 1843. 19 This practice can be seen at for example Bahig canal 50 km south of Alexandria. The water is elevated through seven pumping stations to a height of 53 meters above the Nile level. 20 It takes place, however, by direct pumping. 21 Farmer pumping from these canals is also known to take place. 22 A law from 1984 exists, in which minor changes to this law are included. 23 Interview with District Engineer for Minya Magdy Maghmoud (11 November 1992, Minya). 24 Interview with Inspector, Ministry of Public Works and Water resources, Miniy Samir Faheem (11 November 1992, Minya). 25 For an excellent introduction to the performance of Agricultural Cooperatives in Egypt see Adams (1986:Chapter 3). He points out that the cooperatives perform three tasks: (i) supervising the flow of primary inputs (seeds, fertilizer and credit) and mechanized inputs in the countryside; (ii) controlling the cropping patterns of Egyptian farmers; and (iii) taxing the agricultural sector through a variety of marketing and pricing policies (p. 50). See also Mehanna et al. (1984:68ff) and Holmén (1991) for descriptions of the functioning of the cooperatives. 26 Interviews with Assistant Director of the Irrigation Department in Minya Engineer Adel Zaky, District Engineer in Minya, Samey Elskabowry (both on 21 October 1992) and Agricultural Engineer Madeeh, IAS Minya (22 October 1992). 27 High water levels in the irrigation system are needed because a minimum head of 25 cm is required at each main regulating point in order to operate the system. Sufficient quantities of water are not present in the system to keep this level in all canals at all times. Hence the rotation system. 28 Other rotations exist such as: Two-turn rotation 4 days on, 4 days off (Rice rotation) (Delta areas in summer) 7 days on, 7 days off (cotton rotation)

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Three-turn rotation 4 days on, 8 days off (general crops/summer) 5 days on, 10 days off (general crops /winter) 7 days on, 14 days off (general crops/winter) (EWUP, 1984:21; Shouman, 1992:3–5) 29 This is issue is discussed further in Chapter 9. 30 Analysis of maps showing the division into irrigation sections reveals that the sections might not be three large blocks of canals along a main canal but different canals, placed at different offtake points along the full length of the canal. 31 Discussion with IAS Director Ezzam Barakat (19 April 1992, Cairo). 32 Irrigation systems like this are called ‘lift systems’ or ‘below grade’ systems. 33 IIP was conceived as a pure implementation project, but because the technology was not developed to a degree to which it could be implemented, IIP had to spend much time and effort in order to further test and redesign the physical structures and the organizational aspects. 34 For example, the decision to construct raised lined mesqas of J-sections instead of with cast-in-place technique. Because J-sections offer a better possibility of exercising quality control in regard to the concrete, they were chosen as the preferred mesqa construction technique. 35 The following description of the IIP development effort is based on Shouman and Hackbart (1992), discussions with key informants, and own field experience. 36 Raised lined mesqas and pipelines could also be termed ‘open and closed high-level systems.’ For a comparison of estimated advantages and disadvantages of both systems in regard to the traditional system, see IIP (1991b:2–29 ff) 37 This means that the capacity of the mesqa system is not high enough to provide adequate water for the whole area if continuous flow is not implemented at peak water-demand periods. 38 See also Replogle (1986) for a further discussion of these concepts. 39 This corresponds to the category ‘Limited-Rate Demand’ as described by Replogle (1986:129) 40 This is similar to the system applied in a toilet to prevent overtopping. 41 This is an important feature of IIP since, ‘Fragmented land and small and separate holdings have limited the establishment of efficient irrigation methods’ (Abu-Zeid and Rady, 1992:96). 42 See Chapter 3 for a further definition of this framework.

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chapt er 2 The Improvement of Irrigation System Performance: A Review of the Literature

The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of a prototype project on the performance of an existing irrigation system. The aims, components and processes of the IIP are greatly influenced by the irrigation improvement and management experience gained world wide in terms of both theory and practice.1 This review of the literature will present the background to, and current state-of-the-art, irrigation system improvement. As such, it will act as a guideline to establish a framework for the specific analyses to be conducted in the following chapters. It will be argued that the improvement of irrigation system performance is a young research field, applied and eclectic, and as such lacks consistent theories, methodologies and definitions of terms and concepts. Much of the literature within the field is dominated by case studies of specific systems, from which it is difficult to generalize. As pointed out by Wade and Seckler (1990:15) ‘… putting aside the subjects of crop-water requirements and the design of hydraulic structures, irrigation is a remarkably unscientific subject.’ In the absence of comprehensive and clearly stated theories or methodologies, it is not possible to analyze and compare alternative theories. Nevertheless the field does encompass a range of issues in which theory formation is present. These include, for example, the study of institutions or organizations, agricultural aspects and farmer behavior – and have originated from and been treated by scholars and practitioners in fields such as economics, sociology, anthropology, engineering, political science, and management. At the level of such specific issues contributions can be compared and analyzed. However, the lack of a comprehensive theory makes it impossible to weigh the importance of each of these issues to the overall subject of the improvement of irrigation systems. Against this background, our review seeks to systematize the issues and approaches used by researchers and practitioners concerned with

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improvement of system performance. A historical approach to the development of this research field is adopted in order to present trends and the current status of thinking concerning the subject matter. In order to provide a basis on which to establish an analytical framework for this research project some issues – for example, farmer participation, which is a cornerstone of the IIP effort – will be dealt with in more detail than could be justified by the attempts to present the state-of-the-art of irrigation system improvement. Because the improvement of system performance is a very broad field, it is necessary to limit the inquiry in the following ways: 1. Analytically, there is a difference between the establishment of new irrigation systems and the improvement of systems already in place. This study deals exclusively with irrigation systems which have been in place for many decades. 2. There is a need to differentiate between large-scale public, and smallscale (community or private) systems. This study deals exclusively with the improvement of large-scale public irrigation systems. 3. The focus of this study is on induced as opposed to spontaneous development. This means that only literature concerning issues such as how a state or donor agencies intervene in irrigation systems with the purpose of improving them is reviewed. A vast amount of literature on community and privately operated systems in which water users have organized and managed water deliveries for their own benefit is thus excluded. 4. This review of literature is primarily concerned with the improvement of irrigation performance in low-income countries in the Third World. The management setting of, for example, the American and Japanese irrigation systems, is somewhat different from that found in the low income countries. 5. The review is based on studies which have attempted to systematize and generalize the abundance of field experience reported in case studies. This means that case studies concerning specific projects have not been included. 6. The review does not repeat the step-by-step learning originating from the concrete field-level experiences and their impact on the research field.2 THE IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT TRADITION The foremost characteristics of the irrigation management tradition, within which this study is conceived, are that it is a relatively young field, it is an applied science and it is eclectic by nature. 3

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As it is known today, the irrigation management tradition has evolved throughout the post-Second World War period. It began roughly 40 years ago with a focus on ‘on-farm water management’. A shift to ‘irrigation management’ took place approximately 15 years ago, and recently a shift into ‘water resources management’ has occurred. However, as a serious subject for research, irrigation management is only roughly 10 years old. 4 ‘On-farm water management’ is characterized by an exclusive focus on farmers. The problems and solutions for improved system performance are to be found at farm level. By contrast, irrigation management recognizes a system view in which both the macro and the micro system are determining factors for good system performance. Water resources management emphasizes not only a system view in regard to irrigation systems, but also recognizes the pressures on water supplies and changing pressures on land which require new water management initiatives at the ‘watershed’ level and higher. Additionally, it focuses on water use in the income strategies of resource-poor users (ODI, 1994:1). 5 Irrigation management is an applied research field. Its point of departure is in concrete problems for which it seeks solutions. By contrast, basic research has the specific aim of generalizing and erecting theories. To underpin the practical focus of this research field, the International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) states that among its priorities are, activities to ‘promote multidisciplinary, collaborative research based on field work in real irrigation systems, solve real problems, and strengthen national irrigation management agencies’ (IIMI, 1989:9). 6 Irrigation management is eclectic by nature like many applied fields such as communications, education, systems analysis and management. Contributions to this field originate from such disciplines as agronomy, economics, sociology, anthropology, engineering, political science, management sciences, communications, hydrology and soil science. 7 As such, irrigation management is not a science, but an applied field utilizing inputs from many disciplines. One could hypothesize that no comprehensive theory formation of the kind which characterizes economics is possible. Given the nature of the subject it is likely that there will only be a development of middle-range theories, of the kind that exist in sociology and management. The three characteristics of the irrigation management tradition discussed above interact to outline a research field that is in its early development. This explains the lack of a single and comprehensive theory directing irrigation management. Irrigation management is defined as the process that institutions or individuals employ to: a) set objectives for irrigation systems; b) establish appropriate conditions; c) identify, mobilize, and use resources to attain these objectives … while ensuring that these activities are performed without adverse effects (IIMI, 1989:11).

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This definition goes far beyond irrigation technology’s straight-forward water-delivery function and incorporates a variety of human, agricultural, and economic aspects of irrigation (IIMI, 1989:11). 8 The basic argument behind the irrigation management tradition is that physical structures and technical knowledge are far from enough to secure performance of irrigation systems. As pointed out by different writers: Experience has shown that many if not most irrigation systems … have been designed with little regard for the social and political, as well as the engineering and agronomic aspects of the management of deliveries and the efficient onfarm use of water … In both developed and developing countries, improving irrigation scheduling and system management has the potential of increasing water and energy use by 20 to 50 percent (Keller, 1990:34) There are immense opportunities for improvements in the performance of irrigation projects through management reform (Bottrall, 1981:23) There is widespread agreement in international circles on the need to improve the management of irrigation systems in developing countries, so as to increase the efficiency of water use and the productivity of irrigated agriculture (Uphoff et al., 1991:17)

The irrigation management tradition includes both the technical and management aspects of the system. But there are problems in conceptualizing what the technical and the management factors are within this field of research, as Wade and Seckler point out: Technical refers to the physical design and its translation into physical objects on the ground. Management refers to just about everything else, except perhaps for a) water charges, which economists have taken over for treatment by the techniques of economic analyses, and (b) ‘farmers’ participation’, a subject that most irrigation experts willingly leave to someone else, such as sociologists. Management, in other words, tends to be the residual factor, and the more intractable the problems of improving irrigation performance are seen to be, the more expectation is vested in the management residual to come up with the solutions. (emphasis added) (Wade and Seckler, 1990:14).

While the focus on management is relatively new to this field of research, the technical aspects of irrigation systems and agriculture are well-established and built on a coherent theoretical foundation. For example, theories and methodologies concerning water movement in soils, soil moisture methodologies, and infiltration rates have existed for almost 100 years. Different measures of water efficiencies are authoritatively defined, for example delivery efficiencies, field application efficiencies, conveyance efficiencies, distribution efficiencies and irrigation efficiencies (Chambers, 1988:30). Furthermore, hydraulics and design criteria for the construction of irrigation structures are well known and generally accepted.9

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The irrigation management tradition adopts the view that irrigation systems should be seen as socio-technical systems in which both the physical and the social structures are of utmost importance for successful performance. As pointed out, however, the management factor is loosely defined. In this study, the focus is on the management aspect of the irrigation management tradition. Technical issues ‘go without saying’, so to speak. Reviewing the literature in the irrigation management tradition, it appears that certain biases exist. First, the focus is on low-performance irrigation systems in the Third World, which means that well-functioning systems in the West are generally not included for analysis. Second, there appears to be a bias towards the study of failures, although this is hardly surprising given that the raison d’être behind this research field is that serious problems exist. THE REASONS FOR SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT There are no theoretical or practical controversies about the basic reasons for improving irrigation systems. There are different points of view, however, over how the problems should be addressed and the means to resolve them devised. It is useful to understand the notion of ‘irrigation improvement’ as including both the rehabilitation and the betterment of systems. Rehabilitation means restoring the irrigation system to its original performance level, while betterment implies an upgrading of the system’s performance, given the current needs and opportunities (Haider, 1987:2). But because a given improvement effort usually includes both aspects, throughout this study the word ‘improvement’ will be used to encompass both. Levine (1986) analyzes the fundamental reasons for the need to improve irrigation systems. He points out that the need for rehabilitation arises because of failures to adequately maintain irrigation systems. This problem is endemic throughout the world, but especially in the developing countries, due to severe constraints on the financial resources available for operation and maintenance.10 He further argues that a combination of physical, economic and political reasons explain the lack of system maintenance, and the distinct pattern of deterioration and rehabilitation that characterizes many irrigation systems is a reasonable one. For example, the impact of deferred maintenance on production and farm income first becomes severe and visible to farmers and system managers when the system has deteriorated significantly. This is due to (i) excess capacity in the original system design, (ii) farmers’ ability to manage irrigation more carefully under minor degrees of water shortage, and (iii) the slow decline in yields

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in response to the decline in water supply at the high end of the water availability scale. He states that this delay in the visible effects resulting from deferred maintenance produces few incentives for the irrigation administration to embark on routine maintenance programs. 11 The absence of incentives to carry out routine maintenance is reinforced by the way funds are appropriated in many irrigation departments. For example, maintenance funds are usually a part of an irrigation department’s ordinary budget, while ‘rehabilitation’ funds frequently originate as special appropriation funds, either from the general state budget or from external donors and lenders (Levine, 1986:8). Given this rationale, Levine states that the pattern of deferred maintenance actually provides advantages to the irrigation agencies. Since special funds for a rehabilitation program come from state or donor agencies, the funding procedure encourages the staff to allow irrigation systems to deteriorate to the point where rehabilitation becomes necessary. The issue of betterment relates to the dynamic nature of irrigation systems, for changes occur continuously in the environment in which an irrigation system operates (Haider, 1987:2). Levine (1986:9) argues that ‘successful systems are those which adapt to the changes in their external environment, and that this adaptation permits the system to remain reasonably efficient with respect to the relative scarcities of the available water, land and managerial resources associated with the system.’ Levine shows that the value of water typically increases over time, as a result of the pressures to expand the irrigated area, for example, or to utilize the available water for higher value purposes, such as industrial, power or municipal/domestic.12 The greater the deviation between a system’s performance and the value of water set by society, the greater the pressure that exists not only to restore the system to its original performance level (rehabilitation), but also to improve system performance.13 Two issues touched on only indirectly by Levine are technological obsolescence and environmental impact. Firstly, the pressure to improve the irrigation systems may result from technological necessity. For example, the performance level of the old system, even if restored to its original level, might not accommodate the needs of certain new agricultural technologies such as high-yielding and thus moisture-sensitive crops. Secondly, the environmental impacts of irrigation systems have recently become a greater concern for both local governments and donor agencies (e.g. Moigne et al., 1992:53–63; Bottrall, 1995:7). This also acts as a primary force behind the demand for betterment of irrigation systems. Levine concludes that rehabilitation and betterment processes are not by themselves, nor perhaps even primarily, related to the physical system. Haider (1987:2) agrees with this, and points out that rehabilitation and

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betterment often involve building structures and other modifications, but certainly go beyond that. They involve changes in institutions and the management of systems. Experience suggests that rehabilitation and improvements of irrigation systems occur in regular intervals of about 25 to 30 years. In summary, the need to rehabilitate and improve irrigation systems results from deferred maintenance, increased scarcity of the water resources, and a disproportion between the technological state of agricultural production and rising environmental concerns. Changing institutions and management within irrigations systems are now viewed as a central part of the rehabilitation and improvement process. THE PERFORMANCE OF PUBLIC IRRIGATION SYSTEMS This section looks first at the literature on the performance problems which have haunted public irrigation systems throughout the world. Secondly, it investigates the concept of ‘irrigation system performance’ in some detail. An analysis of the activities and objectives of irrigation management is provided in order to focus on the objectives underlying performance measures. One objective of special interest for this study is farmer water control, which will be dealt with in considerable detail. Statements on Irrigation Performance Irrigation’s direct contribution to agricultural growth has been substantial. From 1955 to 1991 the area of land irrigated has increased by 101 percent, from 120 million hectares to 241.14 By 1988, approximately 11 percent of the world’s arable land was irrigated (Euromonitor, 1992:641).15 One study estimates that in 1986 the irrigated land produced 33 percent of the total harvest (Yudelman in Repetto, 1986:3). 16 It is, however, nearly impossible to provide a figure for the precise effects of irrigation on agricultural production. There are several reasons for this: (i) a lack of statistics which differentiate crop yields orginating from irrigated and non-irrigated areas; (ii) the expansion of irrigation is often accompained by government policies of price support, subsidies for key inputs (e.g. fertilizers), and provision of agricultural extension services (e.g. Bhatia et al., 1995). Thus increases in crop yields might stem not only from the availability of irrigation, but also from the accompanying support measures for agriculture. However, evidence of the positive impact of irrigation is present. In Asia, where two-thirds of the world’s irrigated lands are located, ‘most [of the continent] is now self-sufficient in rice’ (IIMI, 1990b:2). For example,

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Sri Lanka, whose domestic rice production increased six-fold after 1950, became self-sufficient in rice in 1985. On the reasons for this increase, one authority has stated that ‘it is almost synonymous to explain the process of irrigation development in the country’ (IIMI, 1990b:3). Furthermore, the fact that a tremendous amount of money has been, and is being, invested in irrigation supports the notion that, at the very least, a high potential for increased production results from it. Repetto (1986:3) points out that, at current prices, $250 billion has already been invested in irrigation in the Third World, that more than half of the investments in agriculture in Third World countries in the 1980s would go into water resource development. The World Bank alone used about 10 to 15 percent of total bank lending in the 1980s ($2 billion per year) for water projects (Moigne et al., 1992:Foreword). Even though investment does not automatically translate into increased yields, it is unlikely that investments of these magnitudes would have occurred unless key decisionmakers in governments and donor institutions had been convinced that tangible results would stem from these efforts. Thus, while the lack of data makes it difficult to quantify the precise effect of irrigation, there are good reasons to believe that irrigation has a substantial effect on agricultural productivity. There is, however, nearly unanimous agreement that the performance of current irrigation systems in low-income countries ranges far below their potential. … it is tragic that the actual performance of irrigation systems has been so disappointingly low. This is largely due to faulty design and construction, poorly-managed operations and inadequate maintenance (Bottral in Vermillion, 1991:4). The average productivity of tropical cereal crops is much less than half the maximum possible under ideal irrigated conditions (IIMI, 1989:4). Costs have been much higher and agricultural benefits lower than projected when investments were approved. Operation and maintenance of completed systems have been deficient, and farmers have not responded as hoped. At the levels of performance actually experienced, many current projects cannot be economically justified (Repetto, 1986:1). Important performance measures, such as acreage irrigated, yield increase, and efficiency in water use, are typically less than projected when investments were made, less than reasonably achievable, and less than attained by private irrigators who operate more controllable decentralized systems (Repetto, 1986:3).

The research strategy of IMII, Managing Irrigation in the 1990s, generally agrees with the writers quoted above in their views of irrigation system performance. They provide the following list of recurring obstacles to

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successful irrigation system performance: erratic or unfair distribution of water resources; discrepancies between financial inputs and returns; premature breakdown of physical facilities; organizational flaws at different levels; insufficient information or back-up support for farmers; lack of well-trained irrigation managers; growing conflicts with other land and water uses, and negative environmental impacts (IIMI, 1989:2). This list is generally accepted by irrigation management specialists as adequate to describe the problems.17 Vermillion (1991) provides one generally accepted reason why these problems exist: Perhaps the most profound weakness of public sector service delivery organizations is that their survival and growth normally does not directly depend on satisfying clients, attaining performance standards, or ameliorating problems (Vermillion, 1991:7).

Note, however, that some of the problems highlighted by the quotations above lie in the fact that the poor performance of irrigation systems relates to the way that irrigation expansion or improvement projects are conceived and carried out. This critique relates to the ‘project approach to development’, which includes biases towards implementing large, visible (physical) and easily monitored projects with fixed time and expenditure schedules that move large sums of donor money over a relatively short time span (Hvidt, 1987: Chapter 5). To this list one could add weaknesses in problem identification prior to the project implementation itself. Thus, frequently cited problems, such as cost and time overruns, over-optimistic targets and an emphasis on physical structures, are often caused by the tools used to improve the systems, and do not reveal anything about the performance measured, for example according to increases in production. Thus, performance should rather be viewed against the ‘potential level of performance which a project might reasonably be expected to achieve under conditions of adequate design and good management’ (Bottrall, 1981:5). What is ‘irrigation system performance’ and how is it measured? … it is a curious fact that an industry that spends many billions of dollars a year world-wide has devoted so little attention to measures of performance (Wade and Seckler, 1990:16)

The evaluation of irrigation system performance is seen as one of the most perplexing questions in irrigation management research today. While most writers agree that the performance of irrigation systems in developing countries is less than it should be, few agree on the definition of performance, or how to measure it (IIMI, 1990a:19). The major reason

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for this is the difficulty of finding significant performance measures that can be applied across systems and especially across countries. 18 A second reason is that ‘each group, discipline, profession and department has its own concerns, its own values, and its own priorities, especially at the level of criteria for performance’ (Chambers, 1988:29). The result is that performance generally comes down to the personal agenda of the evaluator. A third reason is that performance assessments entail different focuses. As highlighted by Merrey et al. (1995:12), this could include assessment of actual performance, of potential performance or of an irrigation agency’s capacity to respond positively to efforts to improve performance. Because the approach and methodologies embodied in each type of assessment are different, they should be keept clear of each other in a concrete assesment. The following discussion is related mainly to actual performance assessments. In 1988 Chambers (1988:216) stated that the art and techniques of performance analysis are in their infancy.19 While this might have been true at that time, much effort has since been spent within irrigation management research to rectify this problem. For example by IIMI which, in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, in 1989 initiated an effort to develop simple, low-cost methodologies for measuring the performance of irrigation systems (IIMI, 1990a:14). The first tangible result of this effort is a conceptual framework for assessing irrigation performance, which takes into account the above mentioned shortcomings (Small and Svendsen, 1992).20 The authors develop a typology of concepts which, if applied consistently to actual performance assessments, should allow for comparison between systems and countries. The latter point is important, because if no substantial cumulative learning takes place, either about the root causes of the problems addressed, or about the effectiveness of particular interventions under various circumstances, it is difficult to move the research forward. A current definition of the performance of an irrigation system is as follows: Performance is the result delivered by an irrigation system toward a set of objectives including productivity, equity, reliability, sustainability, profitability and quality of life (IIMI, 1989:11). 21

This definition is very broad, and therefore allows for different professional fields to select among these and other objectives. Consequently, it provides little guidance as to how to conduct performance assessments. It is not the aim of this study to undertake an assessment of performance. However, it is considered important to review the basic objectives of irrigation systems as provided by scholars and irrigation management specialists in

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order to understand the basic factors which such an assessment might include. The working assumption is that this overall set of objectives ideally should determine the criteria by which to assess the performance of the systems. The activities and objectives of irrigation organizations As an introduction to this subject, it is useful to discuss the framework used by Chambers (1988). Figure 2.1 is a shorthand list of a likely causal chain leading to the benefits of irrigation or irrigation management. Note that the chain does not stop at, for example, higher farm output (C), but adopts a broad view of the benefits of irrigation as depicted in (E).22 Note, furthermore, that it depicts a continuum ranging between ‘criteria for irrigation management’ and ‘objectives of irrigation.’ Chambers (1988:29) states that criteria are measures of performance, and objectives are ‘more general, harder to measure, and more concerned with human impacts.’ This has two implications for assessing the performance of irrigation systems. Firstly, an assessment must be specific in terms of the criteria used, for example, whether one assesses the area irrigated or the standard of housing? Secondly, the assessment becomes more difficult the further one moves toward the overall objective of irrigation management (F), because a smaller possibility exists of establishing direct causal relationships. Note that Chambers conceives the key objective of irrigation and consequently, irrigation management, to be the ‘well-being’ of the rural and urban population. As stated above, the assessment of irrigation system performance must define the objectives to be utilized. On a more practical level, Chambers suggests that productivity, equity and stability should be the criteria adopted to attain the management objective of improved ‘well-being.’ In order to highlight the diversity of management objectives found in the literature, and thus the problems involved in agreeing on performance measures, two additional frameworks frequently used and quoted are presented below. Uphoff et al. (1991: Chapter 3) suggest that irrigation organizations (agency personnel and/or water users) must undertake several highly interrelated activities, which are as follows: (i) water use activities (acquisition, allocation, distribution, drainage), (ii) control structure activities (design, construction, operation, maintenance) and (iii) organizational activities (conflict management, communication, resource mobilization, decision making).23 The objectives of irrigation management, then, are to manage these three sets of activities in order to attain the following general objectives

Irrigation or improved irrigation management

A

Criteria of irrigation management

and changes in farming system

with more efficient water use

irrigated more often

larger area irrigated

B

higher farm output

labour demand higher and on more days of the year

C

higher farm incomes

higher and more secure income for more labourers

D

foreign exchange savings or earnings

more and cheaper food for the towns

purchase of basic goods

better access to sevices

less sickness

better nutrition status

better housing

less migration to towns

E

well-being of population less directly affected

well-being of population more directly affected

F

Objectives of irrigation

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Figure 2.1: Criteria, Objectives and Beneficial Causal Chains

Source: Chambers. R. (1988 ): Managing Canal Irrigation: Practical Analysis from South Asia (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press) p. 32.

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for irrigation agencies: (i) greater production and productivity, (ii) improved water distribution, (iii) reduction in conflict, (iv) greater resource mobilization, (v) sustained system performance (Uphoff et al., 1991:59). 24 Another attempt to pinpoint the objectives of irrigation organizations is provided by Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) as the cornerstone of a framework for ‘diagnostic analysis’ of irrigation system management. 25 As stated by Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988), the general objectives of irrigation management should be to: (i) achieve the potential productivity of irrigated agriculture within the environmental, organizational, and technological constraints present in a system (ii) practice resource conservation to sustain irrigated agriculture, (iii) ensure that farmers and governments, receive appropriate financial return on investments, and (iv) provide water control for delivery and use to achieve dependable, adequate, and equitable water supplies (Clyma and Lowdermilk, 1988:10). In addition to these objectives, the authors state that experience with irrigation development suggests that certain emphases are necessary if irrigated agriculture is to achieve its potential: (i) farmers should be involved in making management decisions, (ii) organizations should coordinate their activities as necessary to effectively achieve the purpose and objectives of irrigated agriculture (Clyma and Lowdermilk, 1988:10). Figure 2.2 depicts these objectives. Whereas specific objectives might substitute for one or more of these overall objectives in a given irrigation system, the authors maintain that the four encompassed in the framework ‘are classed as fundamental because they are basic to effective management in all irrigation projects’ (Clyma and Lowdermilk, 1988:11). In other words, for a system to perform well, the managers must secure an adequate, dependable and equitable water supply and a yield that is appropriately related to potential yield. Also, resource conservation is essential if irrigated agriculture is to be sustained (counteracting such problems as water logging and salinity., and incomes must be sufficient to pay costs to governments and farmers if irrigation is to be sustained (financial sustainability). This model further points out the interlinkage of the different objectives. Discussion of the frameworks Chambers (1988) differentiates between criteria for, and the objectives of, irrigation performance assessment. If his terminology is applied, it is a criteria and not objectives which are listed by Uphoff et al. (1991) and Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) (those termed the specific objectives). Uphoff et al. (1991:60) do not provide objectives for irrigation, but argue that production or productivity have been the criteria which have dominated most assessments of irrigation performance.

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nizational Coordination Orga r Involvement Farme

Return on Investment

Water Control Integration

Farmer Well-being

I n t e g ti o n ra Productivity

Far m

O rga

Resource Conservation

er In v olv e m e nt

n i z a t i o n al C o o r d i n a t i o n

Figure 2.2: The Clyma and Lowdermilk Framework Source: Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988: Improving the Management of Irrigated Agriculture: A Methodology for Diagnostic Analysis (Fort Collins, Colorado State University. p. 11.

Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988), on the other hand, are very explicit in stating the overall objective. It is ‘farmer well-being’, and corresponds closely to the objectives pointed out by Chambers (1988) although it addresses only one segment of the beneficiaries, namely the farmers. These frameworks share a number of similarities so far as the criteria used are concerned. Productivity is a key criterion in all three frameworks, as is sustained system performance, which is virtually identical to the terms ‘resource conservation’ and ‘stability.’ But here the agreement ends. For example, Chambers (1988) adds ‘equality in distribution of water.’ This is not the same as water control (which encompasses both adequacy, reliability and equity, which is synonymous with the term ‘improved water distribution.’ Reduction in conflict is part of the organizational coordination within the Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) framework, and greater resource mobilization is also an outcome of active farmer involvement. The above discussion is sufficient to show both the compatibilities and differences between the three reviewed frameworks,26 and sufficient to

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point out that even at the level of specifying criteria and objectives of irrigation systems, major differences exist between the frameworks concerning what is perceived as criteria and objectives of irrigation management, as well as the specific content of these factors. In other words, these differences add to the understanding of the lack of clear-cut measures of performance assessment. This underlines the point made above, that irrigation management is a young, applied discipline for which consensus has not yet been established concerning key issues. One objective that the Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) and the Uphoff et al. (1991) frameworks agree on is improved water distribution – or water control. For the purpose of this study, this objective is of special concern. It provides an idea of the interdependencies and performance objectives of irrigation systems. Water control ‘Well-being’ was singled out as the overall objective of irrigation management. Productivity, return on investment, resource conservation and water control contribute to achieving this objective.27 Water control is central to this study. Therefore it is important to take a closer look at this variable. Water control attracts special attention from researchers in the irrigation management tradition28 because: … water control at the levels of the command area and the farm is the most basic yardstick against which to measure the effectiveness of irrigation: it relates to the particular needs of the crop at a particular moment’ (Freeman and Lowdermilk, 1991:117).29

The interest in water control as exercised by farmers is due to the fact that reliable water is a precondition for improvement in production, for returns on investment and for resource conservation. Furthermore, as is well known, most large-scale systems do not provide farmers with adequate water control (Muhammed, 1987:35). Water control is defined as: … the capacity to apply the proper quantity and quality of water at the optimum time to the crop root zone to meet crop consumptive needs and soil leaching requirements (Freeman et al., 1989:10).

In the short term water control can be thought of as the relative control over quantity and timing of water supplies. And to provide the farmers with water control is important because: … farmer control over water in the field is critical because only the farmer is able to combine the factors of production in a particular field to produce a crop (Freeman et al., 1989:12).

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And on the issue of productivity they argue that ‘if water comes too soon, too late, in amounts too great or too small, the productivity of that water is sharply reduced’ (Freeman et al., 1989:12). Wade is also explicit when it comes to the consequences of a lack of water control for the farmers: … the cost to farmers of not receiving adequate and timely irrigation water is very high. Planting and input application decisions are closely related to the farmer’s estimate of how much water he or she will receive, and when he or she will get it (Wade, 1990:175).

Clemmens sums up the issue of water control with the following statement: It is obvious that in order to optimize the use of farm resources, flexibility in irrigation frequency is essential (Clemmens, 1987:60).

To exercise water control, then, means that the farmers are able to control one of the most important factors of production – especially in arid areas such as Egypt. Water control is critical to farmers’ decisions concerning which crops to grow, when to grow them, and whether or not to adopt new agro-technologies such as fertilizer, pesticides, and high-yielding crop varieties. In other words, water control is of utmost importance for increased agricultural production. Water control is both a technical and a social/political endeavor. It is technical because the main and mesqa delivery systems must be physically capable of exercising this control.30 It is social/political because water control is an outcome of proper management at all levels of the irrigation system. Ultimately, ‘water control’ is a function of collective actions and can be enhanced only through disciplined organizations (Freeman and Lowdermilk, 1991:122). Summary The problems of inadequate irrigation system performance and performance measures have been discussed in some detail in this section. There is a general dissatisfaction among irrigation specialists and researchers with the level of performance of public irrigation systems in low-income countries. There is no single prescribed method or approach for conducting irrigation system performance measurements to date. This is due to the diverse interests and perceptions of researchers and practitioners of different disciplines, the complexity of dynamic irrigation systems, and the fact that irrigation management is an applied, system-oriented discipline which is only about two decades old. Inquiry was made into the objectives irrigation management addresses. The complexity of cause-effect relations in assessing irrigation system performance were discussed. Three frequently-cited contributions were

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compared in terms of criteria and objectives for irrigation management. It was found that, among irrigation specialists, there were basic differences in the objectives utilized. In conclusion, it was found that the objective of farmer water control is central to understanding system performance. MAJOR DETERMINANTS OF THE IMPROVEMENT OF IRRIGATION SYSTEM PERFORMANCE In the post-Second World War period, a marked shift in the focus of applied approaches to the improvement of irrigation system performance has taken place. From a virtually exclusive emphasis on the physical structure of irrigation systems (for example, physical construction of new systems, hydraulics and agricultural engineering), to the current emphasis on management, social and economic structures (for example appropriate institutions, management turnover, market forces, cost recovery and maintenance of systems). Along with this shift in thinking, a shift in the professional fields engaged in irrigation – from essentially technical professionals such as engineers and economists to social scientists – has rapidly developed (Cernea, 1991:1). What is the reason for this shift? The answer to this question provides an idea of the major factors which contributed to a push forward in research and practices regarding irrigation. In addition, it provides a framework for understanding the specific approaches to the improvement of system performance dealt with below. The most important reasons for the shift from an engineering to an interdisciplinary focus include: (i) theoretical and methodological changes in perceptions of how development is induced, (ii) changes in the demand for physical construction, (iii) experiences gained from actual implementation of improvement projects, (iv) realization that irrigation systems generally perform much below design expectations, and (v) the greater demands made by a rapidly increasing population and changes in incomes on irrigation systems for providing food and fiber. In other words, the major driving forces behind the development of the research and practical application of this field originate, to a large extent, outside the field’s research establishment. The fourth and fifth items have been dealt with in the above sections. The first three items are analyzed below. Theoretical and Methodological Changes in Development Strategies Social scientists make the distinction between spontaneous development on the one hand, and induced or planned development on the other

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(Cernea, 1991:5). As pointed out, the focus of this study is solely on induced development, because all improvement efforts by governments or donor agencies represent induced development. The approaches, or strategies, used to induce development originate in overall thinking about the way that societies regulate action and stimulate development.31 Marked shifts have occurred in theories of development since the Second World War. These shifts have guided the approaches used to induce development in both high- and low-income nations. Two major development strategies have dominated since the mid 1950s: the planning strategy and the neoliberal strategy.32 The shift from the first to the second represents different opinions on how economic development is initiated. The planning development strategy This strategy originated in the early 1950s because it was realized that the laissez-faire strategy was an inadequate answer to development problems, especially in low-income countries. The ‘invisible hand’ argument did not seem to apply under these conditions. For example, the failures of the market mechanism led to what is known as the ‘vicious circle’ of underdevelopment.33 This led to the adoption of ‘planning’ as the means of initiating development.34 The argument was, if ‘the market won’t do it – so the government must initiate the solution of the problem’ (Weaver and Jameson, 1981:31). The planning strategy – and its corollary, ‘the project’ – as a vehicle for undertaking development activities, originated in the engineering tradition. In this tradition, technical standards, regulations and ‘master plans’ had been extremely effective in solving problems related, for example, to city planning and the establishment of portable water systems and other types of infrastructure (Faludi, 1973:131–147). 35 At the outset (during the 1950s and 1960s, planners assumed perfect knowledge of the environment in which the projects were to be implemented. They furthermore assumed rational behavior among decision makers, and certainty concerning the implementation of projects according to the plan – the ‘blue-print’, which was considered the ‘best’ solution to a given problem.36 Later (in the 1970s), these planning assumptions were relaxed. The so-called ‘process-approach’ to project implementation emerged because reality seldom fulfilled the basic assumptions underlying the ‘blue-print approach’.37 The ‘process’ or ‘learning’ approach was directed to the creation of ‘feedback’ from the environment in which the projects were implemented. Flexibility in project design and implementation became a major concern. The primary reason for the shift to the ‘process approach’ was that planning in the 1950s and 1960s had shifted its focus from problems of limited scope, in which simple cause-effect

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relationships could be established, to planning, which encompassed broadscoped projects involving a multitude of physical, social and economic aspects. In other words, planning had become a far more complex task and simple solutions were, as a result, much more difficult to devise. The quest for feedback spurred interest in the participation of beneficiaries. This concept was introduced in the Western world (but abandoned again in the early 1980s). However, it has undergone a constant refinement since the mid-1970s, especially in the United Nations organizations which focus on poverty alleviation in low-income nations.38 The neo-liberal development strategy In the Western world, planning as a means of achieving development was abandoned in early 1980s because the ‘assumption that it was possible to create a developed welfare society through a rational and extremely comprehensive public-planning and regulative system no longer seemed generally valid’ (Petersen, 1985:975). The sheer fact that the economic crisis of the 1980s could occur was in itself a blow to the idea that economies and economic development could be completely managed through planning. Neo-liberalism, which is founded on classical economic theory, adopts the behavioral assumption that man maximizes utilities.39 Neo-liberalism places strong emphasis on the individual; the state, together with its mechanisms for regulation, is regarded as an ineffective instrument of sustainable economic development. In fact, the state is often seen to be detrimental to achieving welfare because, as pointed out by Friedman ‘…a state can not duplicate the variation and diversity which is found in the action of individuals’ (Friedman in Petersen, 1985:850). Implied in this strategy is the concept of the ‘minimal state’, a state that should only take on functions which can not be left to private institutions and persons. Consequently, the way to achieve development is to emphasize deregulation, market principles applied to the public sector, and privatization. Neo-liberalism encompasses both political and economic aspects, which are combined in the public choice theories discussed below. Neo-liberalism is a development strategy which places a key focus on the creation of an environment conductive to economic growth based on market forces and individual choice. More specifically, in a Third World context this means an emphasis on ‘structural adjustment’ and (the favored buzz word) ‘getting the prices right.’40 This implies broad-scoped macroeconomic programs aimed at dismantling often excessive bureaucracies and removing price distortions and subsidies. As discussed below, the turnover and self management approach (the most recent approach to irrigation system improvement) and the theoretical focus on institutional

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frameworks as found within the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition, are direct offsprings of the neo-liberal thinking. One question needs further elaboration: How do shifts in overall development strategy impinge on the efforts to improve irrigation systems? Financing irrigation improvement efforts in Third World countries has been characterized by a substantial influx of donor money. This is evident, for example, from the large investments made by the World Bank.41 Donor institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, the UN system, USAID and DANIDA do not provide finance without applying their own planning, monitoring and evaluation methods. This is done to assure the donor control of the flow of money, so that it is spent according to the specified criteria. Such control is a necessity in order to legitimize these investments to their political constituencies in the donor countries. 42 In other words, by accepting donor financing, the recipient countries have to accept a direct transfer of the development strategies, planning concepts and methodologies favored by the donor institution or country.43 In the specific case of this study, the Egyptian IIP is certainly a project through which USAID emphasizes its strategies, methodologies and planning concepts concerning such issues as cost sharing and feasibility studies. It should furthermore be noted that institutions such as IIMI act as think tanks about irrigation development, and thus supply irrigation agencies the world over with current ideas, concepts and practices for the improvement of their systems. Such a transfer of knowledge also entails a transfer of an overall development strategy. Changes in the Demand for Physical Construction The second factor that has influenced the shift in thinking about how to improve irrigation system performance has been the changes in demand for physical construction. Allan (1994:13) systematizes the changing emphasis of irrigation development, primarily in the Middle Eastern countries, in the following way: 1900–1950: Increasing supply management of surface water and beginnings of major ground water exploitation and use 1950–2000: Total control of surface water supplies and heavy use of ground water supplies 2000–2050: Demand management to adjust demand to scarce surface water and expensive ground water.

The establishment of control over surface water necessitated dams, regulation structures, canals, weirs and other physical improvements. The preoccupation with construction in the 1950s through the 1970s originated

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in the concern to expand the area under irrigation and to control water flows. New construction is still going on in many countries such as India and Turkey, but the intensity is far less than in the period from 1955 to 1991 when the world experienced a doubling of the irrigated area. 44 Thus the era of major irrigation construction is over, because the need for major system components is saturated. Furthermore, the scarcity of water resources, and the lack of profitable opportunities to expand areas under irrigation in most parts of the world, dampens the interest in new construction projects (Repetto, 1986:17).45 In the third phase, in which the focus is the demand management of water, only construction activities which allow for a more finely-tuned control of the water are expected to be undertaken. As stated by IIMI In the recent past, a quiet revolution has taken place among international donors and policy makers with the pendulum of thought swinging from irrigation construction to system rehabilitation to improvements in irrigation system management … The bottom line is that the big profits lie in water management projects, accompanied by small physical improvements (IIMI, 1990b:2 and 5).

On the issue of improving the performance of already existing systems, Repetto (1986:3) states that ‘38 percent of the added food production through the year 2000 would come from existing irrigated areas.’ These arguments suggest that the earlier preoccupation with construction was rational because the overall irrigation structures to control and convey water had to be established before other improvements could be made. The project-by-project criticism of the donor and state agencies’ lack of capacity or willingness to deal with optimizing system performance must be understood in this context. Given the increasing demand for food, the emphasis is now to engage in performance-improving projects. This development closely resembles the way agricultural production evolved in the Western world. First, through horizontal expansion, and later through vertical expansion which resulted in improved productivity per unit of land by the application of improved technologies. Experience Gained from the Implementation of Improvement Projects The third set of factors which has influenced the shift in thinking about how to improve irrigation system performance have been changes resulting from experiences gained from the actual implementation of improvement projects.

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One such experience is the shift in development focus from farm level to system level. As forcefully pointed out by Chambers (1988:Chapter 5), the conventional wisdom in the 1970s and early 1980s held that both the problems and solutions to inadequate system performance were to be found ‘below the outlet’, in other words, in the willingness and abilities of farmers to develop production systems at the farm level. 46 This perception of the problem led researchers and practitioners to focus on ‘on-farm development’, (also termed ‘on-farm water management’) and ‘farmer participation’ as vehicles to develop farm production systems in irrigation.47 In the early 1980s, however, ‘it came to be realized that it was not the farmers who were to blame for lack of on-farm development and maintenance, but the management of the main systems, which did not provide the adequate, convenient, predictable and timely supply which would make farmers’ investments of effort and money worthwhile’ (Chambers, 1988:91). This recognition shifted the emphasis of developing irrigation systems from the farm level, to the main system level. A recognition which is embodied in the irrigation managment tradition. This has not, however, led to the abandonment of farm-level studies and approaches, but rather, to the addition of the focus on the main system and its management. Consequently, a systems view including both the main and micro systems is emphasized today. A second set of experiences gained from actual implementation have contributed to significant shifts in donor perception of priorities within irrigation development. These are (i) that ‘reform from within’ the irrigation agencies will rarely materialize in the absense of concurrent attempts to address fundamental issues of government policy and politics, (ii) a deep and growing disenchantment among many donors for largescale irrigation development per se, (iii) a significant increase in concern about the potential negative environmental impacts of large-scale irrigation and a corresponding movement in donor interest towards development of rainfed agriculture, and (iv) a deepening concern about the need to develop new institutions for the planning and managment of water resources as a whole (Bottrall (1995:6–7). The experiences are embodied both in the emphasis on irrigation management and even more in the water resources managment perspective. Summary Three major factors have, in our view, had significant impact on the evolving theories and approaches used for improved system performance. They are as follows: Firstly, the shift at the theoretical level, from the planning development

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strategy to the neo-liberal strategy. This shift has affected the ways that irrigation improvements are conceived, and the means to conduct the improvements. The issue of irrigation management has, as a result, come to the forefront of the research agenda. The shift has been transferred to the irrigation improvement field in large part from the substantial influx of donor money to irrigation improvement in low income countries. Secondly, the demand for new construction, and thus the need for planners to occupy themselves with construction, has changed. The era of construction is over, and emphasis is now on intensifying the production of land already irrigated. Finally, a shift in the perception of the causes of a less than satisfactory system performance, from below the outlet to above the outlet, has facilitated a systems view (including both the main and micro systems) and consequently a focus on management of the total irrigation system. Furthermore, actual experiences with implementing irrigation projects have led to changes in the donors willingness to support further large-scale irrigation developments, and to stronger emphasis on both irrigation management and water resources management. These factors, and their combined impact on development thinking, contribute to a framework in which practical approaches must be understood and used. APPROACHES TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF IRRIGATION SYSTEM PERFORMANCE Vermillion (1991:5ff) lists four major approaches used in the improvement of irrigation system performance: construction or rehabilitation, training, farmer participation and management turnover. In line with the development strategic thinking presented above, these four approaches coincide with the changes in the overall theoretical level in general and cumulative learning about the priority problems and their negative effects on the improvement of irrigation system performance. Each of the four approaches is dealt with separately in this section, and their content and historical development are described. However, because it is safe to say that the first two approaches are essentially dismissed today as stand alone approaches, emphasis is placed on the third and fourth approach. Construction or Rehabilitation? Attempting to improve performance of irrigation systems through construction or rehabilitation is the most common approach. Adding lining to delivery canals, the improvement of water-use efficiency and the expansion

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of irrigated areas are common prescriptions to remedy performance problems. As pointed out above, the rehabilitation of systems is conducted in frequently repeating cycles because of deferred maintenance and new demands placed on systems over time. Sophisticated water conveyance and diversion structures are frequently proposed or used in order to reduce the need for intensive management. Often the response of users and managers is the misuse or breaking of structures because they limit desired flexibility. Poor returns on investment are often the result of projects in which only physical improvements are made. Continuing poor performance, then, often attributes to poor management, especially management by farmers (Vermillion, 1991:5). Training Lattimore (1986) views the training effort as an integrated part of technology transfer thinking. He states that Colorado State University (CSU) has been a leader in developing water management concepts and in applying them to development projects around the world. Since the early 1970s, four major water management projects have been undertaken by CSU: the Pakistan On-farm Water Management Project, the Egypt Water Use and Management Project, Water Management Synthesis I and Water Management Synthesis II. In all these projects, a major objective was to develop and transfer important water management principles and technologies. This was done through direct technical assistance activities, training courses (both in the United States and in the host country), publications and audiovisual materials. Host country persons were sent to the United States to obtain formal university degrees on short-term. For example around 350 Egyptian professionals have received academic and short-term training at CSU since 1976.48 As Lattimore (1986:524) points out, these water management projects were primarily aimed at transferring knowledge/information to the water management scientists, government officials and high-level technocrats, and to a lesser extent, mid-level government officials of host countries. Activities aimed at junior officials and farmers were generally not developed. The key assumption behind the training approach to system improvement is that the staff responsible for implementation is not capable of doing so primarily because they lack the necessary skills. In spite of a profusion of training courses for irrigation management in developing countries since the 1970s, ‘there has not been a widespread, significant improvement in management performance as a result’ (Vermillion, 1991:5). Bremer (1984:1–2) reviews the shortcomings of the ‘institutional building’ approach to enhance the ability of the host country institutions to build

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and sustain a policy analysis capacity. She concludes that such efforts have had only limited success over time. ‘Farmer Participation’ As stated above, the call for farmer participation originated in the planning development strategy as a means of establishing feedback for planning. Participation had its roots in the ideas of ‘help-to-self-help’ and ‘community development’ emphasized in the 1950s and 1960s. And later, in the 1970s, ‘development centered on man’, ‘self-reliance’ and ‘basic human needs.’ The aim of development was ‘not of things, but of man’ (Alechina, 1982), and later, ‘man and his needs’ (Hoogvelt, 1983:98). The Basic Human Needs (BHN) strategy, as advocated in the UN system, became the strategy which encompassed all these concepts. It had as its aim to secure all people a minimum of ‘real possibilities, rights and expanded access to the benefits of society, including services’ (Hoogvelt, 1983: 95–102).49 A much-promoted means to achieve these aims was participation.50 The historical record, however, shows that it has been extremely difficult to encompass active participation in development projects – especially where these projects included a substantial ‘hardware component.’ Participation fundamentally calls for a project concept based on the process approach and, as a consequence, calls for substantial changes in the procedures followed by the donor organizations.51 In the early 1990s, after nearly 20 years of experiments with participatory approaches, Cernea (1991:7) still finds it necessary to make the following central call for an explicit focus on the farmers in rural development projects: Putting people first in projects is not just a goodwill appeal to the humanitarian feelings of project planners, a mere ethical advocacy. It is a concept for constructing programs for inducing development and an imperative for their effectiveness. I submit that ‘putting the people first’ in development programs [a book] must be read as a scientifically grounded request to policy makers, planners, and technical experts to explicitly recognize the centrality of what is the primary factor in development processes. This interpretation implies a call for changing the approach to planning (Cernea, 1991:7).

For our purposes, farmer participation in irrigation systems may be defined as: … an approach (by irrigation agencies, to increase irrigation performance by providing effective incentives and conditions that enable farmers, both individually and collectively, to accept and fulfill irrigation management responsibilities where and when appropriate (Chambers in Lenton, 1986:58).

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Note that this definition focuses on participation as a tool used by agencies to improve system performance. In other words, participation is seen as a means to achieve goals related to the performance of irrigation systems, and not as a goal in itself to empower the farmers to play a more active part in their own development.52 The ‘farmer participation’ approach to improved system performance is dealt with in considerable detail below, because it constitutes and essential part of the framework for this study. Participation in irrigation system improvement In the applied field of irrigation management, farmer involvement in managing irrigation systems as a built in project component apparently goes back to the Philippines in the early 1970’s. There, the search for new approaches to assist community systems led to the initialization of the Laur project, which became one of the first irrigation development projects implemented with an explicit objective of maximizing farmer involvement. Two factors were responsible for the emphasis on farmer involvement: The first was the utilization of the considerable knowledge and skills of the farmers in designing, operating and maintaining irrigation works during the improvement process of the systems. The second was the recovery of funds or mobilization of resources from the farming community to pay for irrigation improvements (Coward, 1983:213ff). These are still the major reasons for the involvement of farmers in irrigation system management today. But there are others, such as increasing crop quality and yields, savings in construction and maintenance costs, reduction of administration costs, reduction of extra-legal activities and corruption, and the improvement of communication between water users and water suppliers. Today, participation is thought to be a necessity in the operation of irrigation systems because it is unthinkable that an irrigation agency could or should try to manage water all the way down to the field level. The costs involved, staff requirements and specificity of information required to do this successfully far exceed the capacities of irrigation agencies. The question then, ‘is not whether to have farmer participation, but what kind, how much, and at what levels’ (Uphoff et al., 1985:2). It is recognized that farmers have been involved in managing irrigation systems, probably from the very beginning of irrigation itself. Thus, formal and informal organizations among water users have existed in small private or community-owned systems, and to some extent at large-scale systems as discussed in Chapter 1.53 This study, however, is concerned with largescale systems and induced development. In this context, farmer involvement and water user associations are new features.

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The experience of farmer participation: a brief summary The emphasis on participation and its further development, has been spurred by several recent successes in applying this approach. The merits of involving farmers in irrigation management on small-scale irrigation systems (less than 1000 ha) have been extensively studied and documented.54 Uphoff et al. (1985:iii) report findings from a study of farmer organization and participation, including 50 cases of irrigation management world wide. They find that farmer cooperation can contribute to increased flows of water reaching downstream areas, greater areas cultivated, higher cropping intensity, lower costs of construction, reductions in water issue requirements, expansion of system capacity and better operation and maintenance. The successes of the participatory approaches with small-scale systems has prompted interest in applying these to large-scale irrigation schemes (30.000 ha or more) (Coward, 1983:217). Here, a more limited number of cases exist and the results gained are more diversified and less encouraging. One reason for this is that lessons learned from small-scale systems were assumed to apply to large public systems. Uphoff et al. (1985:2) report that with organized farmer cooperation at the 60,000 ha Gal Oya Scheme in Sri Lanka, the water use was reduced by one-third, and tail-end farmers, who had suffered from a total lack of water during the dry season over the last 10 to 20 years, had obtained irrigation water through farmeroperated rotations. They further report that in the Pochampad Scheme in India (also 60,000 ha) the irrigated area was extended by 25 to 35 percent through better water rotations. The Pakistan On-Farm Water Management Project aimed at involving farmers in the rehabilitation of a large number of tertiary watercourses through lining the watercourses, land leveling and the training of farmers. It is still debated whether or not the project resulted in higher yields and savings in water (Steinberg et al., 1983:53–4). It is, however, evident that the creation of sustainable water user associations, as stipulated in the project, was never successful. Over 17,000 Water Users Associations were created formally after 1981, covering an area of above 2.5 million hectares, or 18 percent of the Indus River Irrigation system. (World Bank, 1994:Para. 2). However, today it is recognized that these WUAs are dormant or inactive. They were created for the sole purpose of contributing labor and cash for on-farm water management on a water course basis, and not for their participation in management after completion of civil work. (World Bank, 1994:Para 3). The WUAs do not assist in collection of water charges and do not participate in the operation of the system. So the WUAs were created for the temporary need of improving water courses, and there was thus little chance that they could

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evolve into viable development institutions. Cleaning of the canals is not an activity which is perceived by the farmers as requiring a formal organization. Furthermore, the WUAs have no role in collection of water charges and no financial resources, since the fees are paid to the Revenue Department without any rebate to the WUAs (World Bank, 1994: Para 7).55 Tang (1991:47 and 1992) finds, that ‘bureaucratic irrigation systems with local farmers’ organizations usually perform better than those without.’ The ‘new institutional economics’ and the problem of participation Following the shift to the neo-liberal development strategy and the applied systems view, both ‘public choice’ theory and its predecessor, the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition have been brought to the forefront of the research agenda (Petersen, 1985:972).56 Both these factors have had an impact on the research on farmer participation in irrigation. Where farmer participation was previously based on the two practical issues of using knowledge and skills of the farmers in the design, operation and maintenance of irrigation works and recovering funds from the farmers, there has been considerable practical and theoretical development concerning the issue of farmer involvement in managing irrigation systems. The emphasis has shifted from a focus on farmer participation as such, to a quest for, and concern with, establishing suitable organizations at all levels to manage irrigation systems. Whereas research concerned with ‘participation’ was initially undertaken by scholars with backgrounds in the social sciences, sociology or anthropology (e.g. Cernea, 1991) institutional economists are primarily drawn from political scientists. Reviewing the current contributions, there appears to be a significant exchange of ideas between the social and polical scientist. This makes their contributions concerning the establishment of institutions indistinguishable.57 Thus, for the purpose of this study, no differentiation is made between the contributions from these two professional fields. Both are concerned with devising institutions for effective management of irrigation systems. The overall understanding of scholars within the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition is that organizations are of the utmost importance, because they are decisive for the actions of human beings: 58 Institutions shape the patterns of human interactions and the results that individuals achieve. Institutions may increase the benefits from a fixed set of inputs; conversely, they may lower efficiency so that individuals have to work harder to achieve the same benefits. Institutions shape human behavior through their impact on incentives (Ostrom, 1992:24).

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Incentives are understood to include more than financial rewards and penalties. Incentives are defined as the positive and negative changes in outcomes that individuals perceive as likely to result from particular actions taken within a set of working rules, combined with the relevant individual, physical, and social variables that also impinge on outcomes (Ostrom, 1992:24).59 Whereas appropriate incentives are thought to bring about good management at all levels of the irrigation system, the existence of ‘perverse incentives’ is seen to ‘underlie a broad range of the lower than potential performance of irrigation systems’ (Ostrom, 1992:5). Lack of water control, for example, is a perverse incentive, resulting in farmers obtaining water by ‘extra-legal means’ (Lowdermilk, 1990; Wade, 1990). Three types of problems, or ‘opportunistic activities’, are known to plague irrigation systems. These are free riding, rent seeking, and corruption. Free riding is dealt with below; rent seeking refers to the activities of a property-holder which lead to profits that exceed what could be obtained on a competitive market (Ostrom, 1992:33; Repetto, 1986:11); corruption refers to actions like obtaining extra water by paying off persons in charge of water allocation. Opportunistic activities are stimulated by perverse incentives, and are made possible because irrigation organizations in general create opportunities for such activities. However, when institutions are well crafted, opportunism is substantially reduced (Ostrom, 1992:35).60 However, the erection and maintainenance of institutions withdraws resources which could be used for other purposes, farming or leisure. ‘Transaction costs’ is the term used for such resources. These include the cost in time, money and energy spent on coordination and information transformation activities (producing an output) and ‘the acquisition of a strategic advantage over others’ (Ostrom, 1992:27). The last category is interpreted as the cost incurred by individuals due to other individuals’ engagement in opportunistic behavior. The major accomplishment of scholars working in the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition has been the demonstration of the strong influence of diverse institutions in counteracting different types of opportunistic behavior and affecting the costs of maintaining the organizations. This tradition places a sharp focus on the fact that institutions do not evolve by themselves. They must be carefully crafted together with the water users in order to fulfill their purposes. 61 Furthermore, this tradition points out that, because institutions govern how water users interact with one another and with irrigation management, they are as vital to a project’s success as well-constructed physical structures – assuming that the physical structures allow for adequate, reliable and fair water distributions.

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The Role of Water User Associations In the 1980s and 1990s farmer participation in irrigation schemes became synonymous with the formation of WUAs – the sine qua non of success in water management, to use the words of Steinberg et al. (1983:i). 62 In spite of the emphasis put on WUAs today, a clear typology of them is missing.63 The term WUA is used to denote organizations of nearly any size, from a 10-farmer unit organizing the farmers around a single mesqa, to a larger WUA federation encompassing perhaps all mesqas along a branch canal or in a command area (Bagadion and Korten, 1991:101). In other words, a WUA can denote either a local farmer association, or a command area organization consisting of perhaps 20– 40 mesqas WUAs.64 Even though the definition (presented in Chapter 1) of a WUA emphasizes farmers’ benefits, it is important to remember that the concept of WUAs as used in this study originates from government and state planners’ wishes to expand agricultural production and productivity within irrigated agriculture and to make the farmers pay for these improvements. In other words, the initiative to form this type of organization cannot be expected to originate from the farmers themselves. A second point often overlooked is that WUAs can only perform their function(s) if farmers accept, adopt and use them. Both factors place constraints on the way agencies can stimulate the formation of WUAs. The issue of membership is, however, complicated in practical application. For example, farmers cannot simply be forced into WUAs against their will. Voluntary membership is necessary, and farmers must be able to see personal benefits as a result of their engagement, in order to build and sustain these organizations over time. 65 On the other hand ‘to be effective, water-user associations must have virtually compulsory or complete membership, otherwise they cannot accomplish their objectives’ (Steinberg et al., 1983:73). This seeming contradiction originates from the technical constraints of water allocation in a network-bound system. If mesqas are technically rebuilt in order to enable efficient water management by the WUA, it usually precludes the possibility that farmers (if they wish) can continue to irrigate as they did before. Thus, complete membership becomes a necessity. Consequently, if the majority of farmers on a mesqa choose to establish a WUA, all other farmers must comply. In attempting to understand the motivation behind the creation of WUAs, one gets the impression that WUAs are regarded as ‘magic bullets’ or ‘cure for all evil’.66 The following discussion on WUAs, and the literature about them has been organized in terms of the three different the roles they are assumed to play: (i) as organizations which mitigate

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‘free rider’ behavior, (ii) as a link between the state water suppliers and private water users, and (iii) as an instrument for bureaucratic reorientation.67 The first of these roles encompasses the organization’s ability to control its members’ opportunistic behavior. The second has to do with possessing the technical and managerial skills necessary to match supply with demand. The third is a role which emphasizes the WUAs’ ability to act as counterparts to established bureaucratic systems, by placing demands on its members and sanctioning them. The second and third roles are linked. The second can exist without the third, but the third cannot exist unless the second is fulfilled. An important question is whether these roles are mutually conflicting, or whether they complement each other in actual implementation of WUAs. This question can not be answered here, but indicates that the roles WUAs are assumed to play, when applied, seem to be ambiguous. WUAs and the mitigation of ‘free-rider’ behavior An article entitled The Quest for Organizations: Establishing a logic of collective action in irrigation (Hvidt, 1994a) analyzes the problem of social behavior in irrigation. The article focuses on the essential problem of why farmers in Middle Egypt had not established farm-level organizations by themselves to improve water control and mesqa maintenance. 68 It establishes a logic of collective action in irrigation that provides an explanation of why farmers sharing a common-pool resource tend to ‘free ride’ and follow a strategy of non-cooperation, even though the potential benefits of cooperation are high. This logic was derived from public choice theory. Two phenomena were discussed: the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, which stresses the problems of managing common-pool resources, and the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’, which highlights the rationale behind pursuing a strategy of non-cooperation in spite of the potential benefits a cooperation strategy entailed. With specific reference to Middle Egypt, it was found that water had the following characteristics: (i) it is a common pool resource, and (ii) it is scarce – originating from both hydrological and operational characteristics of the system, which is further aggravated by the fact that it flows in a network-bound system. The latter adds the dimension of inequality in water distribution, and thus complexity, to the otherwise simplified situations encompassed in the two phenomena. Opportunistic behavior such as ‘free riding’ and water hoarding, and a strategy of noncooperation, can in these circumstances be rational choices for the farmers, and explain why farm-level organizations do not emerge by themselves. These findings led to the question of what could be done to break the

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apparent deadlock arising from the non-cooperation strategy. One answer was to assist water users to form their own private WUAs. Within the new institutional economics tradition, the answer is simple. In order to avoid opportunistic behavior and non-cooperation, as was highlighted above, one must create strong WUAs which can enforce rules and regulations to which all water users must comply. The question ‘will farmers organize?’ is answered in part by Tang (1992), who analyzes the conditions under which collective action is likely to take place. He makes the useful argument that neither in situations of extreme water abundance, nor in situations of extreme scarcity, will the farmers be likely to involve themselves in such activities. However, in the middle ground between these extremes farmers will involve themselves if their potential benefits in doing so are higher than the costs. ‘Most collective activities occur in situations where water is barely sufficient or moderately scarce and farmers believe that their collective efforts can improve their chance of securing a more reliable supply’ (Tang, 1992:22). As pointed out by Freeman (1991:59), ‘evidence was collected on farmers propensity to support local organizations in Pakistan … Thailand … and Sri Lanka … and farmers in each case evidenced strong desire for improved organizational arrangements and a willingness to give their support by way of payment and loyalty if such organizations providing effective water supply and control could be developed.’ The development of organizations to counteract opportunistic behavior is no simple task, and has been the subject of extensive writing.69 Ostrom (1992:Chapter 4) has summarized what she considers the basic design principles of WUAs. They are presented below to illustrate the complexity of designing such organizations. Sustainable organizations have been shown to encompass the following criteria: 1. Clearly defined boundaries: of service area, individuals or households with right to use water. 2. Proportional Equivalence between Benefits and Costs: to ensure that the people within the WUA who benefit most also contribute most. 3. Collective-choice arrangements: that most individuals affected by operational rules are included in the group that can modify these rules. 4. Monitoring: the establishment of a monitoring system in which the ones carrying out the monitoring are accountable to the users and/or are the users themselves.

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5. Graduated sanctions: users who violate operational rules are sanctioned in proportion to their offense. 6. Conflict resolution mechanisms: should be established, providing for rapid conflict resolution either between water users themselves or users and officials. 7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize: the rights of users to devise their own institutions are not challenged by external governmental authorities. 8. Nested enterprises: appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises. None of these criteria are new to WUA practitioners, but the summary is useful. While the first principle simply deals with those to whom the rules apply, the second to sixth principles spell out how costs and benefits should be divided; that is, who can modify rules, how monitoring and sanctions are undertaken, and finally how conflict resolution can take place. Principles seven and eight deal with the organization’s relationship with the external environment. Firstly, the environment must recognize the organization, preferably as legal, but at least to a degree that gives members the right to organize. Secondly, there is the issue of nested enterprises, where the organization is viewed as an integrated part of a larger system of organizations (farm-level, middle-level, or national. each placing different emphasis on the tasks to be conducted.70 WUAs as a link between water users and bureaucrats In three publications, Freeman (1991); Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991); Freeman et al. (1989) the authors argue convincingly that an organizational interface between the water users and the irrigation bureaucracy must be established, because The managers of the overall irrigation system cannot control the variables that determine water demand and water productivity for each individual field, e.g. site specific variations in soil moisture holding capacity, soil moisture availability, planting times, crop variety, root-zone depth, daily crop moisture depletion, specific evapotranspiration rates. Such matters are known to main system managers only as central tendencies, not as field-by-field particularities. On the other hand, individual farm operators cannot adequately control variables which must establish the pattern of main system water supply – watershed yields and distributions, storage and canal capacities, intra-and interstate (provincial. allocations, river and canal hydraulics, regional or district

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strategies for conjunctive use of surface and ground water, and the management of large main system storage, canal, and drainage structures. Main system supply and the multitude of farmer demands, therefore, must be matched by creating a middle level tier or organizations … (emphasis added) (Freeman, 1991:40–1).

These middle-level organizations sometimes wholesale water within the constraints given by the main system, and retail it to individual farmers, each of whom has a somewhat unique water demand driven by local circumstances (Freeman, 1991:41). These middle-level WUA organizations are established and operated by farmers who might assume responsibility, not only in connection with water allocation and distribution, but also in relation to construction, operation, maintenance, and conflict management. An additional area of responsibility – which has received only little emphasis in the literature – is resource mobilization from water users who have benefited from improved macro and micro systems.71 The IIP project in Egypt serves as an example of how these middlelevel organizations could be formed. Within this project, the middle-level organizations are termed ‘federated WUAs’, which indicate that the basic building blocks are the mesqa WUAs. Within IIP it is planned that all individual WUA leaders along a branch canal would elect leaders for the federated WUA, which could then perform some or all of the abovementioned functions.72 The establishment of middle-level organizations in large-scale irrigation systems provides the advantages of proximity, accountability and greater social control. These are qualities that are normally associated with the operation of private and community-based systems (Vermillion, 1991:8– 9). Knowing that the social control of user deviance is inversely related to the size of a system (Lusk and Riley, 1986:286), the middle-level organizations are, if operated properly, a way to operate large-scale systems with small-scale behavior. Without WUAs, one has a ‘supply-side’ irrigation bureaucracy which gives people what it thinks they want, or whatever is most convenient for it to provide, without necessarily knowing and meeting the requirements of the public (Uphoff et al., 1991:181). The concept of nested enterprises, as presented above, fits into this framework because it views irrigation management as consisting of multiple layers of organizations, each with different objectives, functions and responsibilities. Ostrom (1992:76) argues that this places the farmers in a position where they can take advantage of many different scales of organizations. Mesqa-level WUAs can help to prevent free riding because everyone can monitor everyone else. Large organizations allow farmers to take advantage of economics of scale, for example, when they deal with investment projects.

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Central Organization Construction and rehabilitation

Allocation and drainage

Maintenance

Conflict resolution

Construction and rehabilitation

Allocation and drainage

Maintenance

Local Command Area Organization (critical interface between the bureaucracy and farmers)

Conflict resolution

Farm Organization Construction and rehabilitation

Allocation and drainage

Maintenance

Figure 2.3: The Organization of Irrigation Systems Source: Freeman, David M. and Max K. Lowdermilk (1991): ‘Middle-level Farmer Organizations as Links between Farms and Central Irrigation Systems’ in M. M. Cernea (ed): Putting People First: Sociological Variables in Rural Development (New York, World Bank/Oxford University Press.) p. 116.

WUAs as a tool for bureaucratic re-orientation. The concept of bureaucratic re-orientation originated from the neo-liberal development strategy. At the practical level, it evolved from the experiences gained in the early 1980s with the Gal Oya irrigation system in Sri Lanka. It was learned at Gal Oya that much of the farmers’ uncooperative or destructive behavior within the project merely reflected the haphazard and unresponsive way in which it was managed by the irrigation authorities. The conclusion emerged that unless and until engineers and other technical staff changed their attitudes and behavior, farmers were

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not likely to change their own behavior (Uphoff et al., 1991:170–1). Bureaucratic re-orientation in this context implies changes both among farmers and among engineers, so that a process of mutual learning and adjustment, as well as confidence-building, can occur on both sides. The central focus of this role of WUAs is that in order for them to perform their tasks efficiently, changes in the way the central agency conceives and manages its relationship with the farmers are necessary. Lusk and Parlin (1991) have provided a fresh and very pragmatic view of participation. They argue that farmer participation is less a problem for project success than is the participation of bureaucrats. While farmers are the ultimate project beneficiaries, the bureaucrats ‘have little or no incentive to implement policies which have no bearing on their [the bureaucrats’] own welfare’ (Lusk and Parlin, 1991:28). They further argue that it is not participation as such which is required, but finding ways to make bureaucrats more accountable to the users. Lusk and Parlin advocate democratization, decentralization and privatization as central concepts for guiding organizational designs for modifying irrigation agencies (Lusk and Parlin, 1991:27). Democratization comprises the process of establishing political accountability in organizational design. Decentralization concerns the breaking-up of top-heavy decision making by transferring the authority and responsibility to hierarchical levels closer to the end users. Privatization is meant to return some public functions to the free market, either by deregulation, or by the establishment of property rights for what had been publicly owned goods. In this way, a system of incentives and sanctions for the bureaucrats is established in direct relation to the way they manage the irrigation system. WUAs both at farm- and middle-level are seen as vital to this process. These WUAs must act as the voice of the farmers who articulate their views about the water supply situation and the bureaucratic performance. Summary Three roles of WUAs identifiable in the current literature were viewed as complementary to each other. At the theoretical level, they represent an offspring of the irrigation management tradition with its current influx of neo-liberal thinking. In the literature reviewed, the concern for the establishment of appropriate organizations constitutes the main focus of irrigation management research today. The Turnover and Self Management Approach The fourth, and final, approach to improvement in irrigation system performance is the turnover and self-management approach (also termed

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‘participatory irrigation management’, or just the ‘transfer’ approach). It is closely related to the use of WUAs as a tool for bureaucratic reorientation. In the late 1980s, ‘the emphasis on participation shifted in many countries to a different and more thorough-going approach – which is the turnover of primary management authority itself to water users associations or other non-governmental institutions’ (Vermillion, 1991:7). 73 This shift is facilitated by a combination of poor management performance, financial pressures, increasing agricultural diversification and commercialization and the conviction that an increasing number of rural non-governmental institutions are in place and capable of taking over these responsibilities. On the ideological level, the shift is highly influenced by the neo-liberal thinking. Irrigation management turnover is defined broadly by Vermillion (1991:8) as: The contraction of the government’s role in irrigation management and the corresponding expansion of the role of non-government institutions in irrigation management. Turnover includes various types of institutional changes which support greater private-sector control, authority, responsibility, resource mobilization, ownership and/or profit-sharing in irrigation.

This definition is based on the neo-liberal development strategy with its focus on less planning and state intervention and a greater role for market forces. The main understanding of the management turnover approach is that private organizations, such as WUAs, tend to have the proper structure of incentives to manage according to performance criteria. At a more specific level, this approach seeks to (i) improve management performance and sustainability of irrigation systems, (ii) reduce government costs for operation and maintenance, and (iii) reallocate scarce state revenues to a limited set of more obvious state functions, such as policy making, regulating water use along entire river basins, etc. (Vermillion, 1991:8). In other words, this approach applies a ‘bureaucratic’ or ‘top – down’ view. The approach is also based on two fundamental assumptions: (i) that farmers are financially and organizationally ready to assume ownership and/or management, and (ii) that management turnover alone will improve the performance of irrigation systems. But as Vermillion (1991:8) points out, both these assumptions are ‘largely undocumented.’ A third assumption, however – not explicitly stated – is that the systems, in order to be attractive for a turnover to farmers, must be physically improved or operating well before turnover can be successful. It should be noted that the turnover and self-management approach embodies a conception of farmer participation in which farmers or WUAs are seen as business entrepreneurs. This implies, that the relationship

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between the irrigation agency and the farmers is viewed as one primarely based on economic or financial relationship and not of feelings or symphaties between the two parts. The current transfer effort in Mexico clearly highlights this point (Gorriz, 1995). Summary The four approaches to improved system performance discussed here have been presented in order of their historical appearance. Construction and training are largely dismissed today when used as stand-alone approaches because they are too limited in scope to significantly impact system performance. Both, however, are important components of the more comprehensive approaches to participation and turnover and self management, because farmers’ interests in participating are largely influenced by the gains they expect to receive from involvement. The farmer participation approach has undergone substantial change over time, from an initial quest to involve farmers to undertake a very limited range of tasks (concerning the on-farm system), to the approach favored today in which farmers are assumed to play a vital role in managing water allocation and maintaining irrigation works through organizations at different levels of the irrigation system. The latest development, the turnover and self-management approach, adopts a state or agency view and is concerned with reducing the central agencies’ involvement in the irrigation system at large. While researchers working on the participation approach are concerned with the issue of how to create institutions at farm- and middle-level and what the tasks and objectives of these institutions should be, the (few) researchers within the turnover and self management approach take the existence of these institutions for granted. They are concerned with the process of decentralizing the tasks of the irrigation system through privatization. CONCLUSION: THE CHARACTERISTICS AND PROBLEMS OF THE RESEARCH FIELD The purpose of this review was to present the background to, and the state-of-the-art thinking on, irrigation system improvement – in order to draw out guidelines from which to establish a framework for the specific analyses to be conducted in this study. The review has been lengthy and broad in scope – reflecting the complex multi-faceted nature of the subject. Its main focus has been on large-scale public irrigation systems already in place, on irrigation systems in low-income countries, and on induced development.

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Characteristics The following are the key characteristics of this field: 1. A strong focus on the management of irrigation systems: With the basic physical structures of irrigation systems nearly in place today, and with growing demands for food and fiber production, the key focus of researchers within the field of irrigation management is on improving the efficiency of the systems already in place. Emphasis on the management factor is seen to have a high potential for achieving this objective. 2. A focus on appropriate institutions: The management focus, combined with, and reinforced by, the neo-liberal thinking prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, has spurred an emphasis on the establishment of appropriate institutions through which these systems can be effectively managed. A key issue is to ensure that the managers at all levels receive the appropriate incentives and training. 3. A lack of theory formation: The case-by-case, system-by-system, countryby-country approach applied by the researchers and practitioners within this field has produced an immense amount of knowledge of specific systems and how they perform. This is an invaluable contribution in itself. This knowledge, however, has not produced a solid theoretical foundation. As Cernea has pointed out: … the accumulated experiences of applied social scientists [sociology and anthropology] have not yet been systematized, conceptualized, and codified either by these practitioners themselves or by academic social scientists; therefore, theory formation is sporadic and the epistemological and methodological concerns of applied science are insufficiently stated (Cernea, 1991:3).

The lack of theoretical development is also evident in the absence of clear and agreed-upon definitions and typologies of basic concepts within this field, for example, irrigation performance, irrigation bureaucracy, and WUAs. The lack of generally accepted definitions has hampered the possibility of cumulative learning from the vast amount of field data, because it has not allowed for systematic comparisons and analytical inquires across cases, systems, and countries. Probably the most fundamental shortcoming that inhibits the development within this research field is the lack of a framework or theory for evaluating management performance in irrigation systems. As pointed out by e.g. Wade and Seckler (1990:16), there is a lack of studies on irrigation bureaucracies, and the literature on management science, organizational theory, bureaucracies and public administration does not provide much guidance; either on how to analyze or how to manage

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irrigation systems, taking into account the vastly different contexts, tasks and technologies applied in irrigation systems world wide. In the absence of an irrigation-specific management ‘theory’ it is impossible to pinpoint effective and ineffective management cases: Consequently, its determinants cannot be explored. In the absence of such a framework, it is virtually impossible to diagnose and explore deficiencies in organizational structure and management procedures. Thus, ‘improving irrigation system performance’ is a young, applied and eclectic field of research, and as such, can currently be characterized as an immature field of research. Current Attempts to Rectify the Problems One attempt to create an irrigation-specific management framework is the comprehensive inquiry done by Uphoff et al. (1991) Managing Irrigation: analyzing and improving the performance of bureaucracies. This book seeks to establish a systematic approach to the analysis of irrigation bureaucracies, and is useful in providing typologies, systematizing relevant concepts and explaining the connection between them – which is a first step in the direction of establishing a coherent way to analyze and improve the performance of irrigation bureaucracies. It does not, however, provide a normative framework which states for example that, under condition A or B, and given tasks F and G, organizational type L or M is best suited. Concerning the lack of criteria for assessing the performance of largescale irrigation systems, it was stated above that IIMI initiated a program to develop both the concepts and the specific techniques for evaluating performance. The first result of this undertaking has been published: A Framework for Assessing Irrigation Performance, (Small and Svendsen 1992). However, so far no actual performance evaluations based on this framework have been published, so the potential benefits and shortcomings of it cannot be assessed. Another current attempt to create a typology of concepts from IIMI is the Vermillion (1991) paper The Turnover and Self Management of Irrigation Institutions in Developing Countries, which provides a framework for comparative assessment of practical implementation of this strategy. In other words, efforts are being made to define and refine concepts which make way for the comparison of findings between systems and countries. Finally, the contribution of the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition seems to offer a new and consistent theoretical foundation for the study of institutions. The emphasis on incentives and transaction costs seems promising in establishing a general theory and approach, to facilitate the initiation of appropriate and sustainable organizations at various levels of

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a bureaucracy. As such, this tradition provides new and useful insights. But, because incentives are only incentives if the users perceive them as such, this framework has difficulty in concluding from a set of physical and community attributes the level of appropriate institutional attributes, which, together with other attributes, provide incentives to the farmers. As such, the new institutional economist tradition, does not contribute to the formation of a comprehensive theory on the improvement of irrigation system performance. In addition, the new institutional economics tradition does not directly address the fundamental theoretical shortcomings related to the lack of a theory of irrigation bureaucracies. Notes 1 For example, IIP has hired external consultants of senior rank who have been extensively involved in irrigation management for two decades or more. Furthermore, the project is an USAID project which conforms to the experiences of USAID over the last three decades. 2 For an overview of these see Bottrall (1995); Chambers (1988); Coward (1983); Jones (1995). 3 As will be pointed out, irrigation management is a relatively new research field, and as such, to denote it a ‘tradition’ may not be perfectly correct. However, the term tradition is applied to the words ‘irrigation management’ throughout this study when it is the intention to refer to the research field. Tradition is defined as ‘a set of customs and usages viewed as a coherent body of precedents influencing the present’ (American Heritage Electronic Dictionary, 1992) 4 Discussion with Dr. Max Lowdermilk. See also Bottrall (1995:5–6) 5 The World Bank is the lead agency in formulating and promoting Water Resources Management. See World Bank (1993b) for an in depth outline of the strategy. 6 IMII is an international research center, established in 1984 and based in Sri Lanka to promote irrigation management concerns and to augment the worldwide knowledge base and stock of expertise on improving the management of irrigation systems in developing countries (IIMI, 1989:9) 7 Chambers (1988:35) provides an illustrative figure of the professional fields which interact and contribute to irrigation system performance. 8 Another definition of irrigation management is ‘[t]he process by which water is manipulated (controlled) and used in the production of food and fiber, i.e. … [It] is not water resources, dams, or reservoirs to capture water; nor codes, laws, or institutions to allocate water; nor farmers organizations; nor soils or cropping systems. It is, however, the way these skills and physical, biological, chemical, and social resources are utilized for improved food and fiber production’ (Lowdermilk in Keller, 1990:32). 9 See e.g. a standard textbook like Kay (1989). 10 Levine (1986:4) points out that very little information exists on how irrigation systems deteriorate (i.e. general decline in hydraulic performance and what the implications are) because little formal research has been devoted to the topic.

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11 Recognizing the scarcity of and thus, competition for, resources in developing countries. Concerning the lack of incentive Levine (1986:7) states that the cost stream for a regular maintenance program designed to avoid a decline in system performance is discounted over the years, and the discounted financial benefits are relatively small until the system has deteriorated significantly. 12 This is certainly the case in the Middle East, where a great deal of the conflicts over water resources stem from the fact that water has become a scarce resource (Agnew and Anderson (1992); Allan (1990); Allan (1994); Allan and Mallat (1995); Beaumont (1981); Haddah and Mizyed (1996); Hindley (1990); Hindley (1992); Kliot (1993); Lowi (1995); Naff and Matson (1984); Wolf (1995). 13 For a resent statement about scarcity and the value of water to society, see former World Bank President Barber Conables foreword in Moigne et al. (1992). 14 The figure for 1955 is from Agnew and Anderson (1992:138) and the 1991 figure is from FAO (1992:16). Agnew and Anderson (1992:138:Table 6.3) provide the following table of area extent of world irrigation (million ha): Year 1900 1930 1955 1968 1978 1985 Ha 44 80 120 163 210 271 15 This source is based on FAO production statistics. 16 At best, this is a broad estimate. FAO, for example, does not report production figures differenting between irigated and non-irrigated areas. 17 It should be mentioned, that problems of low performance are not unique for irrigation projects in the Third World. Israel, (1992: 1) e.g. conclude in the World Bank Paper ‘Issues for Infrastructure management in the 1990s’ that ‘ … the general condition of infrastructure is poor, performance standards are low, and the financial situation in most cases is still weak.’ 18 For an in-depth account of the complexity of establishing such criteria see Chambers (1988: Chapter 10). 19 Chambers (1988) provides one of these rare contributions which are highly critical of the general approach to the study of irrigation systems. His book ‘ is about what all [the other disciplines] miss … It argues that what they miss is central for improving canal irrigation management’ (Chambers, 1988:xv). He examines five gaps or blind spots, of practical concern: main system management, canal irrigation at night, farmers’ activities above the outlet; managers and motivation; and diagnostic analysis. He states, that ‘they are gaps because they are difficult. The experience that is relevant is poorly recorded; good methods are not well known; and there are still no relevant textbooks’ (Chambers, 1988:xix). Note, however, that this is not a confrontation with the established theoretical thinking, but is about the focus of the research inquiry. 20 A second report containing reviews of specific measurement techniques should be forthcoming. 21 Another but less operational definition is given by Small and Svendsen (1992:10) They define performance of an irrigation system ‘as encompassing the totality of both its activities – acquisition of inputs and the transformation of inputs into intermediate and final outputs – and the effects of these activities on the system itself and on its external environment.’ 22 Chambers (1988:39) states that the adoption of broader objectives and criteria appear to be gaining more and more support over the earlier narrower professional definitions of purpose.

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23 The listed activities are highly interdependent. To acquire, allocate and distribute water effectively is only possible provided that the system is properly designed, adequately operated, and well maintained, which in turn is the positive outcome of successful conflict management, communication, resource mobilization, and decision making. Furthermore, these activities vary according to the administrative level (e.g. farm, middle level or national), and with the size of the system. For a different way to systematize the activities of irrigation management see e.g. Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991:116). 24 Uphoff et al. (1991:58) points out that the objectives of the national system makers/politicians are most likely different from the objectives of the water users. Thus, these objectives must be adapted to the specific performance assessment which is to be undertaken. 25 The ‘diagnostic analysis’ approach to irrigation system analysis is developed within the Water Management Synthesis II Project, headed by researchers from Colorado State University. See e.g. Lowdermilk et al. (1983); Oad et al. (1988). See also a critique of diagnostic analysis in Chambers (1988:Chapter 10). 26 A more elaborated discussion of the frameworks would require a specific case on which to judge the outcome of the performance assessment. 27 In the following the terminology proposed by Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) will be adopted. 28 See e.g. Bagadion and Korten (1991); Freeman (1991); Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991); Freeman et al. (1989); Lowdermilk and Svendsen (1983); Lusk and Parlin (1991); Reddy (1986); Samaha and Abu-Zeid (1980); Wade and Seckler (1990). 29 See also Wade and Seckler (1990:19) and Chambers (1988:39) for similar views. 30 For an in-depth discussion of this point see Burt (1987) 31 This section is based on the following three sources: Hvidt (1987); Petersen (1985); Weaver and Jameson (1981). 32 Development, as it is used here, is understood to be economic development as expressed in greater income, more material goods, more leisure time, etc., for the individual (Weaver and Jameson, 1981:8ff). The Marxist inspired development or underdevelopment theories are not dealt with, because they never became the dominant paradigme within the donor community. 33 The laissez-faire development strategy was based on the capitalist model and denotes the neo-classical proposition of Adam Smith, that economic development is best served by the state doing as little as possible, that is the actions of private individuals will bring about development, guided by an ‘invisible hand’ (Weaver and Jameson, 198:24). For and in-depth discussion of these points see Weaver and Jameson (198:29–31). 34 Due primarily to the recognition of the ‘vicious circle’, failure of markets, and the inability of markets to take externalities into account (Weaver and Jameson, 198:30). See also Hvidt (1987:Chapter 1), for an in-depth discussion of the benefits and shortcomings of applying the ‘blue-print’ approach. 35 For short, projects can be defined as ‘purposive interventions used for accelerating and targeting economic growth and social development’ (Cernea, 1991:5). A more elaborated definition of a project is provided below. A project is seen as a process encompassing the following dimensions:

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1) disciplined conceptual desegregation of complex, or ill-defined problems into discrete tasks for which resources can be mobilized and targeted, 2) specific time boundaries within which projects begin and end according to funding schedule and work plan, 3) pre-programmed activities in which the resources, contracting, procurement, training and anticipated outcomes are all planned and ‘designed’, 4) applied economic and systems analysis used in the appraisal of a project idea to determine whether it is economically viable or rational according to other technical criteria, 5) standardized reporting procedures for monitoring, control, and evaluation (Morgan, 1983:330) 36 Successful application of ‘blue-print’ projects can take place where the number and complexity of determining variables for the accomplishment of the goals of a plan are low and the changes in the environment in which implementation takes place are not large (Hvidt, 1987:33). In cases where these assumptions do not hold, for example in most rural development projects, this planning approach uses either very simplified assumptions concerning the environment or enforces implementation with a high degree of control (Faludi, 1973:133). 37 ‘Contrary to myth, it is a grievous misunderstanding to imagine that project interventions are a simple linear unfolding of a well-reasoned, time-bound sequence of preprogrammed activities with all but predefined outcomes. Beyond what is being planned, and often despite it, development interventions occur as processes subjected to political pressures, social bargaining, administrative inadequacy, and circumstantial distortions. A host of necessary or unwarranted reinterpretations modify the intended outcome’ (Cernea, 1991:6). 38 Among the most important organizations are ILO, WHO, FAO, UNESCO, UNRIDS and IFAD 39 This paragraph is based on Petersen (1985:847–928) 40 The following publications provide an overview of structural adjustment: David (1985); Handoussa (1991:Chapter 9 and 10); Tarp (1993). 41 About 10 to 15 percent of total World Bank lending, or about $2 billion per year at present (Moigne et al., 1992: Foreword). 42 For an in-depth discussion of the ‘rationale’ behind donor financing see Hvidt (1987:Chapter 5). 43 And if the agreed upon conditions under which project financing is is not met by the host government, this can lead to strong reaction by the Donor. For example, the World Bank cut off all irrigation lending to Pakistan in 1992 pending the formulation of a new irrigation strategy (World Bank, 1995:4). 44 For a detailed account of the change in the World Banks irrigation sector lending, see Jones (1995:33ff). 45 See also Haider (1987:1). This does not mean, however, that no new construction is going on. Large dams are still being constructed, and together with them, the corresponding distribution systems. For example, at present construction is underway on the 21 dams in South East Turkey, damming the Euphrates flow, headed by the Ataturk dam; the Batoka Dam, planned to be placed 50 km downstream of the Victoria Falls at the Zambesi river at the boarder between Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the planned high dam on the Yangtze River in China.

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46 Cuddihy (1980:i) e.g. referes to wiews held by public administrators about the ‘peasant perversity’ in not accepting new technology, as an expression of this perception. 47 The Egypt Water Use and Management Project (EWUP) is an expression of this type of thinking. See EWUP (1984). 48 Estimated by Dr. Max Lowdermilk. 49 The BHN strategy is neither a coherent theory nor a clearly defined strategy (Martinussen, 1994:362). While relative agreement on the content and goals of the strategy was present, there were sizable differences in the interpretation of the strategy when it came to applying it to and addressing the poverty problems (Sørensen, 1979:23). 50 In a more radical interpretation of the BHN strategy, the call was for: ‘[m]ass participation in decision-taking and review and in strategy formulation and of control of leaders, as well as in implementation of projects and carrying out of decisions’ (Green, 1978:4). 51 See Hvidt (1987) which on the basis of the Ghanaian ‘Peoples Participation Project’ implemented by FAO spells out the discrepancies between the intended participatory approach and the actual applied blue-print process used to implementate the project. 52 For an elaboration of these points, see Hvidt (1987:49ff). 53 Steinberg et al. (1983:70ff) divides irrigation systems into private, communitybased and large-scale systems, and points out that participation takes on very different forms within these types of systems. 54 See e.g. Korten (1982); Maass and Anderson (1978); Uphoff (1986); Uphoff et al. (1985). 55 See Byrnes (1992) for a detailed review of the WUAs in Pakistan. 56 Public choice theory is the application of economics to the study of nonmarket decision making. The basic behavioral postulate of public choice is that man is an egoistic, rational, utility maximizer (Mueller, 1989:1). The unit of analysis is the interests of the individual. The theory seeks to understand society and social policy by studying the decision making of self-interested individuals who seek to maximize their gain and utility through the exercise of rational free choice (Lusk and Parlin, 1991:13). To apply a public choice perspective to irrigation management implies a focus on the individual’s rationale, the ‘free rider’ problem, the management of conflict, and the market forces (Lusk and Riley, 1986:286). Since the late 1940s Public choice theory has become a well-established research perspective. It has been applied theoretically to irrigation by Lusk and Parlin (1991); Lusk and Riley (1986), and the rationale embedded in public choice has been applied to the issue of organization, by e.g. Freeman (1991); Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991); Freeman et al. (1989). Furthermore, public choice theory has also been applied to technology transfer in irrigation for example by Freeman and Lowdermilk (1981). Recent statements concerning public choice theory are found in Rowley et al. (1993) Applying the same assumptions as public choice theory, the ‘new institutional economics’ or institutional analyst tradition (encompassing ‘institutional rational choice ‘, ‘institutional analysis and development’ and ‘transaction cost economics’), is concerned with identifying appropriate institutional arrangements that can

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counteract perverse incentives inherent in various transaction situations. It is built on knowledge from political science, economics, anthropology, game theory and law, and places an emphasis on the actual contexts in which individuals adopt actions or strategies. Depending on such factors as the number of participants involved, the choices available to participants, and the incentives faced by them, different outcomes may result from interactions among participants. The new institutional economist tradition delineates the contextual attributes that shape various action situations, which leads to an analytical focus on how rules ( = institutions), physical attributes and attributes of a community shape various action situations (Tang, 1992:14). Exponents of this field are Ostrom (1990); Ostrom (1992); Ostrom et al. (1993); Tang (1991); Tang (1992); Tang and Ostrom (1993). 57 See contemporary writings of e.g. Freeman. 58 The terms organization and institution are used as synonyms. An institution can be defined as ‘the set of rules actually used (rules-in-use) by a set of individuals to organize repetitive activities that produce outcomes affecting those individuals and potentially affecting others’ (Ostrom, 1992:19). 59 Specific ways to conceive and measure incentives are dealt with in Chapter 3. 60 As pointed out by Ostrom (1992:35), ‘[t]he temptations involved in free riding, rent seeking, and corruption can never be totally eliminated, but institutions can be devised to hold these activities in check. In order to decrease opportunistic behavior, coordination activities, such as monitoring and sanctioning, may have to be increased.’ 61 This is not a new finding see e.g. Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991:113); Lowdermilk and Svendsen (1983:327). 62 A definition of a WUA was presented in Chapter 1. 63 One broad typology is offered by Meinzen-Dick et al. (1994:vii–viii). They differentiate between the so-called ‘American’ and ‘Asian’ model of WUAs. ‘The Asian model typically relies on direct participation of all members. Base units are likely smaller. These are often socially-based, multipurpose organizations that build upon members’ daily interactions and knowledge of each other for decision-making, monitoring, and sanctioning. These are likely to be most appropriate in socially cohesive societies with smaller landholdings, low market penetration and simpler irrigation technology. The American model is a more specialized organization with role differentation. The specialization, together with less reliance on face-to-face interactions, allows for larger organizational size. Membership is more likely to be based on hydraulic boundaries, and the organizations are focussed on irrigation rather than multiple activities. Formal rules and supervisory bodies form the basis for decision-making, monitoring, and sanctioning. Such organizations are appropriate to situations of larger landholdings, greater market development, and more complex technology.’ The WUA in Egypt resembles the Asian model. 64 For the purpose of the analyses, this study uses the term ‘WUA’ as a mesqa organization and a ‘federated WUA’ as a branch canal organization. 65 There is general agreement among irrigation management researchers that farmers are willing to engage in WUAs if they receive benefits from doing so. Freeman (1991:59) reports that farmers are willing to engage in organization if and only if they gain, in economic or non-economic terms by doing so. 66 One could hypothesize that this is a result of the fact that very little is written

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by professionals who are engaged in actual implementation of WUAs. The negative effects of WUAs, for example, the cost of farmers to erect and maintain them (transaction costs as defined above) are seldom reported. One such attempt is Lowdermilk (1994). 67 Other roles might be present, e.g. resource mobilization. 68 The term ‘a logic of collective action in irrigation’ is chosen purposely to resemble Mancur Olson’s (1965) term ‘the logic of collective action’ which challenges the presumption that the possibility of a benefit for a group would be sufficient to generate collective action to achieve that benefit. For a further elaboration of this point see Ostrom (1990:6). 69 For example Freeman (1991:48); Freeman and Lowdermilk (1991:123ff). 70 The experience from the IIP project shows the complexities, time and effort it takes to help farmers build viable organizations along these lines. 71 Vermillion (1991:9) makes the point that because private organizations are involved in setting objectives and priorities for water users, they can facilitate a social legitimacy for irrigation fees. 72 A federated WUA is now established in Beni Ibied canal command. Personal discussion R. Oad, November 26. 1996. 73 In his book Vermillion (1991:12–17) list a number of specific projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America to document this statement.

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chapt er 3 Towards an Analytic Framework

Chapter Two reviewed the overall theoretical and methodological ideas and approaches involved in the improvement of irrigation system performance. This exercise also provided insight into the issues which are essential for improvement of the performance of large-scale public irrigation systems. This chapter will, within the context of the previous chapters, develop a specific framework which can guide the analyses to be conducted in this study. THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The following points should be made about the study in relationship to the theoretical and methodological ideas and approaches involved in the improvement of irrigation systems’ performance: 1. It is practical and, as such, falls into the tradition of case studies, which are widely prevalent in this field of research. Furthermore, it is to a large extend exploratory simply because it sets out to measure impacts resulting from the IIP pilot effort in the relatively undocumented setting of Egyptian irrigation. 2. It is conceived within the irrigation management tradition. That is, it adopts a system view which recognizes that both the technical and management features of irrigation systems at all levels are of the utmost importance to ensure that farmers receive the adequate, timely and equitable deliveries of water required for good crop production. 3. The research has explicitly chosen to apply a farmer focus in the recognition that ‘ … the success of irrigation in the end inevitably depends on the skill and interests of the farmers and motivation for participation in an irrigation scheme’ (Lindyh, 1979:66). The importance of applying a farmers’ focus was pointed out in Chapter 2, in which it was found that state bureaucrats and donor agencies simply cannot force farmers to exploit new production possibilities against

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wat e r , t e c h n o l o g y a n d d e v e l o p m e n t their will and that irrigation systems do not produce crops: only farmers can combine the essential inputs for agricultural production at the farm level. In order to study the actual, as opposed to the expected, impact of a development project such as the IIP, it is imperative to provide evidence of the farmers’ de facto adoption or rejection of the new technologies. Only if farmers adopt, use and maintain the system improvements will the project succeed in achieving its ultimate goals of increased food production and water savings or conservation. In other words, farmers’ views are essential in making such an impact assessment. This distinct focus on the individual as an actor, and on his choices, places the study within neo-liberal thinking and its corollary, public choice or new institutional economics. At a concrete level this has led to the adoption of the behavioral postulates associated with these traditions, and a focus on incentives as means of stimulating action.

The Limitations of the Study The study is broad in scope. However, there are a number of things it does not do. Firstly, although much effort is devoted to analyzing the effects attributable to the strength of the WUAs, and although the study builds on an extensive knowledge of this issue, the research does not set out to analyze these organizations as such. Secondly, the study does not analyze the irrigation bureaucracy as such. Even though the bureaucracy at central and regional level does impact the IIP effort by either facilitating or constraining it, and thereby provides the setting for improvements, we have chosen to focus on the impact of this process as perceived or measured at farm level. Thirdly, the research does not analyze the implementation process of the IIP project as such. The analyses are concentrated strictly on the outcomes, by which is meant the impact at farm level of this process. Fourthly, this study is not an evaluation of the entire IIP project, but rather concentrates on evaluating a restricted number of specific outcomes of the project. It does not, therefore, include feasibility studies, evaluations of design and construction, or of the administration of project implementation. Selecting the Variables This study recognizes the fundamental classes of irrigation management objectives outlined by Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) but, given the usual constraints of time and money, it has been necessary to delimit the variables it deals with. The research is therefore limited to the analysis of

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three aspects of the IIP improvement effort: its contribution to increased water control, land saving and farm income. 1 These variables have a number of qualities. Firstly, they provide a sound basis on which to make statements about the impact of IIP improvements at farm level. Secondly, they can be quantified and analyzed within the constraints that have been mentioned. Thirdly, they are expected to show impacts over a relatively short-term period (one or two years). This time dimension was imperative for the research, because the improvements at farm level had only been in operation for up to two years at the time the field work was conducted. The Dependent Variables: Definitions and Operationalization The study uses three dependent variables: water control, land saving and farm income.2 This section provides a short description of the potential contribution of each to increased agricultural performance followed by an operationalization of the variable. Farmer water control Farmer water control potentially: (i) impacts agricultural productivity by ensuring that adequate, reliable and fair supplies of water are made available for agricultural production. When exercising water control, the farmer is in a position to apply the appropriate amounts of water at the right time to the crops, thereby allowing for optimum conditions of growth. Furthermore, farmer water control allows for the efficient adoption and utilization of improved agricultural technologies, (ii) impacts resource conservation because better water control removes the incentives for farmers to hoard water and/or over-irrigate. In this way it reduces the potential of water logging and salinity build-up in the soils (which are both detrimental to good crop production) (Clemmens, 1987:60; Reddy, 1986:101; Wade, 1990:175). Reduced water consumption per hectare of land allows for water savings for the horizontal expansion of irrigated land, thereby increasing total production, and/or making more water available for other uses, such as industrial and domestic uses, which are beneficial to the society at large, (iii) impacts returns on investments for both farmers and society because it allows for increased agricultural productivity, including facilitation of the shift to high-value crops (usually vegetables). As pointed out, farmer water control is the outcome of a complicated organizational/management process which needs both the appropriate technical and organizational structures to be in place and working well. Given the de facto problems of farmer water control in Egypt, this variable

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is considered of utmost importance, and is therefore made a central focus of this study. Operationalization Different writers use different factors to operationalize the concept of water control. For example, reliability, adequacy and equity (Lowdermilk in Reddy, 1986:101); adequate, dependable and equitable water deliveries (Muhammed, 1987:37); adequacy, timeliness, predictability, convenience and equity (Uphoff et al., 1991:64–6).3 There is no one correct way to operationalize the concept of water control. It depends on the specific purpose of the research. For example, Uphoff et al. operationalized the concept for the purpose of researching farmer water control (notice the factor ‘convenience’), while Muhammed is strictly concerned with main system deliveries. Uphoff et al. (1991:65) explain these variables in the following way: Adequacy denotes whether the amount of water delivered to the fields is sufficient to meet crop requirements; Timeliness, whether the water is delivered when the crops that have been planted need it; Predictability, whether amounts and timing are regular or erratic, with information on water flow known in advance so water users can make best use of it and of complementary inputs; Convenience, whether water is delivered with a minimum of effort from water users, often referred to as “hassle”, measured in time and money; and equity, whether water is distributed evenly both within the command area and among water users.

For the purpose of this research, the three objectives selected are adequacy, reliability and fairness: (i) Adequacy in this study means that the actual deliveries of water are sufficient to match the required volume needed by the crops (plus evaporation and leaching requirements). This factor also includes the timing perspective. Water requirements vary greatly over the year according to crops grown and the climatic factors (e.g. IIP, 1991b:Appendix V). Adequacy is therefore a concept relative to the specific crop, soil, growth stages, and months of the year. From a farmer perspective, every volume of water delivered above the required volume will appear as adequate, and volumes which are too small will appear as inadequate. From a system perspective, however, if more water is supplied than needed, water is wasted. By contrast, short supply indicates water deficiency. (ii) Reliability is synonymous with ‘predictability’, as highlighted above. Worded in the form of a question it asks, ‘Does the farmer get the expected volumes of water at the time he was promised to have them?’ (iii) Fairness relates to the term ‘equity’ but is slightly different. Both terms encompass the spatial distribution of adequacy and reliability of water allocations and delivery.

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It was decided to use the term ‘fairness’ because the term ‘equity’ implies a mathematically–defined distribution – for example, that all land within a command area receives exactly the same volumes of water. While this would be highly desirable, it does not take into account socioeconomic reality in the countryside:4 namely that the purchase price of land in arid zones depends on the availability of water. Stated differently, a plot of land, rated marginal in terms of adequacy and reliability will usually yield a smaller purchase price than favorably located land. This means that among farmers it might be rated as fair that such a plot of land has a less adequate and reliable water delivery. Thus, fairness reflects farmers’ perceptions of equality and can be examined using questionnaire data. Because equity implies use of physical measurement, fairness is a better measure for this research. Land saving The variable ‘land saving’ has a potential impact on productivity because it addresses the question of how much land is needed to accommodate the physical structures of the irrigation system. For each hectare occupied by canals, pumping equipment and the like, one less is available for agricultural production or other types of infrastructure which stimulate efficient agricultural production such as access roads. The agricultural value of a saved hectare is the value of the land and the potential income from the produce that could be grown on it within a specified time horizon. Land saving is one of the issues addressed under the resource conservation objective in the Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) framework. Available land, as mentioned, is of utmost concern for Egypt, because land is immensely scarce. Since every feddan counts, land saving is a worthwhile variable to analyze. Operationalization For the purpose of this study, land saving is defined as the amount of land (in square feddans or meters) that is released for other purposes, following the construction of improved mesqas and related pumping facilities. Thus, this definition includes only the savings in land in direct relation to the mesqa system. The downsizing of the branch and main canals, which in the future might be undertaken if the complete system is redirected to a downstream controlled regime, is not included. Farm income The variable ‘farm income’ is an outcome of farmers’ returns on investments (investments of both time and money) and is thus a key feature in the farmers’ incentives to adopt or reject the proposed improvements.5 It

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impacts agricultural productivity, if it is sufficiently high to spur profitable investments in, for example, adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices. Operationalization For the purpose of this study, farm income is defined as the income in monetary and non-monetary terms (for example produce for self consumption, saved labor time) derived from agricultural production, which relates to changes created by the IIP project. The analysis of this variable is divided into saving in costs and expected increase in income. Due to the fact that the improved mesqas have only been in operation for a maximum of two years, only savings in cost resulting from the shift to the IIP improvements can be documented. For this study, variables such as the cost of pumping, the decrease in labor time used to irrigate, and the cost of maintenance and capital costs are included. The potential increase in income resulting from increases in yields and changes in cropping patterns when the improvements have been in operation for a longer time period can only be estimated since it usually takes time to achieve significant increases in crop yields. Research projects, like other real-life decisions, involve trade-offs. In this study, the analysis of these three rather different dependent variables (each representing different theories, research methodologies and data sources), necessarily means sacrificing some depth. However, it is thought that, by including all three, conclusions drawn from the study can provide a sound base on which to form conclusions about the impact of the IIP effort and farmers’ incentives to adopt the improvements proposed by the IIP and to make them sustainable than single variable research projects would do. For the purpose of documentation and analysis the effects of the IIP improvements are viewed as three different slices of reality. Each can provide statements about the attractiveness of the package of improvements introduced by the IIP to farmers. In the analysis of incentives, however, these variables become complementary. It is recognized that incentives to adopt or reject the specific improvements under study are complex.6 But on the basis of prior research, our own field experiences and farmer statements, it has been concluded that the three variables selected are among the most important from the perspective of farmers. The Independent Variable The object of this study is to analyze the impacts of the ‘improvements delivered by the IIP project.’ However, this independent variable is too

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vague to use for sound analytical work. A framework is required in which the totality of the IIP components and approaches applied at farm level are encompassed in a way that makes it possible to distinguish between the effects created by each different component of the IIP effort. Such a framework is provided in the comprehensive and holistic definition of technology developed by researchers at The Aalborg School of International Technology Studies, Denmark. They define technology as encompassing four interrelated elements: technique, knowledge, organization and product. See Figure 3.1.

Technique

Knowledge

"Hardware"

Applied Science, accumulated experience, skills

Organization

Product

Management, technical relations of production

The resulting exponent ot the producing technology

Figure 3.1: Schematic definition of technology Source: Müller (1980): Liquidation or Consolidation of Indigenous Technology (Aalborg University Press, Aalborg) p. 26.

Technique denotes the work processes between labor, machines and materials – in other words, the ‘hardware’. Knowledge is the applied science, accumulated experience and skills – in other words, the ‘software’. Organization constitutes the management and technical relations of productions that join together the elements of technique and knowledge in the work process. This could be called the ‘org.ware.’ Product denotes the end result of the work process, encompassing the combination of technique, knowledge, and organization, whether the result be commodities or services. This definition of technology is uniquely different from other definitions because product is included. This is because the specific choice of the combination of the elements of technology is aimed at satisfying specific needs. Furthermore, it is not possible to explain or comprehend the selection of the elements without including the choice of product. 7

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A basic notion encompassed in this framework is that the transfer of technology to agriculture is a process involving gradual adoption of improved techniques and practices in a particular social, economic, and political setting. Any technical change sets in motion events which require adjustments. These adjustments ‘set the stage’ for future technological change (Lattimore, 1986:511–12). In other words, the appropriation of the technology by its users is an upward-spiraling process which necessitates the constant adjustment of the four elements of technology: technique, knowledge, organization and product (Müller, 1980; Müller et al., 1986). This constant adjustment is necessary because the four dimensions of technology are interlinked in a dynamic process by which qualitative change in one factor leads to qualitative changes in the other three dimensions (Müller, 1990:45). Used in a normative sense, this framework thus points out that, if a technology transfer process is to be successful, the process must entail changes, not only in the technical parameter, but also in the three other parameters. This framework is extremely useful for the purpose of this study. The improvements initiated by IIP can best be understood as a technological package which contains elements within all four dimensions of technology. By applying this framework it is possible to go beyond simple data analysis in which the impact of the technological package is measured according only to the time elapsed since initial implementation of the improvements. It facilitates analyses, not only of the total effect of the change in the technological package on the dependent variables, but also (and more importantly) the effects resulting from each of the dimensions of technology. The latter kind of analysis is important, especially in regard to the variable water control. Upstream and Downstream Control The totality of improvements introduced by the IIP project at field level is, as mentioned, termed the ‘Downstream Control technological package’ or for short, the ‘DSC technological package’, ‘DSC package’ or just ‘DSC.’ The term ‘downstream control’ is added to the term ‘technological package’ to highlight the fact that the specific technological package under scrutiny involves a fundamental change in the control patterns of water use, from the currently applied ‘upstream control system’ to a ‘downstream control system.’ These terms were defined in Chapter 1. Having clarified both the dependent variables and the independent variable, the analytical framework adopted for the purpose of this study can now be depicted.

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Upstream control technology - Technique - Knowledge - Organization - Product

Downstream control technology - Technique - Knowledge - Organization - Product

Water control Land saving Farm income

Figure 3.2: The research framework

Criteria Used for Adoption of the DSC Technological Package The framework in Figure 3.2 is directly related to the first overall aim of the study, which is to document and analyze the impact of the DSC technological package on the farmers, using the three selected variables of water control, land saving and farm income. The framework, however, provides little guidance for the second aim, which is to analyze the possibility that a demand-driven spread of the IIP improvements could occur in the farming community. For this purpose, a framework is needed to guide the inquiry into how a given technology ‘takes root’ in a society. Such a framework is provided by Lorentzen (1988) and is based in the theoretical thinking of the Aalborg School of International Technology Studies. In writing on the issue of technological capacity in the Third World, Lorentzen argues that technological change has less to do with change of technology than with a change in the way society absorbs, uses and develops technology (1988:11).8 She hypothesizes that in order for technology transfer to succeed, it must be accompanied by a change in society of the conditions under which the technology is taken into use. Furthermore, a real need and an interest in the new technology (its outcome) must be found in society, and especially among the primary recipients of the technology. In other words, ‘technology transfer will only succeed if it is relevant and is part of a more

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substantial change process in in different spheres of society’ (Lorentzen, 1990:264). Given this background, the following questions are raised concerning the possibilities of the DSC package taking root in Egyptian agriculture.

The likely adoption of the DSC package depends on how the following questions are answered: Is the DSC package a part of a substantial change process in society at large? Is the DSC package relevant for the farmers? - Does the DSC package reflect a real need ? - Does the DSC package produce incentives to adopt and sustain the use of it, as determined by; - the visible or felt benefits incurred by the farmers. - the visible or felt detrimental effects associated with the adoption and use of the package?

Figure 3.3: Essential Questions to Guide the Inquiry of the Successful Adoption of the DSC technological Package Adapted from: Lorentzen, Anne (1990): ‘Technology transfer’ in M. Rostgård et al. (eds): Society in the Technology (in Danish) (Aalborg Universitetsforlag, Aalborg) p. 264.

Farmers’ decisions to implement changes are, as we have noted, influenced by a range of aspects, such as the overall policy environment, the MPWWR who must support the downstream regime, supporting institutions which function to transfer information and improved ideas, and last but not least, the farmers own WUAs, which operate and maintain the mesqa system. This study analyzes the potential for a demand-driven spread of the DSC package starting from the two questions raised above: ‘Is the DSC package a part of a substantial change process in society?’ and ‘is the DSC package relevant for the farmers?’ The first question is answered by using studies in the available literature. As pointed out, the IIP and its DSC package form an integrated part of the structural adjustment strongly emphasized currently in Egypt, which gives the first indication that the DSC package is not just an isolated attempt to improve systems, but part of an overall strategy to redirect the country’s growth patterns. The second question addresses the analysis of the three independent variables of water control, land saving and farm income. By focusing on

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the experience gained by the DSC package and on the incentives it offers for farmers to adopt, use, and maintain the improvement, this analysis provides an indication of the potential for the technological package to spread by demand in Egyptian agriculture at large. In other words, the focus is on whether farmers who are currently operating unimproved mesqas are likely to request the IIP improvements on the basis of the knowledge they can obtain from farmers at improved mesqas. The fundamental question of whether this technology will spread by demand in other farming communities if the improvements are viewed as beneficial is important because the IIP approach is based on a volunteer principle. If the farmers want the DSC package, they must choose to organize in WUAs and choose to pay for the micro-system improvements. A basic assumption is that they will only do this if, and only if, the DSC package has proven itself to capable of providing the farmers with visible and demonstrated benefits.9 BASIC ASSUMPTIONS AND CONCEPTS Three important concepts used in this study need to be clarified: farmer behavior, incentives, and stratification of the farmers. Farmer Behavior The argument behind the Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) study’s focus on the farmer, although not explicitly stated, is the recognition that the farmer – and only the farmer – combines the factors of production in a particular field to bring in a crop. A system’s performance, then, depends on the motivation the farmer has to adopt and use it for the purpose of crop production. Placing the explicit focus on farmer well-being means that the objectives of system management are to provide appropriate incentives for farmers so that they will attempt to maximize their benefits, by applying their time, labor and money in striving to produce increased levels of production. This study adopts the behavioral postulate embedded in rational choice theory: that man is an egoistic, rational, utility maximizer (Mueller, 1989:1–2). But because human beings only have limited access and ability to process information, rationality is understood as ‘intendedly rational but only limitedly so’ (Simon in Tang, 1992:15). One type of rationality which is of special interest here is economic rationality. The economist Theodore Schultz, states that ‘farmers the world over, in dealing with costs, returns, and risks are calculating economic agents. Within their small, individual, allocative domain they are fine-tuning entrepreneurs …

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‘ (Schultz, 1978:4). This appears to be true in Egypt and the following statements, drawn from a major study conducted on behalf of the IIP (1990e:9) covering 11 canal commands in Egypt support it: • Water users have fine-tuned, sophisticated animal/crop farming systems and respond positively to market prices. • Water users show recent, rapid adoption of pumpsets, tractors, threshers, sprayers, and improved crop varieties. • There is an active, private water market in pumping water with diesel pumpsets by farmer entrepreneurs. Esfahani (1987) shows that farmers are responsive to price signals in implementing farm machinery such as tractors or pumps. The World Bank (1993a:9), which reviews the effect of liberalization in crop patterns and input/output prices, shows that marked changes have occurred in Egypt, especially with respect to choice of crops.10 These findings, in addition to the authors own experiences in Egypt, indicate that farmers are in fact involved in the market mechanism and are intentionally rational in accordance to economic stimuli. Incentives The issue of incentives was dealt with in the section on the ‘new institutional economics’ tradition in Chapter 2. This study adopts the definition used in that section. However, three points are elaborated below. Firstly, the definition of incentives offered earlier pointed out that it is not groups of farmers, WUAs, or governments as such, who receive incentives, but the individuals encompassed by these institutions. Furthermore, incentives are not tangible objects, they are perceptions of the likely outcomes of actions taken, and are thus formed in the mind of the individual farmer. As such, they are impacted by his moods, values, judgments, and other psychological factors. Secondly, incentives can take one of the following forms: 1. Material inducements – money or goods; 2. Opportunities for distinction, prestige, and personal power; 3. Desirable physical conditions of work – clean, quiet surroundings, for example, or a private office; 4. Pride in workmanship, service for family or others, patriotism, or religious feeling; 5. Personal comfort and satisfaction in social relationships; 6. Conformity to habitual practices and attitudes; 7. Feeling of participation in large and important events (Ostrom, 1992:25).

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Thirdly, incentives are seen to originate from a variety of sources 1. The internal values that individuals assign to different outcomes and the activities needed to achieve those outcomes. 2. The physical and technological variables that affect the transformation of activities into outcomes. 3. The general cultural values shared by individuals in the community; 4. The rules-in-use (the institutions) that relate to specific situations in which individuals repeatedly find themselves (Ostrom, 1992:25). In other words, incentives include far more than just financial rewards and penalties. The definition presented here is much broader than just ‘cost, returns and risk’, which is a commonly used short definition in economic literature (Schultz, 1978:4). We have chosen to adopt this broad understanding of incentives in the light of the field experience gained in studies carried out in Egypt and other African and Middle Eastern countries. This study will discuss the farmers’ incentives which stem from the use of the DSC technological package, primarily the incentives which originate in the physical/technological source and institutional source. Given the fact that Egyptian farmers are integrated into the market economy and are conceived as economic beings, the study is conducted under the assumption that the material incentives resulting from such gains as improved water control, land saving and, most of all, increased farm income, hold priority over the culturally determined variables of prestige, desirable conditions, pride, personal comfort, conformity to habitual practices, and attitudes and feelings connected with large and important events. It could be argued that the output prices of crops are the most important factor to spur the adoption of a given technological package because it produces a direct and visible impact on farmer income. However, this study adopts the well-proven point that ‘When the cost of adoption is small relative to the value of the gains in productivity, when the gains can be had during the course of a crop year, and when the additional risks are minimal, adoption occurs rapidly even though the price of the product is low’ (Schultz, 1978:17). In other words, output prices probably have an effect on the likely adoption of a given technological package; but as stated above, this is by no means the only factor affecting the adoption of improved technology. The issue of output prices is not dealt with here because output prices are identical whether a farmer chooses to adopt or reject the DSC package. As such they do not influence the adoption process. In dealing with the farm income issue the primary concern is the savings in cost which potentially result from the DSC improvements.

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The quotation from Schultz points out three important dimensions of our inquiry into incentives. Firstly, the cost and other felt detrimental effects of the technological package must be viewed against the potential benefits. Secondly, the visible and felt benefits must be experienced within a relatively short time horizon. Thirdly, the risks (such as an increase in the vulnerability of water supplies) need to be relatively small. In this way incentives can help estimate the likelihood of a demanddriven spread of the DSC technology in Egypt. Stratification of the Farm Unit The unit of analysis is the ‘farm unit’ – for short, the ‘farmer.’ This is the person who either full or part time earns income from farming, and who owns or operates land on the mesqas selected for study. Farmers are, however, stratified along basic economic, social and political dimensions, which means that they have different opportunities for taking advantage of the DSC package, and therefore have different incentives to adopt or reject it. The data are stratified by a number of criteria: previous water control situation (expressed as ownership of pumps prior to the shift to DSC); size of land holding; and the location on the mesqa (head versus tail). One conclusion reached is that the least-advantaged farmers prior to the shift to DSC seem to gain more than those who were better off, and consequently have the greatest incentives to adopt the DSC package. HYPOTHESES Given the above explanations of concepts and variables, the purpose of this research project is to (i) document and analyze the impact of the DSC technological package on the farmers, in terms of three selected variables: water control, land saving and farm income, and (ii) analyze the possibility that a demand-driven spread of the DSC technological package could occur in the Egyptian farming community at large. Thus the following hypothesis are presented for analysis: H1: The DSC technological package does not improve farmer water control. H2: The DSC technological package does not save land. H3: The DSC technological package does not increase farm income. H4: The DSC technological package requires more capital investment in pumps than the technology used before the shift to DSC. H5: Pump owners gain more from the shift to the DSC technological package than non-pump owners.

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H6: Farmers under improvement contracts encompassing primarily large mesqas will pay less for improvements than farmers under contracts encompassing primarily smaller mesqas. These hypotheses form the basic building blocks of this study. If these hypotheses are rejected there are good reasons to expect that a demanddriven spread of the DSC package will occur. WHAT CAN THE STUDY CONTRIBUTE? Due to the lack of an overall theoretical framework on ‘improving irrigation performance’, this project does not set out to test a theory. It instead researches a new subject in Egypt, the IIP improvements, and is thus both exploratory and descriptive. There are a number of potentially useful contributions to be made at the theoretical, methodological and practical levels. At the theoretical level, it may help to pinpoint the overall changes in development thinking in the Western world. Most notable among these are the changes from the laissez-faire development strategy through the planning strategy to the current neo-liberal strategy, and its translation into specific strategies for improving large-scale public irrigation systems which have impacted on the focus of the research within the field of irrigation management. At the methodological level, the research can make a contribution by introducing the broad-scoped definition of technology as applied to the independent variable. At the practical level, it can contribute by adding to our general knowledge of approaches to the improvement of the performance of large-scale public irrigation systems by documenting and analyzing the outcomes of an actual and ongoing attempt of this kind. At this level it could help the IIP and the MPWWR to refine their approaches to the improvement of irrigation performance in Egypt. It may also contribute to a deeper understanding of how irrigation is conducted at the micro level in Middle Egypt, an area where there is currently a lack of up-to-date information. The contributions resulting from this study are dealt with in Chapter 9. The main limitation of this study is the restricted time span between implementation of the first mesqas and the date of the survey. A maximum of two years have elapsed since the first mesqas became operational, which imposes limitations on the ability to draw conclusions about the medium- or long-term impacts of the IIP improvement effort in Egypt. Furthermore, this has put significant limitations on supplementary data available for this study. Other, more minor, limitations are spelled out in the next chapter, which deals with the field survey method.

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Notes 1 As shown below, these variables are related to the objectives of water control, productivity and resource conservation listed in the Clyma and Lowdermilk (1988) framework. 2 The terms ‘independent’ and ‘dependent’ variables are defined as follows: ‘The independent variable in an experiment is the variable which is systematically manipulated by the investigator. In most experiments, the investigator is interested in determining the effect that one variable, say variable A, has on one or more other variables. To do so, the investigator manipulates the levels of variable A and measures the effect on the other variables. Variable A is called the independent variable because its levels are controlled by the experimenter, independent of any change in the other variables.’ ‘The dependent variable in an experiment is the variable which the investigator measures to determine the effect of the independent variable.’ (Pagano, 1981:6–7) 3 Other words have frequently been used to describe the ability of irrigation systems to make desirable water deliveries. These are adequate, appropriate, assured, certain, controllable, convenient, dependable, equitable, predictable, productive, reliable, stable, steady, and timely (Chambers in Muhammed, 1987:13). These words relate to the three parameters which can be manipulated in the process of delivering water. These are flow rate, duration of flow and frequency of flow (Replogle, 1986:121–3). 4 See Chambers (1988:37) for an in depth discussion of issues related to equity in water supplies. 5 Under the assumption of an appropriate policy environment: that ceteris paribus allows farmers to earn more income if they produce more crops or shift to high value crops. 6 Other factors might be, for example, price incentives, labor availability, land tenure arrangements, existing cropping systems, availability of institutions (extension, credit), soil characteristics, education and entrepreneurial spirit. 7 See Müller (1990: 34–7) for further arguments as to why ‘product’ is included. 8 The concept of technological capacity recognizes that local circumstances play a pivotal role in adoption of new technologies in the Third World. The concept denotes the totality of socio-economic, political and cultural conditions, which are relevant for the choice, the use, the diffusion and the change of technology (Lorentzen, 1988:11). In short, the concept sums up the willingness and ability of a given actor at either firm, national or international level to engage in, and carry through, a change of technology. This approach is a combination of a structure-oriented and an actor-oriented approach. On the structural side, the emphasis is on the basic social structures and physical, economic and social infrastructure, while on the actor side the emphasis is on the interest, resources, access, knowledge, information, and organization of the social carriers of technology (Lorentzen, 1988:Appendix). This dualistic orientation provides a way to analyze the interplay between technology and society and grasps the dynamic as well as the social aspects of technology transfer (Lorentzen, 1988:12). The actor perspective places the decision on whether or not to adapt a certain technology at the farm unit by a group of farmers. The perceived cost, return and risk are central to their willingness to adapt the technology, which

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also – on a theoretical level – places the farmer or groups in a position, not merely as recipients in the hands of the extension officers, but as central in relation to the development and implementation of technology reflecting a felt need by the farmers. In other words, the actor orientation emphasizes the ‘bottom-up’ and processoriented project implementation approaches developed during the 1980’s (For an overview over these, see Hvidt (1987: Chapter 2). 9 Behind this argument is the assumption that a prerequisite for a successful implementation of a technological package is that it has a ‘visible’ positive economic return for the farmer (Lele, 1984:180). 10 See also Cuddihy (1980:v) and Richards and Waterbury (1991:159).

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chapt er 4 Methodology

In experimental settings, such as a laboratory, it is possible to control and quantify all the variables that affect an investigation. A social science field survey, however, always entails dealing with complex social situations and behavior that are difficult to fully comprehend, and even more difficult to measure accurately. Thus, in the social sciences, the design and implementation of field studies can only aim for ‘the best possible’ measurements. A range of choices must be made to achieve this. This chapter deals with the methods used in the design and implementation of the field study, highlighting the choices made along the way. Its purpose is to account for what was actually done and to evaluate the reliability and the validity of the data collected. SOURCES It is not possible to carry out broad-based analyses such as that undertaken here (at least within the monetary and time constraints) without the use of data sources external to the survey itself. Table 4.1 depicts the different categories of data that have been used, directly or indirectly. In this chapter, however, only the primary data sources, and especially the questionnaire data generated by the author, will be dealt with. As can be seen, the IIP project is becoming a rather data-rich project. However, no IIP studies have addressed the questions related to the three dependent variables of this study. THE DESIGN OF THE FIELD SURVEY Methods and Scope of Data Collection Three sets of data were collected: (i) Respondent data: how the respondents perceived the changes associated with the mesqa improvements. Data

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Table 4.1: Summary of Different Data Sources Used in this Study Primary

Secondary *

Questionnaire Own measurements Key informant interviews Extracts of IIP M&O data Extracts of WUA files - financial record - pump cost - rules

IIP socio-economic study Background literature on IIP technical reports Egyptian farming and, IIP discussion papers irrigation EWUP reports Devres Inc.: project General Irrigation literature evaluation Laito: IAS evaluation MacDonald: feasibility reports WUA legislation MPWWR Policy: cost recovery USAID policy Ground water studies

*

Other

The list is not complete, but highlights the major sources

concerning the functioning of the WUAs, water scheduling, finances, conflict management, linkages to other institutions, new knowledge required/obtained, perceived changes in adequacy, reliability and fairness of water distribution, land saving, and changes in irrigation cost etc. were collected. (ii) Physical data: physical attributes of mesqas and canals, before and after the IIP improvements, farm size and operational land holding of each WUA and farmer, data on WUA financial statements and pump records. (iii) Key informant data: from irrigation engineers at regional and district level, and IIP project personnel, concerning the technology and its impact. The data were collected to depict the ‘before’ and ‘after’ situation. For the respondent data, one questionnaire was administered using a questionnaire format that included recall questions. The physical data on before and after conditions were collected through own measurements supplemented with information from MPWWR and IIP technical reports. A total of 164 questionnaires were administered and completed, including 27 questionnaires done on control mesqas. Survey methods Two data collection instruments were developed and administered: (i) the questionnaire, and (ii) data entry sheets for the physical and economic data concerning mesqa layout and operation.

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The unit of analysis The unit of analysis is the individual farmer appointed as a marwa leader, since the individual farmer’s perception of visible and felt benefits are the key focus of this study. However, some data, for example on the water supply situation, were collected at the mesqa level. Criteria for selecting respondents Three different options for the selection of respondents were considered at the outset: (i) A random sample among all farmers on the selected mesqas, (ii) interviews with all WUA council members, and (iii) interviews of all marwa leaders.1 It was decided not to do random sampling among all the mesqa farmers. In this study, the DSC technology is viewed from a functional point of view. This implies a focus on the aspects of the technology that are essential for ensuring the proper operation of the mesqa water supply (ensuring water control). Both WUA council members and marwa leaders play that role. They are the persons who handle the daily operations of the technology. Stated otherwise, it makes little difference to the functioning of the technology if the individual farmers do not know much about it, because they only impact the technology as users. Furthermore, the DSC package is a new technology and, therefore, one cannot expect a full comprehension of the technology among the ‘ordinary’ farmer on the mesqa so soon after operations begin. In the original layout for the creation of WUAs it was envisaged, that a WUA council should consist of the marwa leaders. Often it does, but on many mesqas it does not. It was decided to interview marwa leaders instead of WUA council members because marwa leaders are fairly evenly distributed along the length of the mesqa. This was important in order to obtain data which reflected the fairness of water distribution along the mesqa. Furthermore, the number of marwa leaders on a mesqa reflects the size of the mesqa (in area covered).2 This simply means that large mesqas will have more marwas than small ones. WUA council membership is not necessarily related to the size of the mesqa. A further advantage of selecting the marwa leaders as respondents is that they are fairly easy to locate. The similarities of the three categories are more striking than the differences, because all categories are farmers. It is recognized, however, that WUA council members and marwa leaders may be better educated, more influential and have a more positive attitude towards change than the average farmer. Both of these categories are appointed or elected by their fellow farmers to represent them when handling the most scarce

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production input – water. Marwa leaders, therefore, were selected as respondents to the questionnaire. Sampling the mesqas The three selected command areas: Herz–Numaniya, Qiman el Arus and Beni Ibeid, were chosen using the above criteria for mesqa selection. No sampling of improved mesqas was required, because a ‘complete enumeration’ of all mesqas improved under IIP before 1 October 1992 was completed. In Herz–Numaniya, however, six improved mesqas were excluded from the survey. They suffered from serious design problems, which had resulted in operational problems.3 Data collection on these mesqas would not have yielded results adequate for analyzing the dependent variables required in this study. For improved mesqas the criteria were as follows: (i) Mesqas operational with continuous flow in the branch canals, (ii) mesqas operational without continuous flow in the branch canals. Here ‘operational’ refers to improved mesqas where the WUA council had acquired at least one pumpset. 4 For the control mesqas, the following criateria were used:5 (i) Mesqas located in the same areas as the sample mesqas, (ii) mesqas which resemble the improved mesqas according to type of soil, crops and location on main system, and (iii) mesqas which still operate under the former rotational system with no continuous flow. Timing Data collection took take place in October and November 1992. This was after the period of summer water shortage, when the bulk of the summer crops had been harvested. The survey was carried out in the three areas consecutively: Herz–Numaniya, Beni Ibeid and Qiman el Arus canal command areas. The interviews The vast majority of the respondents cannot read and write. Seventy-nine percent of the sample farmers reported that they had no formal schooling, making it imperative to use an interviewer to administer the questions and record the responses in the questionnaire. The understanding among researchers, as well as the authors’ experience of Egypt, is that there exists a very tense relationship between the state and the farmers. This is because farmers have been subjected to intense crop and price controls by the government over the last 40 years. The general feeling among farmers is that past government policies have

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had a negative impact on production. Skepticism and suspicion against anyone associated with the official apparatus was evident. Thus, farmers feared that the data collected might be used to raise land – and other taxes. This skepticism is so deeply rooted, that in order to ensure accurate measures, it was found necessary to use people who were well known and respected in the areas. Furthermore, the questionnaire includes highly sensitive questions. The interviewers The potential advantages of using field agents were as follows: (i) known and respected in the areas, (ii) have a previous knowledge about the farming situation and the farmers in the area beforehand, (iii) have some previous experience in data collection and interviewing, (iv) logistically easy to work with, and (v) could read and write (in Arabic). Potential disadvantages of using field agents: (i) have vested interests in reporting good results, and (ii) might be difficult for respondents to speak negatively about the project in front of them. Despite the potential disadvantages, the investigator chose to use IIP field agents who generally had high credibility with farmers for the interviewing. Five field agents were selected in Herz–Numaniya, three in Beni Ibeid and two in Qiman el Arus. Re-interviewing Re-interviewing was done to test the validity and reliability of the collected data. Two separate rounds of re-interviews were undertaken: (i) Interviews done by an IIP field agent who was known by the farmers, and had been a part of the team who did the original survey. This was done on a sample of 7 percent of the 137 sample size. (ii) Interviews conducted by a person who was an outsider both to the IIP project and to the farmers in the areas. A sample of 15 percent of the 137 respondents in the original survey was used. For both re-interviews, special questions were used. Questions from the original questionnaire were carefully selected to reduce the possibility of interviewer bias. Selection of the respondents to interview in both rounds of re-interviews was conducted using random systematic sampling. A farmer was never re-interviewed twice. Field measurements A range of field measurements and observations was undertaken by the investigator and his local assistant. These measurements included the physical dimensions of the mesqas, presence of system control structures and level of maintenance.

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Limitations of the survey For most mesqas there elapsed a maximum of two years between implementation of the DSC package and this study. Furthermore, in the sample of mesqas there is an under-representation of pipeline technology. Both points impose limitations on the conclusions to be drawn from this study, especially regarding the long-term effects of the technology transfer process. THE VALIDITY OF THE FIELD SURVEY This section assesses the validity of the data and, consequently, the conclusions that can be drawn from the field survey. The assessment is important because possible inaccuracies or biases in the data, if they are known, can be counteracted either in the data analysis process or in the conclusions drawn from the data analysis. There appears to be no standard way of performing a validity analysis. On the basis of a review of literature on research methodology and social sciences statistics, it is evident that (i) the terms ‘reliability’ and ‘validity’ are used to imply a variety of meanings, (ii) there are different emphases on the issue of validity measurement, and (iii) vast differences in the techniques used for measurements.6 But, as Wright points out, this is not surprising because ‘analyses and the methodological concepts used are operationalized in different ways, depending on the particular research situation.’ (Wright, 1979:46) Establishing a Framework for the Analysis The focus here is on the validity of the estimation of effects.7 In other words, how valid are the conclusions drawn from the collected set of data? This approach is different from the more narrowly defined validity assessment, and implies a focus on the overall methodology used in the study.8 The validity of the survey was analyzed using the framework shown in Table 4.2 below. Internal and external validity refers to the difference in populations to which findings can be generalized. Internal validity is concerned with the validity of inference (or conclusions) about the target population, using information from the study population. External validity, on the other hand, refers to inferences concerning an external population beyond the study’s restricted interest, in this case, ‘what is the validity of the research findings when generalized to all marwa leaders on improved mesqas, or the validity when the findings are generalized to all Egyptian farmers?’

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Table 4.2: Framework for Analysis of Overall Validity of the Survey Type of validity

Dimension

Operationalization

Internal validity

Reliability

Precision Level of reproducibility Bias

Validity External validity

Representativity of survey Generalization of findings

Adapted from Kleinbaum et al. (1982): Epidemiologic Research. Principles and Quantitative Methods (Lifetime Learning Publications, Belmont) and Wright (1979): Quantitative Methods and Statistics: A Guide to Social Research (Sage, Beverley Hills)

Internal validity is seen to have two dimensions, reliability and validity. The terms ‘reliability’ and ‘validity’ are concerned with two different sources of measurement inaccuracies which can occur when estimating an effect. Reliability is concerned with random error, and is expressed as a precision problem. Validity deals with systematic error, also termed ‘biases.’ Kleinbaum et al. (1982:186) suggest an analogy with target shooting: ‘validity is concerned with whether or not one is aiming at the correct bulls-eye: precision [reliability] is concerned with individual variation from shot to shot, given the actual bulls-eye being considered.’ Good measures are both reliable and valid. In other words, they are free of both random errors and bias. Errors can occur at any stage of the research process; for example in sampling, measurement, data coding and processing. Random errors occur by chance, and tend to cancel each other out in direction and magnitude. Bias, on the other hand, refers to systematic errors, which affect all measurements in the same direction or magnitude (Wright, 1979:45–8). Reliability is operationalized in two ways for the purposes of this study. First, as an assessment of the precision of the measurements. Second, as the level of reproducibility. Precision involves the scales used, the formulation of the questions and the care taken to collect, record, code and analyze the data. How accurately data can be collected and analyzed is the critical question. Reproducibility of survey findings is a key measure for reliability in social science studies. Pine (1977:18) uses the word reliability as synonymous with reproducibility: ‘Our concern with reliability is 1) whether or not repetitions of our measures will give similar results or 2) whether or not different measuring instruments give the same results.’ In other words, reliability deals with the extent to which variation on a given variable is due to measurement inconsistencies. A reliable data

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collection instrument – for example a questionnaire – should produce consistent measurements. A common way to asses this type of reliability is a test-retest procedure. Validity is operationalized as bias. Bias can be analyzed in terms of three effects: (i) response effects, (ii) social desirability bias, and (iii) task effects. Response effects encompass (i) interviewer effects, or all the errors introduced by the interviewer as a result of his or her characteristics, (ii) respondent effects, or all those systematic errors in measurement produced by non-relevant respondent states, traits, or characteristics. Social desirability bias, for example, is the tendency to report what respondents feel are the desirable or appropriate answers, irrespective of the interviewee’s own feelings. Task effect refers to measurement errors introduced by the nature of the task which the respondent is asked to perform. They include the method of the survey (whether it is face-toface, telephone, or mailed questions), the length, the degree of structure, and the nature of the information elicited. The final element of the framework is external validity. External validity is defined as ‘... the extent to which the findings can be generalized beyond the units studied to the entire population of interest, including different contexts and times’ (Wright, 1979:39). The ability to generalize is a function of two aspects: (i) whether the study is representative (i.e. of the farmers of Egypt), and, (ii) the ability to generalize specific conclusions resulting from the study to the entire population. The latter encompasses a broad and historic discussion of the specific findings and are, thus, based on judgments (Kleinbaum et al., 1982:187). The latter question is not addressed here, but attempts to discuss this issue are provided in the overall conclusions in Chapter 9. The issue of representativity, on the other hand, can be quantified, and this is of concern here. The argument is that the overall validity of the study is higher if data collected are supported by valid findings from others studies.9 EVIDENCE OF INTERNAL VALIDITY IN THE FIELD SURVEY Precision Assessing the precision of measurements involves a close look at the scales used, the formulation of the questions, precision in recording, and analysis of the data. A discussion of these items is presented below. Only precision related to the marwa leader questionnaire is dealt with. The utmost care has been taken through the entire data collection process to secure the highest possible level of precision.

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The data collection instrument was a carefully designed questionnaire. It was developed by the author in English and then translated into Arabic. It was pre-tested in the field, after which it was corrected and administered to trained interviewers. The questionnaire included three major types of questions: factual (e.g. age of respondents, years of schooling, land ownership, etc.), closed, and open-ended questions. Examples of the last two categories are presented in Figure 4.3 below. 7. Productivity of WUA Meetings

1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Always very productive Often very productive Sometimes productive Never productive Don't know

CHECK ONLY ONE .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........

8. IF "3 and 4" above Why? FILL IN .............................................................................................. .............................................................................................. ..............................................................................................

Figure 4.3: Example of Closed and Open-Ended Questions in the Questionnaire

The theoretical underpinning of the scaling used comes from the Likert scaling techniques.10 The scales applied in the questionnaire were not developed in the rigorous way prescribed by Likert, but by the investigator and a panel of professionals with experience in similar studies.11 Translation was done by an experienced Egyptian economist.12 The questionnaire was purposely organized and given a layout which made it easy for the interviewers to complete it and for the investigator and his assistant to code and check the data. The interviewers’ seminar The 10 interviewers were given a one-day training course covering general interviewing techniques and a detailed discussion of each question in the questionnaire. The course aimed at giving them an esprit de corps, full understanding of what questions were posed and why the author wanted to pose each one of them, and finally, clarification of possible misunderstandings in interpretations of the questions. The exercise was

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followed up by a gradual start in interviewing (only two to three interviews conducted per day). All questionnaires were received, checked, and possible problems discussed in the field at the end of each working day. Incomplete or faulty questionnaires were rejected, and the interviewer was asked to contact the respondent again in order to complete the questionnaire. This procedure worked very well because problems were spotted, discussed and resolved quickly. Daily discussions with the interviewers further provided a good indication of which questions they experienced difficulty in obtaining answers to. Moreover, this provided an important input in evaluating the willingness of farmers to answer the questions, as well as possible biases related to individual questions. Control mechanisms were created to identify the consistency of the farmers’ answers (repetition of questions in the questionnaire) and possible bias imposed on the survey data by using IIP field agents (test-retest). This is discussed further in the section on reproducibility. Retrospective information A possible source of precision error is due to attempts to retrieve retrospective information. As pointed out by Wright, people tend to forget about events and experiences which have occurred in the past, or they may remember events, but report the data inaccurately. Major or critical events in a person’s life will obviously be remembered and reported more accurately (Wright, 1979:43). Approximately half of the sample farmers typically had a maximum recall length of close to two years, while the other half had a maximum recall length of one year. Thus some caution should be taken in using the ‘before’ data. However, this study attempted to use variables for which recall was not a major problem. This is in part due to the striking differences between the impacts of the new versus the old technology. Coding, keying data and checking The author prepared a written code book, in which all questions were coded. The codes were written on the questionnaire itself to make checking easy. The assistant helped in coding the open-ended questions (written in Arabic). Data were keyed in through a data entry format developed by the author. They were checked and later entered into the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) where different routines were run for identifying miscodings. For each step in this procedure, the assistant was asked to proofread the material. The investigator too, proofread 15–20 percent of the material in order to check for errors. Very few errors were detected by the investigator. In all cases where questions were raised, the data were rechecked all the way from the source.

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Reproducibility The second operational issue of reliability is reproducibility. It deals with the extent to which variation on a given variable is due to measurement inconsistencies. As mentioned above, two concerns are involved: (i) whether or not repetitions of the measures yield similar results, or (ii) whether or not different measuring instruments give the same results. Only the first concern is dealt with here. The second applies best to physical research situations rather than to social sciences. For example, to make an accurate measurement of water temperature, one could use two different thermometers which hopefully will provide the same reading. In social science research situations, it is appropriate to compare key data from different sets of data collection. Two different assessments of reproducibility are provided below: an ‘Internal reproducibility check’, in which a number of questions were repeated in the questionnaire, and an ‘external reproducibility check’, conducted by a test-retest procedure. Internal reproducibility check The purpose of the internal check is to detect the consistency of the responses provided by the sample farmers. Seven questions (all measured on an interval scale) were posed twice during each interview. The correlation coefficient expresses the degree to which the respondents gave the same answer both times.

Table 4.4: Summary of Internal Reliability Check for Selected Variables, Total Sample Variables

Correlation coefficient (Pearson’s r)

N

Farmsize

0.9442*

137

Election day/month Election day/year

0.9848* 0.9387*

38 95

Cost of irrigation, before own pump rented pump

0.7530* 0.7948*

83 63

Cost of irrigation, after

1.00*

* significant at 0.01 level

137

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Data in Table 4.4 show a very high degree of correspondence between the answers given in the two administrations of the same questions. The weaker, but still high, correspondence expressed in the two factors dealing with irrigation cost probably reflects ambiguity in the question itself. Farmers who own a pump often also rent one to irrigate fields located farther away from their homes, where the pumps are kept. Further, there exists a large variety of prices, both for rental and owned pumps, because farmers might operate with both owned or rented pumps. Also concerning the rental of pumps, such questions as ‘does a good neighbor pay the same as a cousin or as a brother’ need to be asked. The correlation shows that farmers might not know the precise prices because costs for fuel, oil and repairs are constantly changing under the free market conditions. For further data analysis, it was found necessary to adjust the data for this. It is concluded that there is a high level of consistency in the answers provided by the farmers. External reproducibility check: test-retest The test-retest procedure provides a second indication of the reproducibility of a given survey. Will successive but independent collections and treatment of data concerning the same phenomena yield identical or closely correlated results? (Hellevik, 1991:232). One disadvantage of the test-retest procedure is the difficulty in explaining the reason for the possible lack of correspondence between the first and second round of interviews. One must ask whether ‘real’ changes have occurred in the time span between the first and second interviews. Was the interviewer or the interviewee motivation different or identical to that of the first interview situation? A range of factors interact with the way questionnaires are administered.13 The test-retest procedure provides, however, a rough idea of the data reliability. A high correlation indicates that the data are more reliable than would be the case if lower correlation was found. Approximately one and a half months after the administration of the first questionnaire, re-interviewing was carried out. Respondents were selected for re-interviewing through random systematic sampling. The interviewing was done by one of the interviewers used in the first round of data collection. Due to the limited sample size (7 percent of total sample) only tentative conclusions can be drawn from this analysis.14 Table 4.5 shows a relatively high level of correspondence between the first and second round of interviews. The rough analytical tool applied (straight percentage) tends to understate the actual level of correspondences. For all variables, only a maximum of two out of nine answers were different in the second

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Table 4.5: Summary of External Check, Test-Retest Variable

Test-Retest % (N=9) (6.57 % of total N)

Usefulness of DSC package Farm type Adequacy of water supply winter, after Adequacy of water supply summer, after Night irrigation done, before Night irrigation done, after Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge,

irrigation schedule pump charges repair charges where to fix pump pump account

88.9 77.8 100.0 100.0 77.8 77.8 77.8 100.0 77.8 77.8 88.9

interview compared to the first. From the data provided, it can be concluded that the level of reproducibility is good. In summary, the reliability of the survey was analyzed under two headings, precision and reproducibility. According to precision, the procedure used in order to minimize precision errors was spelled out, and found to ensure a high degree of precision. According to reproducibility, data from both the internal check and external check were presented. These showed that the level of reproducibility was good. Bias Below, the possible systematic errors (bias) in the survey are assessed. This involves discussion of the direction and magnitude (weight) of the possible bias. A bias can be either positive or negative or mixed (known as a switch-over bias).15 The discussion is structured around three major types of biases normally associated with non-experimental surveys: response effects, social desirability bias, and task effect. Response effects As mentioned above, response effects can be divided into two types: interviewer effects and respondent effects. An attempt was made to mitigate interviewer effects by careful interviewer training, which included teaching and practical exercises in general interviewing methodology. This is

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thought to minimize distortion. Further, great care was taken in preparing the questionnaire, so it provided the best possible support for the interviewer and gave the highest level of consistency for objective data reporting. Through the use of a structured questionnaire – as opposed to unstructured interviews and open ended questions– the role of the interviewer was minimized. Ten different interviewers were used because it was decided to use persons from each area;16 ideally, a single interviewer would have been preferable. Respondent effects refer to all those systematic errors in measurement produced by non-relevant respondent states, traits, or characteristics. In the Egyptian setting, this includes farmers’ deep-rooted skepticism towards government rules and regulations and official institutions. In addition, there is a tendency to understate the true value of important household economic factors and a general distrust of the motives of outsiders. There was consensus among the interviewers that data relating directly to the farmers’ incomes – such as ownership of pumps, or income generated from pumping for others – were somewhat understated by the sample farmers. The possible bias resulting from the use of IIP field agents requires a detailed analysis. Did the use of these field agents inflict a positive or negative bias upon the survey? This question can be answered by testing the following hypothesis, namely that the retest data are identical to the data in the original survey. As mentioned, two rounds of retests were conducted: the first by a person known by the farmers in the survey area (an IIP field agent), the second by a person completely unknown to the farmers in these areas, who was a native Arabic speaker and educated as an agricultural engineer.17 Findings from the re-interviews are presented below. The sample, however, was drawn in such a manner that it does not allow for a direct comparison of the two series of re-interviews. Consequently, the hypothesis can be tested for each of the re-interviews in relation to the answers given in the original sample. The P values in Figure 4.6 indicate that it is not possible to claim (at significant level > 95 percent) that the two distributions are different. In other words, there are reasons to conclude that they are identical. The lowest P values are found in relation to the retrospective data (the ones described as ‘before’). This confirms the view that one cannot expect perfect recall over a two-year period. Caution should be taken in the further analysis in relation to these data. The P values in Figure 4.7 indicate that it is not possible to claim (a significant level > 95 percent) that the two distributions are different. Again, it is concluded that there are good reasons to view the two

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Table 4.6: Comparison of Survey Data and Data from Re-interview by Project External Person N=24 Differences No. matches

Variable

No. –

No. +

Total

P value

17 20

3 1

4 3

24 24

1.0 0.2733

14

8

2

24

0.0593

12

5

7

24

0.3882

17

0

0

17

1.0

22

2

0

24

0.1797

Night irrigation done, before Night irrigation done, after

14 17

2 5

8 2

24 24

0.0926 0.3105

Knowledge of pump charges WUA accountant appointed Financial record exist? Pump operator appointed Pump record exist? Water charges collected

24 24 24 24 22 23

0 0 0 0 1 1

0 0 0 0 1 0

24 24 24 24 24 24

1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.3173

Usefulness of the DSC package Farm type Adequacy of water winter, before Adequacy of water summer, before Adequacy of water winter, after Adequacy of water summer, after

supply, supply, supply, supply,

Test: Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test

distributions as identical. There is some variability in the retrospective data (the ones described as ‘before’). They have a significantly lower P value than the non-retrospective data (described as ‘after’). This indicates that caution must be taken in drawing conclusions from these data. This analysis leads to the acceptance of the hypothesis that the original survey and the retest were from the same distribution. This was the case for both sets of re-interviews. Because neither of the retests were significantly different from the original survey, it can be concluded that no significant bias resulted from using either one of the categories of interview personnel. This finding means that it has not been possible to detect a bias inflicted on the material caused by using persons from within the project to do the interviewing. Social desirability bias Social desirability bias is the tendency to give what respondents feel are the desirable or appropriate answers, irrespective of their own true views.

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Table 4.7: Comparison of Survey Data and Data from Re-interview by Project Internal Person N=9 Differences No. matches

Variable

No. –

No. +

Total

P value

8 7

1 2

0 0

9 9

0.3173 0.1797

3

4

2

9

0.4631

7

2

0

9

0.1797

9

0

0

9

1.0

8

0

0

8

1.0

Night irrigation done, before Night irrigation done, after

7 7

0 1

2 1

9 9

0.1797 1.0

Knowledge of pump charges

9

0

0

9

1.0

Usefulness of the DSC package Farm type Adequacy of water winter, before Adequacy of water summer, before Adequacy of water winter, after Adequacy of water summer, after

supply, supply, supply, supply,

Test: Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test

Different measures were used in order to mitigate this effect. These included: (i) An introduction to the survey prepared by the investigator, which was read to the interviewees prior to the interview. This stated the purpose of the survey, the use of the data, the funding source of the study, and how each farmer to be interviewed was selected. In this introduction, it was also strongly emphasized that the investigator wanted to learn about both the positive and negative aspects of the improved mesqas (ii) ensuring that the interviewing was done by people known and respected by the farmers in the area, and (iii) designing the questionnaire so that it was difficult to know what was a desirable or appropriate answer. Task effect Task effect refers to measurement errors introduced by the nature of the task which the respondent is asked to perform. This includes the method of the survey (whether it is face-to-face, telephone, mailed), the length, the degree of structure, and also the nature of the information elicited. According to respondents, interviewers, and persons the investigator consulted when making the questionnaire, the questions were very well arranged and easily understood. Each interview lasted for approximately

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45 minutes. The interviewers were instructed to terminate the interview if, for whatever reason, the respondent had to direct his attention to other matters. They were asked to return later to finish the incomplete interview. The interviewing was also done during a slack season, after the October harvest period. One type of task effect, the use of retrospective information, is of interest. While it is obvious that precision suffers somewhat from use of retrospective information, it is more tricky to assess whether or not farmers tend to give more positive or negative answers as a result of the lapse of time. However, the survey data provides no indicators which can support a discussion of this issue. A likely outcome of the use of retrospective data is a tendency to polarize events. For example, periods with severe water deficits or exceptionally good water conditions will be remembered and reported, while periods of normal operations, to some extent, are forgotten and, thus, given less emphasis in the reporting. In summary, the assessment of validity (operationalized as bias) in the collected field data was discussed under the three headings, response effects, social desirability bias, and task effect. Response effects dealt with interviewer effects and respondents’ effects. For both it was stated that utmost care had been taken to mitigate the potential bias effects. Interviewer training and a well-prepared questionnaire were instrumental in this regard. An analysis was undertaken concerning the possible bias inflicted on the information reported following the use of interviewers who were IAS field agent workers for the IIP project. It was concluded that no significant bias resulted from this procedure. No direct measures of social desirability bias were made, but precautions were taken to mitigate this type of bias in the data. Using a ‘common sense’ argument, it is expected that a slight positive bias is caused by this factor. With respect to task effect, it was found likely that the recall length could impose biases. For example it could tend to polarize such elements as good and bad water supply situations, while attributes of normal mesqa operation might be forgotten and under-reported. However, our data does not support any discussion of the possible magnitude or direction of potential bias resulting from the use of recall questions. CONCLUSION: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VALIDITY This chapter has addressed the question of the internal validity of the field survey. The question asked was whether or not random or nonrandom errors in the survey data could be detected. Concerning reliability, it is probably not possible to carry out a field survey without the occurrence of random error. The methodology used to minimize these has been

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presented; a clear questionnaire, interviewer training and the continuous checking and rechecking of data, coding and careful analyses. In situations where reported data were found dubious, they were excluded from further analysis. Furthermore, the results of internal and external reliability checks were presented. It was found that the reproducibility was fairly good. Concerning validity, the possible occurrence of bias in the collected data was addressed. The question of interviewer bias resulting from using interviewers related to the IIP took priority. It was found that there is no compelling evidence that a special positive bias resulted from using these persons as interviewers. It was, however, found plausible to assume that bias in relation to social desirability was present to some degree. As for task effect bias, no hard evidence was found. Further, a bias existed in the reporting of ‘sensitive’ economic data such as income, land owned, etc. Farmers are likely to understate the positive benefits of the project because they fear that a result that is too beneficial may result in further land or other taxation. These last two biases are counteracted in the data analysis by taking care not to make too many rigid conclusions regarding these data. External validity, as defined above, included the two dimensions of representativeness and generalization. The latter is dealt with in Chapter 9, when it is known which conclusions to generalize. The issue of representability of the findings is included in the separate analyses. An attempt is made to relate each variable discussed throughout the analyses to findings from other surveys or technical reports, if they exist. For example, such factors as average farm size, pumping costs, water control situation, number of marwas. But comparisons are often difficult to conduct. For example, the average operational farm size. The survey data yield an average size of 3.25 feddans. But this average figure differs according to the command area in question. In Herz–Numaniya, the average farm size was 2.32 feddan, in Beni Ibeid 5.02 feddan, and in Qiman el Arus 2.81 feddan. However, the average figure for the total sample corresponds to the finding of the IIP socio-economic survey, which, on behalf of 1044 farm interviews conducted along Serry Canal in Middle Egypt, found an average operational farm size of 3.36 feddans (IIP, 1990d:14). So representability can only be discussed variable by variable. In general though, none of the variables analyzed in this study diverge substantially from other sources of available data.

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Notes 1 A marwa leader is a farmer who posseses land on a given marwa, and who is appointed by the farmers along the marwa to organize or schedule the water flows. Furthermore he is expected to represent the marwa in the WUA council. 2 A marwa is a conveyance canal constructed to handle a stream size of approximately 30 l/sec. Due to the rotational system, it is important for farmers that they can irrigate one feddan of land for example in a certain amount of time. This implies that large mesqas have more marwas than smaller ones. 3 The six mesqas were the first to be improved, and the design of the mesqas in relation to the number and location of the turnouts was not in compliance with the before situation and the farmers wishes. The farmers therefore had ‘adapted’ the mesqa to their needs by creating a range of self-made turnouts. In effect this inhibited water scheduling along the mesqa. 4 A mesqa in place, without a WUA pump, was found in Beni Suef. Without a collectively owned pump, farmers replicated the old pattern of irrigation, which meant that no scheduling of water took place. This is not suitable for the survey undertaken here. 5 In this survey, data from the control mesqas are primarily used in arguments to depict the situation before the improvements of the DSC package. They are not included in the data reported for the ‘before’ and ‘after’ situation. 6 e.g. Fisker et al. (1977); Freeman (1965); Hellevik (1991); Pagano (1981); Pine (1977). 7 If not stated otherwise, this section is based on Kleinbaum et al. (1982) and Wright (1979). 8 Two types of validity can be identified: validity in the estimation of effect, and the more narrowly defined concept of measurement validity. The first type of validity is concerned with how valid the conclusions drawn from a set of data might be. This is the type of validity that will be analyzed in this section, and implies a focus on the methodology used in the survey. The latter type of validity refers to one source of misrepresentation in estimation of effect, namely whether or not one or more of the variables being studied is properly measured (Kleinbaum et al., 1982). Measurement validity can be defined as ‘the relevance of the data for the questions asked in a survey’ (Hellevik, 1991:159). To raise the question of validity is relevant because perfectly reliable data might still not measure what they were intended to. Pine (1977:18) points out that a reliable measure may be either valid or not. A unreliable measure can never be valid. The example is that even though a balance scale (the kind in your doctor’s office) is a very reliable instrument, it would not be valid for measuring political preference. The term ‘estimation’ refers to a type of statistical generalization characterized by the absence of hypothesis. Instead of hypothesis, the results generated from the sample are used to estimate the attributes of the variables for the entire universe (Hellevik, 1991:353-354). Although this study aims at testing a number of hypotheses, they are of a less strict statistical kind than the ones refered to in the quotation above. Therefore the aim of this validity analysis is validity in estimation of effects. 9 The underlying logic of the various validation methods is that the results

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obtained with the measurement instruments must be compatible or consistent with other relevant evidence (Selltiz et al. in Wright, 1979:48). 10 For further elaboration on this method see Hellevik (1991:141). 11 Dr. Max. K. Lowdermilk, Ag. Economist, Gamal M. Ayad P. E, and several of the project Engineers. 12 Ag. Economist, Gamal M. Ayad P. E. 13 See Hellevik (1991:160ff) for a further discussion of this problem. 14 All the data presented in the table are measured on ordinal scales. Simple percentages were used to sum up the relationships between the two data sets. Simple percentages, however, only provide a very rough figure, and when used on such small samples tend to understate the real level of correspondence. For example, every time a respondent answers one category differently than he answered in the survey interview, an 11 percent change takes place. 77.8 percent means that seven out of nine gave exactly the same answer in both surveys. Scott’s pi (also know as Cohen’s Cappa) which can be applied for ordinal scale data, was not used because, when applied to only a limited number of cases, the correction associated with random correspondence provides a substantial reduction in the reliability measure (Hellevik, 1991:164). 15 A switch-over biaz is a bias that changes from one variable to the next (Kleinbaum et al., 1982:189-190). We will restrict the analysis in this chapter only to positive or negative biases, because the data only offer the possibility of this type of testing. 16 In each area, a further selection of the interviewers was undertaken. They were each to do a minimum of interviews. The allocation of further interviews was done according to how well the first set of interviews was conducted. 17 To test the different interviewers through this procedure, it would have been better to do the second interview simultaneously with the first one. In this case, there would be no ‘noise’ from the one-and-a-half- month time span. In addition, equal size samples would be drawn (>15 percent of main sample). Furthermore, and most important, one would concentrate on variables with interval scales. This provides for much more precision and explanatory analysis of the data than the presented variables of ordinal scale.

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chapt er 5 Three Field Survey Areas

This chapter describes and analyzes the physical setting, the background for, and general IIP project experiences with the DSC implementation in the three field survey areas prior to the conduct of the field survey. The analysis is necessary because these factors influence the speed and direction of implementation, and, thereby, the impact of the DSC package. THE HERZ–NUMANIYA COMMAND AREA The Herz–Numaniya Unit Command area is located about 40 km south of Minya city at the head of Serry canal, on the west bank of the Nile. 1 The gross irrigated area is 3,410 feddans while the net cultivated area is 3,164 feddans. The command area is fed by the two branch canals, Herz and Numaniya,2 which have a combined intake from Serry canal. The Herz canal feeds 1,747 feddans and has a length of approximately 7 km, while Numaniya feeds 1,417 feddans and has a length of approximately 6 km. The combined length of the mesqas in the area is 56,672 m. 3 The layout of the area is depicted in Figure 5.1. The topography of the area is flat, and, consequently, drainage is imperative to control both ground water and salinity. Sub-surface drainage has been installed, but is not fully functional. The soils in the area are heavy clay (expansive clay soils). Water Demand and Supply The water duty before IIP improvements in Herz–Numaniya command area was calculated to be 31.4 m3/feddan/day, which is also the criteria used for designing the branch canals. The calculated water duty, that is, the crop demand plus allowance for losses in conveyance and field application, has been measured to exceed this supply for the high water demand period of May to August. Thus, prior to the IIP improvements, the capacity of the canals was insufficient to provide adequate amounts of

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water to crops during the summer peak demand period. Consistent reports of less than adequate water supply before IIP implementation support this finding. Agrarian Reform Cooperatives Thirty-seven percent of the land in the command area is under Agrarian Reform Cooperatives. Before 1952 these lands belonged to the pashas’ estates, but were distributed during the first round of agrarian reforms in 1952. Each landless peasant was allocated two feddans and 16 kerats (= 1.1 hectare) of land. The relatively small holding size was determined, among other reasons, by the political goal of the New Officers – to maximize the number of land holdings which could be distributed. The distributed land was to be paid for by annual installments over 30 years. Approximately 50 percent of the sample farmers reported that they have obtained official titles to their land during the latter part of 1992. Cropping Pattern The command area is located in the vicinity of the Abu Kukash sugar factory and, as mentioned, is under Agrarian Reform Cooperatives. Both are contributing factors to the high percentage of sugar cane in the cropping patterns. The IIP Development Effort in Herz–Numaniya Herz–Numaniya was the first command area in which the DSC technology was implemented.4 Viewed in retrospect, a number of things went wrong during the initial implementation in this command area. Nevertheless, the IAS learned some important lessons from the experience, which have benefited project implementation in other areas. This command area could be viewed as a test site for new ideas, for the IAS and IIP, as well as for farmers. Prior to improvement, this area suffered from water logging and water shortage. The water logging was caused by insufficient drainage, and made worse by extensive gravity irrigation. Furthermore, there was little water control in the area. Whenever water was needed at other branch canals, Herz–Numaniya was the canal command where water was taken. EWUP researched this area and recommended it for improvement because crop yields were (very) low. Under RIIP, the bridges and regulators on Serry Canal were improved. The Herz and Numaniya branch canals were equipped with new control structures and automatic downstream level

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l

ana yC

r Ser Gate 2

Serry

in

Kabrab dra Gate 2

Canal al Herz Can Gate 1

al

iya Can

Numan

Figure 5.1: Herz–Numaniya Unit Command Area

Gate 1

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Table 5.2: Cropping Pattern in Herz-Numaniya Unit Command Area, 1989 Season

Crop

Winter

Wheat Beans Berseem (long) Berseem (short)

18 6 26 2

Summer

Cotton Soybean Maize

4 1 47

All Year

Sugar cane

48

Total (percent)

Percent of area

152

Source: IIP (1990b): Feasibility Report Review and Updated Economic Analysis, HerzNumaniya Unit, IIP Technical Report No. 2, by MKE/LBI (Cairo, Egypt) p. 16.

control gates, and lined. The tile drains which were installed prior to RIIP, but didn’t work, were brought to function reasonably well. Herz–Numaniya was included in the IIP program, but USAID involvement in the area was ‘cooled down’ in 1990, due to disagreements with the MPWWR over the procedures followed during the initial project implementation. No clear-cut explanation is offered for this de-emphasis by USAID, but there are indications: (i) that USAID disagreed with MPWWR on the quality of the feasibility studies and the actions taken to improve it, and (ii) that project implementation did not follow the guidelines laid down in the project documents agreed by the MPWWR and USAID. For example, despite the agreement, the farmers were not involved in decision making prior to the construction of the mesqas. In implementing the project, the criteria was that 80 percent of the farmers on a mesqa would agree on the mesqa improvements before any action was taken. MPWWR wanted action, and, being inexperienced in working with farmers directly, basically went ahead and constructed the mesqas. It is evident from the survey data that farmers had not been consulted with respect to the design of the mesqas.5 This procedure resuled in the farmers resisting the implementation of the project. But pressure was put on them to accept the improvements and to purchase the WUA pumps. However, because the majority of the farmers belonged to the Agrarian Reform Cooperatives, they were left with very little choice than to accept them. 6 All in all 43 raised lined mesqas and five pipelines were constructed at the command area. None of the raised lined mesqas were completed with

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turnout gates, but they were nevertheless operational. The pipelines were constructed with concrete pipes (not PVC) and have not become operational as of 1994. An evaluation study on the fabrication and installation of the mesqas found, that for both the contractor and the IIP design engineers, it was a new technique about which neither knew much (IIP, 1989). While the raised lined mesqas operated reasonably well, the downstream control gates were manipulated by the farmers to provide more water during the start up of the continuous flow regime.7 Prior to the implementation of the improved mesqas, farmers at the lower end of Numaniya canal had been in a position in which they could irrigate by gravity most of the year. This was made impossible by the water level control provided by the new gates. These features of the implementation process illustrate the importance of farmer involvement in the design and implementation of the improved mesqa systems. However, it is difficult to know what practical consequences these problems have had on the development process afterwards. USAID has since changed its stance on the area, which since 1991 has received the same amount of technical support as provided in the other areas investigated. Present Situation By the time of the field survey, the raised lined mesqas at Herz–Numaniya included in the survey were a mixture of finished and semi-finished mesqas. The contractor was hired again, and during the summer of 1992 all the surveyed mesqas were equipped with the missing gates and control structures. WUA pumps had been supplied to the command area through the Agricultural Reform Cooperatives. Continuous flow has been in operation since 1990, with very few deviations. BENI IBEID COMMAND AREA The Beni Ibeid Unit Command Area is located in the Abu Kurkas District of the Minya Governorate, about 20 km south of Minya city on the west bank of the Nile.8 The command area includes two larger villages, Garris and Beni Ibeid. It has a gross irrigated area of 5,027 feddans and a net cultivated area of 4,455 feddans. The canal is 12.68 km long and has its headgate at the right bank of the Serry canal at kilometer 12.5. Six branch canals take water from Beni Ibeid canal: El Nahal, Khalifa, Iskanderani, Gowade, Moharam, and Bakhaty. Except for 20 privately owned tube wells and a small amount of drain water re-use, the canal is the only source of irrigation water in the area.

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Figure 5.3: Beni Ibeid Command Area

The topography of the area is flat, with an average slope of 8-10 cm per kilometer. Elevation of the fields is around 42 meters above sea level. Rainfall in the Nile Valley at this location is minimal, averaging only about 6 mm annually. The soil is a mixture of clay, silty clay and silts which have low infiltration rates and high water-holding capacity. Thus the soil expands when wet, and cracks severely, often damaging the plant root systems, as it dries. Salinity or sodicity is not a general problem. Only 3 percent of the land is classified as ‘moderately saline.’ The water table is above 150 cm. Water Demand and Supply This area faces a severe shortage of irrigation water during months of peak demand, and severe inequalities in water distribution prevail throughout the system. About 51 m3/feddan/day is needed during the summer months, but the pre-project flow from Serry Canal was only 36

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m3/feddan/day.9 As mentioned, approximately 20 private tube wells are installed in the command area to supplement the flow from the canals. They are estimated to deliver about 1 m3/feddan/day from March through July. Drainage facilities are rated adequate in the area. Delivery System Operation Farmers draw water for irrigation in four different ways, either (i) through direct outlets (ii) by low level mesqas into which the canal water flows by gravity (iii) by high level mesqas where water has to be lifted from the canal into the mesqa, and again from the mesqa into the marwa (two lifts), and (iv) by gravity flow (during winter). The field survey data and the investigator’s observations support the presence of the first three types, while no evidence of the last type was found. Forty-five percent of the area is irrigated from direct outlets, which is quite unusual.10 The area is also unique because different means of irrigation exist side by side. A study of 30 mesqas in Beni Ibeid indicates that the average mesqa command is 15 feddans (range 2–41), with an average mesqa length of 168 m. On average, there are 16 farmers per mesqa. This makes the mesqas in Beni Ibeid the smallest with regard to length, area served and the number of farmers under the IIP.11 Other characteristics of the Beni Ibeid system include: (i) The rotation of the canal was 7/7 until the summer of 1988, when it was changed to 5/10 to save water. (ii) Water levels are generally low. The levels are usually highest in the morning, but fall during the day as the pumping rate exceeds the canal inflow. Conversely, water levels rise again in the evening as pumping slows and the inflow is stored. (iii) No water operation/ management organization existed among the farmers before IIP. Farm characteristics The farm size in the Beni Ibeid area ranges from 0.1 to 12 feddans with an average of 2.5 feddans. This is less than the 3.52-feddan average for the overall Serry canal.12 Fifty-six percent of the farmers own their farms, while the rest are operated under various leasing arrangements. The farmer and his family supply most of the labor for farm operations (IIP, 1991d:2-4). The survey data support these findings, except that 67 percent of the farmers reported owning their own farms, which averaged 5.02 feddans in size. It should be added that around 90 percent of the sample farmers characterized their farms as ‘joint family owned’ and as a ‘fulltime’ operation. Agrarian Reform Cooperatives are virtually absent in the area.13

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Cropping Pattern As can be seen in the table below, major crops in the area are wheat, berseem and broad beans in the winter season, and maize and cotton during the summer season.14 The annual cropping intensity is 191 percent. Table 5.4: Beni Ibeid Cropping Pattern, 1988-89, Average for the Preceding 5-Year Period Season

Crop

Winter

Berseem (Long) Berseem (Short) Broad Beans (Foul) Wheat Soya Beans

22 15 29 25 6

Summer

Maize Maize (Nili) Cotton

50 4 28

All year

Sugar cane Vegetables Fruit (Tree Crops)

Total (percent)

Percent of area

8 2 2 191

Source: IIP (1991d): Supplemental Feasibility Study Beni Ibeid Command Area. Final Report by MKE/LBI (Cairo, Egypt) pp. 2–4.

The IIP and the Beni Ibeid Development Effort The Beni Ibeid area was selected for improvement by RIIP, and construction work on the main canal was initiated in 1985. All structures, bridges, gates (of indeterminate age, probably late 1930’s), required extensive repair or replacement (IIP, 1991d:2/10). New structures have been erected on the main canal for the automatic gates, which had not been installed by November 1992. Lining of sections of the main canal and branch canals was also ongoing at that date. The implementation of the IIP improvements appears to have been much smoother and better planned than those of Herz–Numaniya. ‘Everything was started much different. The technology was known, farmers had seen mesqas in operation and the procedures for establishing WUAs and purchasing of pumps were known. The project started with a large meeting where farmers, bankers, and ministerial staff were present.’15

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IIP has managed to get a number of powerful people interested in the project, not least among the farmers where one of the WUA leaders is Umda for Beni Ibeid village. IAS is well represented with one area engineer and eight field agents working in this area. They have an office in Beni Ibeid village. The physical design of the pipelines has been vastly improved compared to the first ones implemented in Herz–Numaniya (PVC pipes are now used for buried pipeline mesqas), and the construction work has been of a much improved quality. A major problem faced in the implementation process has been the establishment of CF in the branch canals. Both lack of water and the rehabilitation of Beni Ibeid Canal has forced the MPWWR to keep the 5/10 rotation in operation past the date set for start of the continuous flow.16 Present Situation By the end of 1992 the command area was still suffering from lack of continuous flow. 194 mesqas were selected for improvements, and work on a large part of these was ongoing. The IAS support staff in the area is very competent and has, together with the WUA leaders, made the area the ‘showpiece’ of the IIP project. THE QIMAN EL ARUS COMMAND AREA Qiman el Arus unit command area is located in Beni Suef Governorate about 25 km north of Beni Suef city at the west bank of the Nile.17 The command area includes one large village named Qiman. It has a net area of 6,250 irrigated feddans and is supplied by water from the tail reach of the Ibrahimiya main canal (240 km north of its intake from the Nile). Through a Gannabaya canal, water is delivered to the three branch canals; Qiman, Arus, and Beni Hider. The command area is relatively flat and slopes westward. The elevation of the area is approximately 25 m above sea level. The soils are clay, and the ground water levels vary from 0.5 m to 1.2 m. Moderate salinity is identified in 25 percent of the land. Water Demand and Supply A number of problems plagued the area before IIP initiated its program. These were (i) shortage of water in the entire area during peak demand period, (ii) inequitable distribution of canal water among branch canals, (iii) physical structures (canal and regulators) in deteriorating condition

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Figure 5.5: Map of Qiman el Arus Command Area

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(iv) parts of the sub-surface drainage system not working properly, and (v) poor service roads. The shortages of irrigation water result from inadequate water supplies from the Ibrahimiya canal. The flow entering Qiman el Arus is measured to be almost a constant 15 percent of the Ibrahimiya canal flow, which is held constant over the year. Calculations show that shortages in water supply in the month of July, measured at the head of the Arus canal, amounted to 26 percent, at Qiman Canal, 60 percent, and at Beni Hedir Canal, 49 percent (IIP, 1991c:2/12). To account for this shortage of canal water, drain water is frequently used for irrigation purposes. Approximately 10 percent of the water used in the command area originates from drainage canals. Delivery System Operation Due to the deteriorating state of the canals, mesqas and regulators in the area, water flow cannot be controlled properly. Consequently, a range of irrigation methods are presently in use, each of which are adapted to the specific water circumstances at given locations. These includes for example gravity, lifting from mesqas, and lifting from branch canals into mesqas. Most lifting is done by small diesel pumps, but sakias are still being operated. About 20 percent of the area is served by single point lifting into what could be described as large marwas serving 40 or more feddans. Forty percent of the area is irrigated from direct outlets, and the remaining 60 percent from mesqas. The system is on a 5/10-day rotation, but there are reported problems concerning the timing of the ‘on’ and ‘off ’ periods (IIP, 1991c:2/10). Farm Characteristics The average farm size is 1.9 feddans, which is lower than the average farm size of 3.36 feddans in Middle Egypt (IIP, 1990d:14). Almost 90 percent of the farms have less than three feddans, with 36 percent being less than one feddan. A large part of the land is reported as rented. The data from the field survey confirms this finding. Only 27 percent reported ownership of their lands, while 33 percent reported that they rent land. The remaining were combinations of ownership, renting, and sharecropping. The farms were evenly split between individual and joint family operations. At Arus canal, 17 of 27 mesqas in the Arus sub-command area are served by the Agrarian Reform Cooperatives. Three are served by both an Agrarian Reform Cooperative and an Agricultural Cooperative, and seven are served by the Agricultural Cooperatives.

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Cropping Pattern The cropping pattern is traditional, and adapted to an unstable water regime. Hardly any tree crops or vegetables are found on this command. Also, no sugar cane (or rice) is found here. Table 5.6: Cropping Pattern in Qiman el Arus Unit Command Area, 1988/89 Season

Crop

Winter

Short Berseem Long Berseem Wheat Beans Vegetables Mina Crops

23 26 34 10 3 1

Summer

Cotton Maize Nili Maize Nili Vegetables Soya Beans Minor

23 29 22 10 4

All Year

Tree Crops

Total (percent)

Percent of area

3 188

Source: IIP (1991c): Qiman El Arus Comman Area. Supplemental Feasibility Study of Proposed Improvements by MKE/LBI (Cairo, Egypt) p. 2/6.

Crop yields are reported to be higher than the Governorate average. This is interesting in relation to the documented problems of the water supply. It might indicate that yields in the Governorate are generally low. The overall shortage of water in the project area during the peak demand period is to some extent moderated by the planting of Nili Maize in the short season between winter and summer seasons. The planting of this crop is a result of the scarcity of water during the months of July and August. The IIP and the Qiman el Arus Development Effort This area was selected for improvement under the RIIP, which initiated feasibility studies for rehabilitating and improving the water delivery system.18 In September 1990, IIP decided to place emphasis on the Qiman el Arus Command area. A crash program to accelerate WUA

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organizational development was initiated, the IAS team was replaced, a new director was appointed and a number of new technical professional staff added. Furthermore, an intensive on-the-job training program with weekly visits by the IAS sociologist at Minya was started. By May 1992 the unit command was ahead of the other IIP implementation areas, both with regard to the organizational building process and construction. In a ‘back to office report’ requested by the IIP general director on the causes of the progress at Qiman el Arus, the following reasons were highlighted: (i) confidence-building events involving farmers and officials, (ii) the establishment and development of relationships with local authorities, (iii) building and sustaining farmer trust at every stage of activity, (iv) collaborative leadership style of all IIP sectors, (v) aggressive monitoring and supervision of construction, (vi) regular, weekly technical assistance (TA) support (IIP, 1992:2). Note that the IIP implementation process seems to have been adjusted through the experiences gained at the other unit commands. Mistakes made earlier, notably in Herz–Numaniya, do not seem to have been repeated. This resulted in a much faster and smoother implementation process. Summarizing the success at the Qiman el Arus, it has been stated ‘that the main factor in the success of the project was gaining the trust, confidence and support of farmers across the command area’ (IIP, 1992:4). Present Situation By mid-1992, 24 of 27 mesqas were physically completed, and all WUAs were ready to obtain their pumps. Farmer training events had been held, and three of four demonstration mesqas had received, and were operating, their WUA pumps. 22 pumps had been ordered by WUAs in the Agrarian Reform Cooperative, and five more were being prepared for purchase by Agricultural Cooperative mesqas through the Agricultural Development Bank. A high degree of farmer satisfaction was present. No continuous flow had been implemented in this unit command area by the end of 1992.19 SUMMARY The three field sites where the survey was undertaken have been discussed in this chapter. It is important to highlight a number of points about them: 1. The field sites have been accepted by RIIP or IIP for improvement mainly because of their less than adequate performance in regard to crop yields. The low yields were a consequence of the inadequate

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water supply and distribution situation prevailing in the command areas before the improvements. The effects of the DSC package must be viewed against this background. 2. It was learned that there exists a variety of local circumstances in the survey areas which necessitate specific and well-adopted solutions in order for the DSC package to become successful. 3. The implementation process of the DSC package was different in each command area for several reasons: (i) The implementation process reflected the experience gained by the IAS staff, (ii) the technical solutions that were recommended and implemented underwent a similar improvement from the construction of the first mesqas in Herz– Numaniya to the latest in Qiman al Arus, (iii) the ability of the IAS to guide and control the contractors was vastly improved, leading to better and more timely construction of the mesqa systems, and (iv) the farmers in Beni Ibeid and Qiman al Arus had the opportunity to visit the Herz–Numaniya field site to see the technology functioning and to learn from the farmers’ experience with operation of the mesqa systems. This ‘demonstration effect’ was of the utmost importance to farmers who were in the process of deciding whether or not to request the new technology. The implication of this gradually fine-tuned process is that the mesqas implemented at the latest date had a much faster start, and in many respects acquired the necessary technical, operational and administrative skills to manage their mesqas more successfully and at a faster pace than was the case in Herz–Numaniya. One could say that by mid 1992, the DSC technology and its implementing organizations had reached a mature stage. Notes 1 The primary source for this section is IIP (1990b:1-6). 2 The extension of Herz canal is called Waslet, which causes some people to call the area Waslet, Herz – Numaniya. In the following, however, the command is just called Herz–Numaniya. 3 This amount to approximately 18 meters of mesqa per net cultivated feddan. 4 This paragraph draws extensively on three interviews: Head of Design, Engineer Aly Yehia, Minya (21 October 1992), who has been District engineer in Herz-Numaniya for a period of eight years, Director of IAS for four years, now head of IIP Design in Minya; Rural Sociologist Dr. Ed Shinn (8 September 1992) and IAS Engineer Tarek (19 October 1992), who is presently responsible for the command area. 5 This has resulted in quite a number of farmer-made ‘modifications’ on the mesqas afterwards.

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6 Under Agrarian Reform Cooperatives farmers received all inputs for the specified cropping pattern, and the cooperative bought all the farmers’ produce. Under this arrangement, the Cooperatives had close to complete control over the farmers. 7 Bricks, stones or sugar canes have been used by the farmers to make the control gate remain open. 8 The central source for this section is CSU/CID (1990). Findings presented in IAS (1990) and IIP (1990a) are also included. 9 The overall water delivery for Serry Canal is 32.5 m3/feddan/day (IIP, 1990b:3). 10 ‘Direct outlets’ means that water for marwas or individual fields is withdrawn directly from the branch canal. 11 See IIP (1990a:Table1 and 2). The mesqas in the delta have average mesqa sizes above 100 feddans, have more than 60 farmers and have an average length of around 1000 m. 12 IIP (1990d:14) find the average farm size for Serry Canal to be 3.36 feddans, with a range from 0.1 to 50 feddans. 13 In the field survey data 2.7 percent of respondents reported belonging to an Agrarian Reform Cooperative. 14 There appear to be different views on the cropping pattern. The one which represents the longest time series was selected. 15 Personal communication with IIP Rural sociologist Dr. Ed Shinn (8 September 1992) 16 For a more detailed description of the situation concerning continuous flow in Beni Ibeid command area, see Shouman and Hackbart (1992: Case study #2) 17 The main sources used for this section are IIP (1991c) and MacDonald & Partners Ltd. (1988). 18 Sources for this paragraph are personal communications with, and numerous ‘back to office reports’ by IIP Rural Sociologist Dr. Ed Shinn, written between 1989 and the end of 1992. 19 Continuous flow was established in early 1994, and had worked well through the summer season that year.

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chapt er 6 Improving Farmers’ Water Control

In this chapter the first independent variable, ‘water control’, is analyzed in order to test the following hypothesis: H1: DSC technological package does not improve farmer water control. The analyses are based on the field survey data. Where applicable, the survey data are supplemented by external data collected by the IIP monitoring program during the 1993 summer season. Some of these data are based on actual measurements and are included here to add validity to the analysis.1 As discussed in Chapter 3, variable water control consists of three dimensions: adequacy, reliability and fairness. Each of these dimensions has been operationalized using one or more indicators, as shown in Table 6.1. In this chapter, the survey findings are reported and analyzed. Table 6.1: Variables Selected for Analyses Variable

Dimension

Indicator

Water control

Adequacy

Adequacy of water supply Number of days with critical water shortage Is night irrigation being practiced? Number of irrigations done at night Source of irrigation water

Reliability

Water level maintained? Deviations from planned irrigations

Fairness

Head-tail differences along mesqas

This chapter is structured as follows: Firstly, the findings of the univariate analysis for each indicator of water control are presented. Secondly, bivariate analyses between each indicator and the independent variables related to technology is conducted. Thirdly, bivariate analyses between

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each indicator of water control and the independent variables related to respondent characteristics are undertaken. These analyses are conducted in order to control for the possible effects that respondents’ socioeconomic situations might have on the reported effects of water control. Finally, a stratified analysis is undertaken to emphasize a number of specific issues related to the DSC package’s effect on water control. THE SURVEY FINDINGS Adequacy As shown in Table 6.1, the dimension ‘adequacy’ is analyzed using five indicators. The findings for each indicator are presented in the following section. Table 6.2: Estimated Adequacy of Water Supply, Before and After DSC, in Percentages N=137 Before DSC Winter Summer Never adequate Sometimes adequate Adequate

2.2 27.7 70.1

10.9 75.9 13.1

After DSC Winter Summer 5.0 95.0

20.6 79.4

Table 6.2 shows that, following the shift to DSC, a marked change in the estimated adequacy of water supply has taken place. Most notable is the change in relationship to the summer data, from a situation in which only 13.1 percent found the water supply adequate to a situation in which approximately 80 percent rated the situation adequate. 2 Following the shift to DSC, 74 percent of the respondents reported improvements in the adequacy situation.3 IIP data collected for the 1993 summer season confirm these findings. 35 percent of the IIP sample farmers report that water was adequate for good production before DSC, while 91 percent report it was adequate after DSC (IIP, 1994a:28). Number of days with critical water shortage In Table 6.3 it is seen that the number of days with critical water shortage is greatly reduced following the shift to DSC. Before DSC, a total of 2,217 days with a critical water shortage were reported. After DSC, the reported number was 322, or a decrease of 85.5

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Table 6.3: Estimated Number of Days on which a Critical Water Shortage that Affected Crop Yields Occurred and Number of Farmers Reporting N=100 farmers* Before DSC No. days No. farmers reporting February March April May June July August September October Total

After DSC No. days No. farmers reporting

61 67 76 90 520 704 588 70 41

5 6 6 9 57 73 69 6 3

20 20 20 20 44 57 57 42 42

2 2 2 2 3 3 3 2 2

2217

234

322

21

* No reporting from Beni Ibeid

percent.4 The number of farmers reporting days with critical water shortage before DSC is high.5 For example, in the three critical summer months, more than half of the farmers in the sample (June, 57 percent; July, 73 percent; August, 69 percent) reported days with critical water shortages. Only approximately 3 percent of the sample farmers gave such a report in the after situation.6 Although the reported data might be subject to some uncertainty, the differences between the before and after situations are so significant that it leaves little doubt that a sizable decrease in the number of days with critical water shortage has occurred as a result of the shift to DSC. Night irrigation Night irrigation was selected as an indicator of the adequacy situation, because it is assumed to occur primarily when there is a lack of irrigation water during the daytime. In the IIP socioeconomic survey carried out in 1990, Egyptian farmers reported a strong preference for irrigating early in the morning or around noon. When asked about the advantages of irrigating at night, the farmers reported ‘low demand on water supplies’ and to a lesser extent, ‘less evapo-transporation.’ The disadvantages of night irrigation were reported to be ‘can’t see well enough to irrigate properly’, ‘fear of thieves’ and ‘loss of sleep’ (IIP, 1990e:28). In interpreting the effect of night irrigations on water control, it should be taken into consideration that night irrigations on improved mesqas

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are technically more difficult than under the rotational system. Under the old rotational system, water is available in the mesqa at night when the branch canal is ‘on.’ This makes it possible for farmers to irrigate at night in the ‘on’ periods, if and whenever they wish. Under the improved mesqa systems, however, no water is present in the mesqa at night (or during the day) unless the organizational pump is operating. In other words, night irrigation must involve the pump operator (or the individual farmer must have access to a pump which can be placed at the head of the mesqa, thereby circumventing the organizational pump).7 This, however, does not nullify ‘night irrigations’ as an indicator of water control for two reasons: (i) An improved mesqa system is designed for a water delivery capacity that provides adequate amounts of water for the mesqa command area when operated between dawn and sunset.8 This means that if an adequate amount of water is present in the branch canal and the mesqa system is well operated, no occurrences of night irrigation are expected. (ii) The farmers actually conduct night irrigation on the improved mesqa systems if there is a shortage of water in the branch canal. In fact, the investigator found several cases of irrigations performed at night on the new systems. Table 6.4: Estimated Extent to which Night Irrigation is Practised, (Percent) N=137

Often Sometimes Never

Before DSC

After DSC

24.8 64.2 10.9

18.2 81.8

Data in Table 6.4 show that night irrigation is being practiced both before and after the implementation of DSC. A marked reduction in night irrigations, however, took place after DSC. An overwhelming majority of the farmers (81.8 percent) no longer practice night irrigation after the shift to DSC. Data in Table 6.5 confirm the findings of Table 6.4. The number of farmers irrigating at night, and the total number of night irrigations, have declined drastically following the shift to DSC. The percentage of farmers reporting the conduct of night irrigation during the summer months before DSC is high (June, 61.3 percent; July, 83.2 percent; August, 72.3 percent). Following the shift to DSC, the numbers are much lower (June, 15.3 percent; July, 13.9 percent; August, 10.2 percent). For example, the

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Table 6.5: Estimated Number of Irrigations Performed at Night, and Number of Farmers Reporting, by Month N=137 Before DSC No. irrigations No. farmers reporting

After DSC No. irrigations No. farmers reporting

February March April May June July August September October

49 44 63 55 134 195 151 40 23

33 28 38 38 84 114 99 24 14

2 0 6 13 23 22 15 2 1

2 0 6 13 21 19 14 2 1

Total

754

472

84

76

total number of farmers reporting night irrigation during the nine-month period dropped from 472 to 76, a decrease of 84 percent. Note that even in the relatively water-abundant periods, i.e. February, March, April and October, night irrigation was conducted by roughly 25 percent of the respondents before DSC. This indicates either a poor water supply situation or an attempt to make better use of the available pump capacity. For example, a farmer might borrow a pump from a relative if the relative cannot rent it to someone else. This would be likely to occur at night. Data in Table 6.5 show that before DSC, 754 irrigations were applied at night during this nine-month period. But after DSC, the number was 84. This is a decline in the number of night irrigations of 89 percent. One reason that farmers still reported night irrigation in June, July and August after DSC is that the Beni Ibeid and Qiman al Arus command areas did not have a fully operational CF during this period. In summary, although the reported data are subject to some uncertainty, it is beyond doubt that a quite remarkable shift in the application of night irrigations has occurred as a result of implementing DSC. The number of irrigations done at night has dropped approximately 90 percent, and the number of farmers practicing night irrigations has decreased about 84 percent. Source of irrigation water The final set of data concerning the adequacy of the water supply is the source of water supply before and after DSC. The source of the water supply is used as an indicator of the adequacy

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situation, because use of any other sources of water – such as wells or drainage water – is both costly and can have adverse effects on the crops. Due to the capital cost involved in establishing wells, water from these has a cost that by far exceeds that of canal water. Drainage water usually carries a high level of salts which are harmful to crop production, plus the fact that this type of water frequently implies substantial distances of transport – and thus cost. From discussions with farmers, the investigator is convinced that, mainly because of salinity problems, they do not use drainage water if they can possibly avoid it. In other words, both well water and drainage water are only used when farmers have no other alternatives. Table 6.6: Source of Water Supply, Before and After DSC, in Percentages N=137

Canal Drain Well

Before DSC Winter

Summer

97.8 1.5 0.7

88.3 6.6 5.1

After DSC Winter

Summer

99.0

95.6

1.0

4.4

Table 6.6 shows that the improvements have eradicated the use of drainage water. The use of well water has decreased slightly (by one person). Five out of the six farmers reporting the use of well water during the summer season after DSC are located in Beni Ibeid on one particular mesqa (M 19). This mesqa is located at the far end of Muharam branch canal. Each of the five tube well users are located at different turnouts which means that the farmers do not share the well water, but that five wells are present in the area. This indicates that the canal water supply situation in the area was poor before DSC, and that relatively well-to-do farmers are located here.9 There are two plausible explanations of why the tube wells are still in operation: (i) Mesqa 19 had been made operational less than seven months prior to this study, and CF was not in operation. Furthermore, the construction work (lining of Muharam branch) was still going on, and it is doubtful that already established tube wells will be closed down before the improved mesqa systems have provided visible improvements in the water control situation to the water users. (ii) Since the cost of tube wells is ‘sunken costs’, there is little reason for farmers to stop using them as insurance against lack of water supplies, or to scrap them altogether. In summary, the data on the five indicators of adequacy show that, for all indicators, there is evidence that the shift to DSC has led to significant improvements in the farmers’ water adequacy situation.

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Reliability Two indicators of water reliability are analyzed: first, whether continuous flow is implemented to a degree which provides a stable water level in the branch canals; and second, the number of deviations from planned irrigations experienced by water users. Implementation of continuous flow CF was fully implemented and had been working well in Herz-Numaniya for about two years, but this was not the case either at Beni Ibeid or Qiman el Arus. For short periods, CF was operational at Beni Ibeid during the summer of 1992, but MPWWR was not capable of maintaining the continuous flow regime, due to the ongoing renovation of the canals and the lack of control gates. In Qiman el Arus, CF was not made operational prior to this study. Deviations from planned irrigations Below data on one important aspect of reliability of water flows are depicted. These data focus on the individual farmer’s ability to plan his water use. If an interruption in water supply is communicated to the farmers in advance, or if water arrives the exact day the rotation is supposed to begin, no deviations are supposed to be reported. On the other hand, if water is not present when the farmer has reason to believe it will be, deviations exist. This indicator is important, because a range of production decisions in irrigated agriculture depend on the access to water at the time required. Table 6.7 shows that for both winter and summer seasons, the number of deviations are reduced following the shift to DSC. For the summer Table 6.7: Estimated Number of Deviations from Planned Irrigations, Before and After DSC, in Percentages N=137 Before DSC Winter Summer Many deviations Often deviations Few deviations No deviations

0.7 8.8 41.2 49.3

3.6 22.6 64.2 9.5

After DSC Winter Summer 1.0 1.0 1.0 96.9

0.7 0.7 16.8 81.8

Note: Deviations listed under “Before DSC” refer to deviations in the beginning and ending of rotation. In the “After DSC” situation, deviation relates both to the main and mesqa system.

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season, prior to the DSC improvements, less than 10 percent reported ‘no deviations.’ After the improvements, more than 80 percent reported likewise. At the other end of the scale, 26.2 percent of the farmers reported ‘many or often deviations’ before, and only 1.4 percent after DSC. In total, 86 percent of the sample farmers report fewer deviations following the IIP improvements for the summer months. For both winter and summer seasons, a major shift has occurred in relationship to the number of deviations from farmers’ planned irrigations. This indicates that the reliability of the water supply has increased. Fairness There are technical reasons to assume that there will be few differences in the water delivery along the improved mesqas (termed Head-Tail differences). These mesqa systems are designed so that the same quantity of water pumped into the system flows out into the marwas. Given this fact, Head-Tail differences in the delivered volumes of water will occur only to the extent that leakages or friction along the mesqa are factors. 10 At the old mesqas, Head-Tail differences are present if pumping from the mesqas exceeds the inflow to the mesqa. When substantial pumping takes place at the head of the mesqas, the water level in the tail reaches is reduced. This implies that tail reach farmers usually cannot irrigate when the head section farmers irrigate. This question, however, must be analyzed for each mesqa, because individual differences in mesqa layout will determine the level of unfairness. The data in Table 6.8 indicate a major shift in farmers’ perception of Head-Tail differences in water supply along mesqas. The differences reported before DSC have virtually been eradicated. The before data show a rather uneven, or unfair, distribution of the water before the shift to DSC. But how unfair was the distribution before DSC? It is not possible to give a precise answer to the question, because this factor is related to the specific characteristics of the mesqas, and a great deal of diversity among mesqas exists.11 Table 6.8: Estimated Fairness in Water Distribution along Mesqas, Before and After DSC, in Percentages N=137

Major Head-Tail differences Some Head-Tail differences No Head-Tail differences

Before DSC

After DSC

10.3 61.0 28.7

3.0 97.0

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The survey data furthermore show that (i) all the 13 respondents (10 percent) who report ‘major Head-Tail differences’ before DSC were located at the tails of long mesqas (750–1000 m), and (ii) among the 39 persons (29 percent) who reported ‘no Head-Tail differences’ before DSC, no association between this reporting and location on mesqa could be found. In other words, the magnitude of the problem before DSC implementation cannot be quantified. The only indication in the data is that H-T problems might be associated with longer mesqas in specific localities. IIP (1990e:9) data furthermore, point out that major Head-Tail differences are found in relation to the Head-Tail sections of branch canals. In other words, before DSC the situation entailed degrees of Head-Tail differences, not only on mesqas, but also on canals. Due to the lack of reporting of distinct problems associated with fairness on the mesqas, it might indicate that the most significant problems, so far as fairness is concerned, relate to the branch canals. Conclusions Table 6.9 shows that, for all the indicators analyzed, the situation after DSC represents a major improvement over the situation before. From this Table 6.9: Summary of Findings from Univariate Analyses Indicators analyzed Adequacy Adequacy of water supply Number of days with critical water shortage Night irrigation Number of irrigations done at night Source of irrigation water Reliability Water level maintained in branch canals? Deviations from planned irrigations Fairness Head-Tail differences along mesqa

Findings 74% of respondents rate the situation as improved 85% reduction 87% reduction in reported no. of night irrigations 89% reduction Use of drainage water is eradicated Only in Herz-Numaniya, the oldest improvement 86% of respondents rate the situation as improved Less Head-Tail differences.

* Percentage figures are calculated for summer season

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it can be concluded that farmer water control has been improved by the shift to the DSC package. As such, the findings indicate that the hypothesis H1 (that the shift to DSC does not improve farmer water control) must be rejected. The univariate analyses presented above provide only a ‘first step’ in the analysis of the water control data. So, before making a final statement concerning the hypothesis, further analyses are undertaken. BIVARIATE ANALYSES In the next two sections the water control data are analyzed in greater depth. In the first section, bivariate analyses are conducted and discussed. Next, stratified analyses are carried out. Both sets of analyses aim at providing answers to the ‘why’ questions: that is, to find explanations, relationships, comparisons, predictions and generalizations in the survey data. The Framework The purpose of bivariate analysis is to quantify the degree to which the independent variables explain the observed variations in the dependent variables. This type of analysis measures the strength and possible association between pairs of variables or indicators. If an association is established between two variables this does not indicate a casual relationship. Two possible interpretations exist in such a case. Either the effect is spurious, or the effect is real: but it is only through qualitative arguments that it is possible to conclude which of the two interpretations is correct. If little association is found, the two variables are considered unrelated. Thus bivariate analysis serves as a type of scanning process which helps to identify which variables in a data set require further analysis. Whereas the analyses in the preceding section have depicted the changes which have taken place between the before and after situations, the bivariate analysis deals only with one point in time, notably ‘summer, after DSC.’ The reported findings of each of the dimensions of the dependent variable ‘water control’ are analyzed by running bivariate tests between each of its dimensions and the four dimensions related to the independent variable ‘technology’: technique, organization, knowledge and product. The outcome of these analyses is presented in Table 6.10 below. ‘Technique’ is represented by one variable: the degree to which continuous flow is applied and is functioning.12 ‘Organization’ and ‘knowledge’ are each represented by established indexes.13 ‘Product’ represents the degree to which increases in yields have followed the shift to DSC. This variable

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must be interpreted with some caution because these are yields reported by the farmers. Two rounds of bivariate analyses were conducted. First, the abovementioned, which concerns the main variables related to DSC technology; and, second, a range of variables associated with farmers’ personal characteristics. Two types of statistics are used in the analyses: gamma, which measures the degree to which the two variables are associated, and the CHI-square test which indicates the probability that the observed distribution could occur by chance. A p< 0.01 indicates that the probability is less than one in 100 that the observed result could occur by chance. At this level of significance, it is safe to reject the model of independence, which leads to the conclusion that the variables are dependent. ‘Not significant’ means that the finding could happen by chance in more than five out of 100 times. The Main Variables Adequacy The variable ‘adequacy’ is strongly related to the operation of CF and ‘product.’ It is moderately associated with WUA organizational strength and the knowledge concerning the DSC technology by the WUA members.14 Cross tabulations show that 98.8 percent of the respondents at mesqas with fully operational CF reported ‘adequate,’ while the corresponding number for mesqas with CF not in operation was 48.1 percent. In other words, there is an approximately 50 percent difference in the perceptions of adequacy between farmers at mesqas with and without CF in operation. The two remaining variables – WUA organizational strength and level of required knowledge – both yield moderate association with the adequacy variable. Furthermore, the CHI-square test shows that the findings are not significant. In other words they could occur by chance. The product variable shows that the more adequate the water supply, the more positive the farmers estimated the increases in yields. Night irrigation The Gamma values indicate that CF has a substantial negative association with the dependent variable, night irrigation. Organizational strength shows a moderate negative association, while knowledge shows a negligible negative association. Product shows low association. Concerning the relationship between CF and night irrigation at canals with fully operational CF, 89.4 percent of the respondents reported ‘never’ doing night irrigation. At canals with CF not in operation, 69.2 percent

0.98 0.39 0.35 0.83

p < 0.01 not sign. not sign. p< 0.01

Adequacy of water supply (Gamma) CHISQ

not significant = p > 0.05

CF Knowledge Org. strength Product

Independet variables p < 0.01 not sign. not sign. not sign.

1.0 0.44 0.50 0.21

p < 0.01 not sign. not sign. not sign.

(Gamma) CHISQ

(Gamma) CHISQ 0.58 0.09 0.32 0.22

Water level maintained

Night irrigation

Dependent variables

0.97 0.17 0.72 0.83

p < 0.01 not sign. p < 0.01 p < 0.01

Deviations from planned irrigations (Gamma) CHISQ

Table 6.10: Analysis of Association Between Selected Indicators, Summer Season, After DSC

0.68 0.45 0.02 1.00

not not not not

sign. sign. sign. sign.

(Gamma) CHISQ

Fairness

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reported likewise. In other words, CF has an impact on the extent to which night irrigation is practiced. The better CF is operating, the less night irrigation. However, the data show that even fully operational CF does not, in the short term, eliminate night irrigation. An explanation of this finding might be that night irrigation also depends on the past experience of night irrigation in each canal command, and the age of the implementation of the improved mesqa systems.15 Water level maintained The bivariate analyses show that the variable ‘water level maintained’ has a perfect positive association with CF, a substantial positive association with organizational strength, and a moderate positive association with knowledge. Product shows a low positive association with CF. The perfect association, however, does not mean that everyone at branch canals where CF is fully operational finds that the water level is maintained at the proper levels. For example, at Herz-Numaniya, only 45.9 percent of the sample farmers report that the water level is maintained most of the time, while the remaining 54.1 percent report ‘some fluctuations.’ The data provides no evidence that tail-end farmers experienced a higher degree of fluctuation than head-enders. It makes sense technically, and adds validity to the survey data, that the better CF is implemented the less the fluctuations in water levels reported by farmers. It does not make sense, however, that the two variables of organizational strength and knowledge are associated with the degree to which the water level is maintained. This is considered a spurious effect, because WUAs have little influence on the water level in the branch canals. Their influence lies in their ability to report immediately to field agents as soon as the water level drops. It is one of the responsibilities of the field agent to inform the district engineer, or others with power, to adjust the water level.16 In summary, these findings are not surprising because a precondition for a stable water level is a well-functioning CF system. Deviations from planned irrigations The number of deviations from planned irrigations during the 1992 summer season is found to have a strong negative association with CF and product. Organizational strength shows a substantial negative association, and knowledge has a low negative association. ‘No deviations’ were reported by 98.8 percent of the farmers at branch canals with fully operational CF, whereas 53.8 percent of the farmers at mesqas with nonoperational CF reported deviations. The most interesting finding is that the strength of the WUA

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organizations is substantially associated with the number of deviations from planned irrigations. The stronger the organization, the fewer the deviations from the irrigation schedule. Deviations from planned irrigations can occur either as a result of an unstable water supply in the branch canal, or from problems in managing or operating the mesqa itself. In order to analyze this question a stratified analysis, which controls for the effect of CF, has been presented in the last part of this chapter. Product shows a very strong association with this variable. Fewer deviations, therefore, mean higher estimated yield increases – which appears plausible. In summary, CF, organizational strength and product are negatively associated with the number of deviations from irrigation schedules planned by sample water users. Fairness The bivariate analysis between ‘fairness’ and the independent variables show that fairness has a substantial positive association with CF, a negligible positive association with organizational strength, and a moderate positive association with knowledge. Product shows perfect association with the variable, but this is considered a spurious effect. 17 It is seen that improvement in CF has no sizable impact on the sample farmers’ perception of fairness of water distribution along the mesqa. A question often raised among IIP personnel and farmers is whether or not the type of improved mesqa affects fairness or not? Unfairness could be caused by friction in longer-buried pipelines resulting in a smaller flow stream towards the tail of the mesqa, which would force the farmers to take more time to irrigate a given plot of land in the tail reach. This is evidently not the case. For both raised lined mesqas and pipelines about 100 percent of the farmers report ‘no Head-Tail differences.’ In other words, there is no indication that the perception of Head-Tail differences depends on the type of improved mesqa implemented. IIP measurements confirm the finding of no Head-Tail differences along the improved mesqas. Measurements conducted in 1993 on a pipeline mesqa (#29 at Beni Ibeid) and a raised lined mesqa (#39 at Beni Ibeid) show that, for the summer months, the volume of water delivered is approximately the same in the head reach section and in the tail reach section of the pipeline (IIP, 1993d:18). Controlling for Respondent Variables A second set of bivariate analyses are conducted below in order to examine the stability of these findings. This analysis attempts to estimate the possible strength and direction of the respondent variables on water control

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in order to answer the question: Do these personal characteristics, which reflect the sample farmers’ socioeconomic situation, show effects on water control? For example, do farmers with large land holdings possess a more negative view on the effects of DSC than farmers with smaller land holdings? Do older farmers view DSC with greater skepticism than younger ones? Do tail-end farmers provide more positive answers than head-enders? Does ownership of one or more pumps influence the farmers’ perceptions of the water control situation? Each respondent variable can be viewed as an alternative hypothesis to hypothesis H1. If it is possible to detect and verify strong relations between one (or more) of the respondent variables and water control, it would challenge the assumptions on which the relationship between DSC and water control was hypothesized. In other words, the respondent variables are viewed as rivals to the technology variable in explaining the effects on water control. The results of these analyses show either independence or very weak associations between the respondent variables and the water control variables.18 In more formal terms, the model of independence could not be rejected for each set of variables.19 This means that the variation shown in the different indicators for water control is probably not caused by the distribution in the respondent variables. It leads to the conclusion Dependent variables: Adequacy Night irrigation Water level maintained Deviations from planned irrigations Fairness of water distribution along mesqa Independent variables (respondent variables) Position on mesqa Age (of respondent) Level of schooling Organizational membership Farm size Tenant status Type of tenancy Assessment of increase in yields after the shift to DSC Introduction of new crops following the shift to DSC Wish to change cropping pattern Ownership of pump(s)

Table 6.11: Variables Selected for Analyzing Respondents' Characteristics, Effects on Water Control

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that none of the findings are related to the respondent variables, and as such these variables do not challenge the technology variable in explaining the effects on water control. A Summary of the Bivariate Analyses In the above section, a number of bivariate analyses were conducted in order to analyze the degree to which the dimensions of the independent variable ‘technology’ explain the effects observed on the dimensions of the dependent variable, which is water control. As pointed out, water control is a multifaceted variable; therefore, these analyses have been conducted for each individual indicator. Table 6.12 provides a summary of the findings. 1) The CF variable is highly associated with the three indicators which most directly measure the degree to which water was present in the system. These are the adequacy of water, the degree to which the water level was maintained and the number of deviations from planned irrigations. Weaker relationships were found between CF and the indicator, night irrigation, as well as fairness of water distribution along mesqas. 2) Knowledge did not show any significant association in the analysis. The respondents' level of knowledge about the DSC technology showed only moderate association with two of the indicators, those of the adequacy of water supply and fairness of water distribution along the mesqa. 3) WUA organizational strength was shown to have only a weak association with the different indicators of water control in general. One exception is the indicator that most directly relates to the delivery system at the mesqa level, the deviations from planned irrigations. This association was substantial. 4) Product was found to be strongly associated with the adequacy of water supply and the number of deviations from planned irrigations. No significant relationships were found with other indicators. 5) The type of mesqa (raised lined or pipeline) was also examined. In relation to fairness of water distribution along mesqas, no evidence was found of differences in the ability of the two types of mesqa to provide water fairly. 6) No evidence was found that characteristics related to respondents socioeconomic situation impacted the effects on water control.

Table 6.12: Summary of Findings of the Bivariate Analyses

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The overriding conclusion from the above analyses is that CF, acting as a proxy variable for ‘technique’, is the single most important factor influencing the observed effects of the shift to DSC in relation to farmer water control.20 Discussions with sample farmers support this finding. The major immediate improvement realized by the farmers following the shift to DSC, is the presence of water on a continuous basis in the main canals. Farmers’ concern with water control is, as it has always been, the water level in the branch canal.21 This, however, might well change when the improvements move from the phase of ‘establishment’, and the phases of ‘fine tuning’ or ‘full usage’ of the system are in focus. It is hypothesized that when the system has been in operation for a number of years, and when the farmers have adopted highly diversified and moisture-sensitive cropping patterns, the organizational issue will take on more prominence among the farmers. COMBINING EVIDENCE The finding that CF is the single most important factor influencing the observed effects of DSC in regard to water control is in conformity with the investigator’s expectations. The relatively small association between the indicators of water control, organizational strength and WUA knowledge is, however, a somewhat surprising finding compared to the emphasis placed on these issues, both in the water management literature and in the actual implementation of IIP. Both these sources point out that viable (strong) organizations are indispensable for well-functioning mesqa delivery systems. In this section, two broad questions are raised. Firstly, how, and to what extent, do the variables ‘knowledge’ and ‘organizational strength’ impact water control? Secondly, why does continuous flow lag far behind the mesqa improvements? The first question will be answered through a stepby-step elimination process. First, the question of whether the improved mesqa systems have an effect on water control itself – that is, without CF – is analyzed. In other words, this is to control for the effect of the main system. Evidence is provided that the mesqa system in itself has an effect on water control. Subsequently, the focus is shifted to an analysis of what effects the knowledge and organizational aspects of the mesqa system have on water control. In more formal terms, this is to control for the technique component of the technological package. The latter analysis presupposes information about the knowledge and organizational features required by the DSC package, and the degree to which these in fact are implemented. Therefore, the latter analysis is preceded by a section dealing with these issues.

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The second main question is analyzed by viewing the implementation of CF as a technical, as well as a political/bureaucratic, endeavor. It is argued that the latter has a strong bearing on the possibilities of establishing fully operational CF immediately after the improvements of the mesqa systems. The consequence of the delay in implementing CF is a reduction in visible and felt benefits by the farmers. The analyses in this section are structured according to the following questions: (i) Do mesqa system improvements show effects on water control independent of CF? (ii) What are the necessary knowledge and organizational features, and to which degree are they implemented? (iii) How does WUA organizational strength impact Water Control? (iv) Why do CF and mesqa age show association? How do Improved Mesqa Systems Affect Water Control? The DSC technological package includes improvements both in the main system establishing continuous flow in the branch canals, and in the micro systems, through improved mesqas with single-point lift and the establishing of WUAs to operate the mesqa systems. A theoretical assumption related to the DSC technological package was that effective organizations in managing the mesqa systems and an adequate level of knowledge by WUA members were essential for making the new mesqa systems operate efficiently. More specifically, the DSC technological package presupposed cooperative behavior among the farmers in order to deliver or distribute the available branch canal water. This means that the main and mesqa systems are technically linked, and the successful operation of the mesqa system is dependent on strong organizations. So, if one of the two systems does not work, water is not made available to the farmers. The question is, therefore, whether or not the improvements in water control found above are attributable to improvements in the main system’s water supply alone – or do the improvements in the mesqa system contribute to this as well? In this section, an attempt is made to differentiate between the effects on water control resulting from the main system and the micro system, in order to provide a more detailed analysis of the contribution of the technical and organizational aspects of the mesqa system. This analysis is thought to be important for the farmers’ incentives to adopt or reject the DSC package. While farmers exercise full control over the operation of the mesqa system, they have little or no influence over the presence of continuous flow in the branch canals. So the question is whether the DSC package, which presupposes continuous flow in order to

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function well, places the farmers in a more vulnerable situation (compared to the before situation), if CF for one or another reason is interrupted. 22 The data in table 6.13 give an initial answer to this question. Table 6.13: Estimated Adequacy of Water Supply, Before and After DSC, Summer Season, in Percentages Before DSC Rotation (N= 136) Never adequate Sometimes adequate Adequate

10.9 75.9 13.1

After DSC Without CF With CF (N=52) (N=84) 51.9 48.1

1.2 98.8

The data in Table 6.13 show that at mesqas with non-operational continuous flow the estimated adequacy of the water supply has increased in relation to the situation before DSC. However, with continuous flow in operation, the increase is found to be much greater compared to the situation before DSC, and greater in relation to the situation after DSC without continuous flow. While this is not conclusive evidence, it is a strong indicator that improvement of the mesqa system itself has an effect on the adequacy situation. A plausible explanation for the effect without continuous flow is that the adoption of technical, organizational and knowledge-related aspects of the DSC technological package has put the farmers in a far better situation to take advantage of their water supply situation, whether CF is operational or not. There are sound technical reasons to consider this argument to be valid:23 (i) In the old system, mesqas were constructed with an intake pipe at a fixed level in relation to the water surface. This meant that water would only flow into the mesqas when the water rose above a certain level in the branch canal. Upstream or downstream use of water had a marked effect on the water level in a given location. Often it was found that the water level towards the tail of the canal did not allow for irrigation during the first couple of days of the rotation’s ‘on’ period, while upstream users took water.24 Because the intakes at the improved mesqas are located considerably closer to the canal bed in relation to the old intakes, there will simply be more hours out of the five-day ‘on period’ when water is accessible for the users at the improved mesqa systems. (ii) The mesqa system design is to a considerable degree conservative. In the before situation the intake pipe to the mesqa had a fixed diameter which only allowed for a limited water flow, that is 30 l/sec. 25 Reviews of the design

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assumptions for the improved mesqa systems reveal that a considerable over capacity has been designed into the new systems. For example that 100 percent of the service area is to be cultivated with the most waterdemanding crop.26 Oversized delivery systems, combined with the fact that pumping is done directly from the branch canals provide increased access to water. (iii) It is likely that the scheduling of water along the mesqas distributes the amount of water available more evenly among the farmers. The second indicator selected for analysis is a proxy variable for reliability of the water supply. Table 6.14: Estimated Number of Deviations from Planned Irrigations, Before and After DSC, Summer Season, in Percentages Before DSC Rotation (N=122) Many deviations Often deviations Few deviations No deviations

3.6 22.6 64.2 9.5

After DSC Without CF With CF (N=37) (N=85) 2.7 56.8 40.5

54.1 45.9

Note: Deviations listed under “Before DSC” refer to deviations in the beginning and ending of rotations. In the “After DSC” situation, deviation relates both to the main and mesqa system.

The data in table 6.14 provide a somewhat unexpected result. Note that after DSC at mesqas with non-operational CF, the number of deviations from planned irrigations has in fact increased in contrast to the before situation. With CF in operation, however, there is far less deviation reported, as in the situation before DSC. The obvious explanation for this increase in deviations following the implementation of the mesqa systems is that the farmers reporting deviations are located at the youngest mesqas (operational less than seven months). Furthermore, all these respondents were from the Beni Ibeid canal command, where the renovation of the branch canals resulted in instability of the water supplies during the period of this study. This finding is considered a ‘start-up problem’ resulting from rehabilitation work being done in the main canal. When the findings of Table 6.13 and 6.14 are compounded, it is revealed that the same respondents report (i) an improved adequacy situation, and (ii) less ability to plan water usage. What does this mean in

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terms of the effect of the mesqa system itself ? Evidently the farmers were capable of handling the water delivery/distribution in a flexible manner. Without this flexibility, the two findings are not expected to occur at the same time. This finding complies with the investigator’s field observations. Often, when a sudden problem in branch canal water level developed, it was counteracted by WUAs operating their pumps for up to 20 hours/day until normal canal supplies were restored. Furthermore farmers stated that they would divide the available water by giving each farmer perhaps two-thirds of his needs, which provided water for more of the farmers. Therefore, from the above analyses it is concluded that the improved mesqa systems (technically, organizationally and in terms of farmers’ knowledge) provide flexibility in relationship to water delivery which acts to increase farmers water control. To answer the question raised above concerning vulnerability, there are no indications that farmers are placed in a more vulnerable water supply situation by the shift to the DSC technology. Both with and without CF, the improved mesqa systems place the farmers in a better position to exercise water control than before the shift to DSC. Obviously, water control is best ensured by having an operational CF system. This leads to a new question. Can these effects on water control, which originate from the mesqa system itself, be attributed to the technical features of the system or to the organizational attributes of the WUAs? An attempt will be made to answer this question after a discussion of the knowledge and organizational components of the DSC package, The Knowledge and Organizational Elements of the DSC Package In this section, three aspects of the knowledge and organizational components of the DSC package are discussed. Firstly, the level of knowledge and organizational strength required by the DSC package in order for it to perform as expected. Secondly, the degree of compatibility of these requirements with former knowledge and practices. Thirdly, the degree to which the required knowledge and organizational attributes were in fact implemented. As pointed out in the overview of the DSC package (Chapter 1), the content of each component of the DSC technology changes according to the time elapsed since implementation of individual mesqas. As time passes, the knowledge and organizational attributes of the WUAs undergo changes in order to accommodate the evolving tasks of the WUA. In this regard, it is important to realize that knowledge and organizational

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strength are accumulated over the years, and reflect the experience gained from operating the mesqa systems and the transfer of knowledge primarily from the IAS. In order to specify the level of knowledge and organizational strength required by the DSC package, a functional view of this technology is adopted. This means focusing on the different elements of technology and their functional properties. The issue, then, is what (minimum) knowledge and organizational requirements are necessitated by the DSC technology. Here, the requirements will be analyzed in a relative perspective. This means that the focus will be on the extent to which the requirements of the DSC package differ from the level present in the farming community prior to the improvements. This focus is applied because the analysis provides an indication of the amount of change necessitated by the DSC technology. If substantial changes are required, the farmers’ interest in and possibility of implementing or adopting the new technology is dampened. It also creates a high level of uncertainty and a greater likelihood that the improvements will be either rejected or resisted by the farmers (Herbert, 1976:340–343). In short, major departures from the known are seen to affect the incentives to adopt and use the DSC package. Knowledge and organizational requirements What features of knowledge and organization are required for effective mesqa operation in the delivery and distribution of water? The shortterm (day-to-day) operational requirements are the knowledge and organizational attributes essential for performing the water delivery/water scheduling on a day-to-day basis. As such, if they are implemented, the mesqa system is likely to deliver the water adequately, reliably and fairly among the mesqa water users. The short-term requirements include: (i) the appointment of a pump operator with the technical skills needed for operating the pump sets, (ii) the appointment of an accountant who is capable of collecting irrigation fees and thus, to hold cash to pay for fuel and oil and the salary of the pump operator, (iii) an irrigation schedule must be developed for each mesqa in order to have a fair and rational operational system for water allocation among water users, and (iv) records of income and expenses must be kept so members of the WUA are guaranteed that their money is handled in accordance with the established WUA rules.27 These activities are termed the essential requirements of the DSC package. The organizational attributes necessary for long-term sustainability include (i) mesqa and pump maintenance, (ii) development of management skills to effectively maintain the working capacity of the systems over time, and (iii) a ‘democratization process’ of water deliveries among the

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farmers at the mesqa. In practical terms, this includes possessing not only the short-term essential features listed above, but also establishing and maintaining a reserve fund to secure the systems from breakdowns (replacement of pumps, repairs and maintenance of mesqas) and conflict resolution procedures. These requirements are termed the long-term requirements of the DSC package. Thus, the short-term requirements are fewer and more limited in scope than those aimed at achieving long-term sustainability of the mesqa system performance. The short-term requirements are the focus here because this study only deals with the two first years of implementation of the DSC package. The degree of compatibility of DSC with former practices No hard data have been collected on this issue, but other pieces of evidence help to provide information on the amount of change necessitated by the DSC package. For example, one can compare the basic differences between the operation of the old and new mesqas in the following terms: 1. Technical attributes: Because the pumps included in the DSC technology are similar to the type of pumps owned by individual farmers before the improvements, they are operated and maintained in the same way. The WUA pumps, however, are of greater horsepower and provide larger discharges than private pumps. The WUA pumps are made under license in Egypt, which provides for easy access to qualified maintenance and spare parts. Only one person at each mesqa operates the pump. The technical operation of the mesqa, whether it be a raised lined or pipeline, does not require new skills. Indeed it demands less skills of the individual farmer because he does not have to operate the pump himself. At both types of mesqas, the farmer simply has to open a gate or alfalfa valve when it is his turn to irrigate. 2. Accounting practices: These are new to the farmers, and therefore considered difficult. However, only one or two persons are involved in this task on each mesqa. The required skills are essentially the ability to record incomes and expenses day-by-day and to physically keep track of the money on hand. Because the majority of the farmers are illiterate, the normal practice among the WUAs is to appoint a young literate farmer as accountant. Because farmers are not accustomed to handling others’ money, IAS has emphasized that at least once a month the accountant deposit the WUA money in the bank. Furthermore, IAS has placed strong emphasis on establishing easy accounting procedures. Standard sheets for the entry of income and expenses have been made

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available to WUAs. Training sessions on finances and record keeping are also conducted for each WUA. 3. Knowledge and organizational attributes: Establishing irrigation schedules is a radical change for the farmers, and this has been a source of much debate and emphasis in the IAS. The irrigation schedule establishes the degree of flexibility in the scheduling of irrigation turns among the farmers. In the opinion of the investigator, the farmers understand the idea behind water scheduling and accept the decisions taken by the majority of WUA members and the WUA council upon advice from the IAS field agent. As far as can be observed, irrigation schedules are made on a ‘trial and error’ basis. One schedule is tried, and changes are made according to the water supply situation, the time of the year and the changing perception of the farmers. The irrigation schedule is by far the most substantial operational change experienced by the farmers following the shift to DSC. Permanent organizational units or water user organizations were not present before the shift to DSC. The advent of WUAs has not generally been met with resistance by the farmers. Naturally ‘resistance to change’ existed, but, especially after the first demonstration mesqas became operational in Herz-Numaniya, the process of establishing WUAs did not face major obstacles (see further arguments below). Although the functions of the WUA in the collective management of water distribution along a mesqa contain a number of elements new to the farmers, they do not represent a departure from the established power structure. The WUA leaders were ‘selected’ and not ‘elected’, among the members of the WUA council. And in the WUA council the majority were ‘selected’, by the farmers along the specific marwas. 28 This means that the rural elite had options to determine the specific constituency of the WUA. Therefore, if the rural elite find it attractive to involve themselves in the WUAs, they have the option to do so. Based on the field experience, the general impression is that it is the powerful farmers who end up as WUA leaders.29 Thus, compared to the before situation, the knowledge and organizational attributes necessitated by the DSC technology do not deviate substantially from the organizational experience and knowledge present in the area prior to the implementation of the DSC package. It is seen that the most difficult aspects of the package, for example the accounting and, to some extent, the irrigation scheduling, are left to a few persons at each mesqa who become specialists in their jobs. In all practical terms, the pump operator performs the day-to-day collection of the irrigation fees, records the income and expenses and implements the irrigation

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schedule decided upon by the WUA council. In other words, the DSC package promotes specialization in the farming system, not only directly in relation to the water delivery system, but also potentially in the crop production, because the great majority of the farmers are relieved of duties related to pumping and maintenance of pumps. They can concentrate on farming. The implementation of essential attributes The degree to which the essential organizational and knowledge attributes of the WUAs are implemented is quantified below. Table 6.15 depicts the status of implementation of the short-term organizational attributes up to 1992 for the sample mesqas. Table 6.15: Status of Implementation of Organizational Features by Age Groups, in Percentages

Irrigation schedule exists Accountant appointed Financial record exists Bank account established Money in reserve fund Pump operator appointed Pump record exists

3–6 months N=52

7–10 months N=17

20–24 months N=68

44.2 100 90.4 59.6 73.1 100 65.4

94.1 100 100 100 100 100 100

98.5 100 100 100 100 100 100

The data depicted in Table 6.15 show that the WUA building process has succeeded in implementing the organizational features essential to operating the improved mesqa systems. For example, the pump operator and accountant are in place at all improved mesqas. The irrigation schedules, however, were not fully implemented at the youngest mesqas at the time of this survey. The same is the case for the different records of income and expenses. Generally, these features are in place after the systems have been in operation for more than six months. Data in Table 6.16. show that the level of knowledge concerning essential issues improves over time. Note that the level of knowledge acquired differs according to the issue in question. The general picture is that the issues of most concern for the farmers, such as the pumping charges, are fully known, while issues more remote to daily operation, such as how and where to get the pump fixed in case of a breakdown, are less well known. The reason for the lack of knowledge about the current irrigation schedule implemented on the mesqas is due to the fact that the

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Table 6.16: Level of Respondents’ Knowledge about WUA Issues/Matters, by Age Groups, in Percentages 3–6 months Good Full Irrigation schedule Pumping charges Repair charges Where to fix pump Balance bank account Balance pump account

25.0 1.9 17.3 25.0 7.7 7.7

44.2 98.1 34.6 42.3 59.6 63.5

N=52

7–10 months Good Full 58.8 35.3 17.6 23.5

41.2 100 64.7 82.4 100 76.5

N=17

20–24 months Good Full 10.3 1.5 19.1 11.8 1.5 16.2

88.2 98.5 77.9 83.8 98.5 83.8

N=68

schedules had to be changed quite frequently during the 1992 summer season because of instability of the branch canal flows. The data in Table 6.16 further indicate that communication within the WUA is functioning well, that is information on the monthly status of the financial accounts seems to be widespread among the respondents who are not directly involved in these functions on a daily basis. The level of knowledge concerning the DSC package originates from two sources: (i) From the experiences gained by the farmers in operating the mesqa system, and (ii) from the knowledge transferred through the IAS. As a part of the WUA formation process, four farmer training courses are conducted by the IAS. These courses include: (i) a basic course in WUA formation and responsibilities, (ii) a course in financial accounting, (iii) in maintenance, and (iv) finally a water management course. The last course, however, was not offered prior to the time of this survey. The survey data reveal that 74 percent of the respondents had taken part in one or more of these events, 13 percent had participated in all three courses. Viewed by mesqa age groups, about 83 percent of the respondents on improved mesqas established more than seven months prior to the survey had taken part in a training event, while approximately 63 percent of the respondents on mesqas established less than seven months prior to the survey had done so. The relatively high level of acquired knowledge and implementation of the organizational features indicates: (i) That the knowledge required to operate the improved systems in the establishment phase does not exceed the capacities of the farmers, given appropriate support from IAS, and (ii) that is important, it indicates that the farmers have found it worthwhile to invest valuable time and effort in acquiring these skills and building the organizations.

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The Impact of WUA Organizational Strength on Water Control The question raised above was whether the effects on water control originating from the mesqa system itself could be attributed to the technical features of this system or to the organizational attributes of the WUAs. The survey data, however, does not allow for an in-depth analysis of this question, but the data support the argument that the organizational factor indeed play an important role in securing the farmers water control. Table 6.17 provides information about how the strength of WUA organizations influences the reliability of the water supply. 30 Table 6.17: Stratified Analysis: Continuous Flow, Number of Deviations from Planned Irrigation and WUA Organizational Strength, Summer Season, after DSC, in Percentages Continuous Flow

No. of deviations

WUA Organizational strength Weak Strong

Not in operation (N=52)

Some deviations No deviations

55.9 44.1

In operation (N=85)

Some deviations No deviations

3.3 96.7

27.8 72.2 100

Table 6.17 shows that for mesqas at branch canals with non-operational continuous flow, respondents with strong WUAs reported far fewer deviations than respondents with weak organizations. The difference is 28.1 percent. On the other hand, for farmers at branch canals with continuous flow fully operational, no significant differences are reported in relation to organizational strength. This suggests that when the branch canal water supply is adequate, reliable and fair, the organizational strength of the WUAs does not influence water control. But when the branch canal water supply is not adequate, reliable and fair, the ability of the farmers to plan water usage is dependent (Gamma = 0.53) on the strength of the WUA organizations. At first sight this is a discouraging finding. If the irrigation agency is capable of supplying continuous flow in the main canals there seems to be little reason to invest the time and effort in creating strong WUAs. However, taking yet a closer look at the available data, there are three concerns that indicate that it is difficult (maybe impossible) for the irrigation agency to keep continuous flow in operation without any interruptions and thus, that WUA organizational strength is in fact of utmost importance for improving and sustaining water control.31 First, after only two years of implementation, the farming system was

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not yet developed to the extent that WUA organizational strength had become crucial to the operation of the mesqa system. Neither had the cropping pattern been diversified towards higher yielding and more moisture sensitive crops (e.g. vegetables) which demand greater operational efficiency and flexibility in water delivery in order to take advantage of new agro-technical inputs in crop production, nor has the level of specialization of functions within the WUAs been developed to the point where organization has become of supreme importance. In this way, the data understate the positive effect of WUA organizational strength on water control Second, the implementation of continuous flow has shown itself to be very complicated both technically, organizationally (and politically) for the irrigation agency (IIP, 1993c; IIP, 1993d). The result is that instability in water flows has been present long after implementation of the mesqasystems. In other words, organizations are needed in order to counteract these start-up problems. Third, Egypt is facing a situation of water scarcity. Thus it is increasingly difficult for the irrigation agency staff to allocate the extra volumes of water which are necessary in order to maintain the continuous flow regime (IIP, 1993d:20ff). Inevitably, the scarcer the resource the more likely it is that fluctuations or interruptions in the flow will result if the capacity to plan and operate the system is not developed adequately (Wiener, 1977:78). In other words, there are reasons to believe that water supply interruptions (crisis) are to be seen as a permanent feature of the Egyptian large-scale irrigation system, at least in peak water demand periods. It is thus to be expected that the more cropping patterns are diversified, the greater the specialization of the irrigation functions within the WUAs; and the more the scarcity of the water resource progresses, the more essential will be strong and well-functioning WUAs in securing farmer water control. Or stated differently, the more successful the DSC technology, the greater the dependency on strong and viable WUAs to manage the water deliveries. Both the data presented here and field observations lead us to conclude that the mesqa system effects would not – and could not – have been found if the physical mesqa system had been established technically, but not organizationally.32 Summary of Findings Related to Mesqa System Improvements This chapter analysed the role the mesqa system plays in securing farmer water control. Firstly, an analysis of the extent to which the mesqa systems had an effect on water control independent of CF was conducted. It was shown that the combined effects of the technical, organizational and

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knowledge aspects of the DSC package at the mesqa level provided for a sizable increase in water control. It was also documented that the improved mesqa system had provided a high level of operational flexibility. This placed the farmers in a position where the effect of unstable water supplies could be counteracted, and thereby acted to increase water control, even in command areas where CF was not implemented. Furthermore, it was shown that the technical properties of the improved mesqa systems – such as the redesign of intakes and pumps with larger discharges – were important factors in the achieved operational flexibility. It was further argued that operational flexibility also resulted from a cooperative effort by the WUA members to counteract inadequacies in the branch canal water supply by flexible water scheduling. This led to the conclusion that mesqa improvements do not create an increased dependence on CF, thereby increasing the vulnerability of the farmers’ water supply. In other words, the DSC technology appears to be divisible in the sense that a higher level of water control can be obtained, even in the absence of regular CF. Secondly, it was argued that only a limited degree of new knowledge and organizational skills is required for initial operation of the mesqa system in order to ensure water control. Furthermore, it was argued that the organizational and knowledge requirements do not differ greatly from those already present among farmers prior to the shift to DSC. Thus, the DSC package seems to be compatible with the traditional technology. Data on implementation of these essential organizational attributes were provided. It was found that on improved mesqas that had been operating for more than seven months, these attributes were fully implemented. The WUA building process emphasized by IAS was found to have supported the organizations to reach the level of organizational strength required. It should be stated, however, that organizational skills must be carefully monitored and refined to achieve long-term sustainability. Thirdly, it was shown that the organizational strength of the WUAs played a vital role in securing water control. Without an operational CF the reliability of the water supply to the farmers is dependent on the strength of the WUA organizations in operating the mesqa system. It was pointed out that the farming system was not yet developed to an extent to which the organizational strengths of the WUA would be expected to show a major impact on water control. It was hypothesized that the effect would be much stronger when a highly diversified, and moisture-sensitive, cropping pattern is implemented, and when the hoped for specialization of functions within the WUAs was developed. These conclusions add validity to the findings from the bivariate analysis, that CF is the main determinant of water control. In addition,

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they make a strong case for the fact that water control is also a result of the combined effect of the technical, organizational, and knowledge aspects of the mesqa systems. Continuous Flow: Why does it lag behind ? As pointed out in the bivariate analyses, an almost perfect relationship exists between the two variables CF and the age of mesqa improvements. In other words, the longer the time lapse since mesqas became operational, the better the operation of CF. This relationship is now examined in greater depth. As argued above, continuous flow is the single most important factor in achieving improved water control. As such, it is a precondition for obtaining the visible and felt benefits of the DSC package, making it worth while for the farmers to invest their money and energy in the improvements. The discussion below will revolve around the question, why implementation of continuous flow have lagged far behind the implementation of the farm level systems. It is hypothesized that both the technical and the political/bureaucratic nature of continuous flow impede its timely implementation, and that this leads to lack of farmers trust in the DSC technology and potentially stimulates DSC improvements in large- versus small-scale canal commands. Continuous flow, as Chapter 1 pointed out, represents a radical change in the Egyptian water delivery supply system in relation to the rotational system currently operated. In the initial phases, implementation was hampered by a lack of understanding of the concept of continuous flow among MPWWR staff at all levels, and much ‘resistance to change’. 33 In order to counteract this, the IIP staff initiated a series of workshops in which key decision makers at different levels in the MPWWR were sensitized to the benefits involved in the shift to CF. 34 Parallel to this, personnel at the regional and district levels are being trained to operate and effectively implement CF. Although difficult to quantify, it seems that the implementation of CF is more than just a process of ‘institutional adaptation’ and overcoming ‘resistance to change’ (which is almost always a factor associated with changes in old line bureaucracies). It is argued below that there are several sound reasons why implementation of CF has not been – and probably in the foreseeable future will not be – adequately supported by MPWWR staff. These reasons are discussed below under three headings: (i) preferential water allocation to the IIP canal commands, (ii) MPWWR is susceptible to pressures from interest groups, and (iii) lack of incentive structures for local level agency staff to implement continuous flow.

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Preferential water allocation Interviews with key MPWWR personnel in Minya indicate strong skepticism concerning the water use resulting from implementation of CF. They argue that ‘If you will develop the canals, you must first develop the users’35 and were of the opinion that farmers will always take more water than required, if the water is available. In volumetric terms, the water supply under continuous flow is designed to be identical to that of the canals operating under rotation.36 Preferential water allocation to the improved canal commands, however, is for two reasons – technical and behavioral – a necessity in the initial phases of the DSC implementation. On the technical reasons: Implementing continuous flow entails that canals are physically capable of operating under a continuous flow regime. This presupposes, at a minimum, that they must be equipped with automatic downstream control gates. To operate fully under continuous flow, however, most canals must be redug and downsized, improvements in earthwork must be undertaken, and all new mesqa intakes must be reconstructed and aligned on a standard level. The point is that establishing continuous flow is expensive (however, in this case the cost is carried by a donor agency) and optimal operational efficiency implies substantial physical changes of the current branch canals. In the surveyed canal commands, continuous flow was established only by installing the automatic gates, while the branch canals were used as they were (or with minor modifications). This does not represent an optimal operational solution, but the situation was counteracted by running larger volumes of water in the canals than would be necessary when and if the canals were fully redesigned. This calls for preferential water allocations to the improved branch canals until the situation is rectified. Concerning the behavioral reasons: It takes time for farmers to adjust their traditional irrigation behavior to the new water regime. As argued by, for example, Clemmens (1987:60) or Wade (1990) there is an inherited tendency for farmers to apply too much water when water is available in order to counteract possible future shortcomings. This ‘water hoarding behavior’, however, will decrease gradually as scientific knowledge of how much water, and when to apply water, becomes accepted. IIP staff anticipate that, by providing adequate, reliable and fair water supplies combined with a strong on-farm water management program, which assist the farmers in changing their old irrigation behaviors and practices, water use will decrease in the long run (IIP, 1994a:36). IIP measurements show that the water deliveries to selected improved mesqas exceeded the crop water requirements (and as compensation for conveyance and other losses) by approximately 60 percent during the summer months of 1993 (IIP, 1994a:36).37

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The issue of preferential water allocation at the IIP areas should be viewed in the context of water scarcity. Farmers, especially large and influential farmers, are very outspoken when it comes to obtaining their allocated share – and if possible a larger share – of the available water. Due to water scarcity, especially in the summer months when the water demand by the crops is at its peak, the environment simply necessitates that no farmer of any standing can be indifferent to whether he gets his allocated share of water or not.38 In practical terms, this means that farmers place substantial pressure on the lower echelons of the MPWWR bureaucracy – the district engineers and gate keepers – in order to acquire water. This dynamic factor is important in understanding the change process associated with implementing continuous flow. If the district engineer allocates more water to one branch canal in his command area, this evidently means that other canals are suffering – unless supplementary water allocations are provided by the MPWWR to the district. This has, however, not been the case. 39 For example, the district engineer responsible for Beni Ibeid claims that he had not been able to maintain continuous flow in Beni Ibeid canal because he lacked water for the total branch canal. He had 50 m3/ feddan/day during the summer season, but this was not enough to provide water on a continuous basis at this canal command. Thus, if the district engineer decides to allocate the amount of water needed to operate continuous flow in the improved canals, the number of complaints from farmers at other non-improved canals will pile up on his desk. 40 This is strongly detrimental to his future advancement in the MPWWR. 41 So, in order to keep his good standing in the MPWWR, the rational behavior of the district engineer is to allocate the water so it yields him fewest possible complaints. This means that he most likely will not satisfy the extra water demands necessitated by implementing continuous flow. This suggests an institutional bias against the implementation of continuous flow. The susceptibility of MPWWR to pressures from interest groups As pointed out by Uphoff et. al. (1991) there are at least three sets of actors involved in irrigation; the government, the water users and the staff of the irrigation agency. Their objectives might not be compatible. The staff of the irrigation agency constitute a critical third set of actors who can tilt one way or the other – or operate somewhat independently of both. This latter possibility may not be desirable or tenable, but no one should assume that the bureaucracy will invariably be working to further others’ goals (Uphoff et. al., 1991:21).

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The Egyptian state bureaucracy is well known for its inefficiency resulting from overstaffing, low salaries, lack of incentives etc. 42 An in-depth survey of institutional issues in MPWWR confirms that this mode of operation applies to this Ministry as well (IIMI, 1995). The Egyptian bureaucracy seems to resemble what Gunnar Myrdal called ‘the soft state’. The term refers to a state in which the bureaucracy cannot implement its rules and regulations independently of the interests of groups or individuals in society.43 In his excellent book, Adams analyzes the power structures in the Egyptian countryside. He finds that state intervention has never eradicated the dominance of rich farmers in the political decision processes. He points out that: … in the absence of concerted government efforts to exclude rural elite, rich peasants will tend to dominate all important political structures established by the national government at the local level (Adams, 1986:154).

And in the concluding chapter he writes: The rich-peasant domination occurs with the tacit approval of the state. Since 1952, the Egyptian state has come to rely upon the rich peasantry as the overseers for much of what it undertakes in the countryside … ‘Rule through the wealthy’ … The members of the rich peasantry … exercise decisive control over the human and material resources within their own particular local domains …The consequence of this type of socio-political organization is that the state possesses a sharply delimited type of power in the countryside [emphasis added] (Adams, 1986:191).44

This explains why a bureaucracy with such characteristics has difficulties in transferring or implementing decisions made at the top bureaucratic level. In this case, these characteristics provide an understanding of why the decision by MPWWR to implement continuous flow in the areas designated for DSC improvement was not fully followed up at field level. Lack of incentive structures for local level agency staff to implement continuous flow A closer look at the incentive structure at regional and local levels in the MPWWR provides a further indication of why implementation of continuous flow has not been adequately supported by MPWWR. It is hypothesized that the implementation of continuous flow will result in loss of status and income for the district engineers and gate keepers. 45 Under the rotational system, the district engineers were viewed as important persons in the rural community. Provided with a certain volume of water, their task was to allocate/distribute this water among the different canal commands within their domain. Thus the district engineer was the person the farmers would approach in order to get more water. Similarly,

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the gate keeper who carries out the actual water allocation by raising and lowering the gates is, by nature of his work, at the key physical point where the division of water takes place. Due to lack of strict monitoring of the water allocations, the gate keeper has some degree of freedom to decide how much water flows where and when. Especially for the gate keepers, substantial amounts of ‘extra legal’ income can be obtained through this process.46 Table 6.18 below depicts the estimated quantity and quality of contacts between the respondents and institutions related to irrigation. The argument is that a decrease in the level of contacts and/or the usefulness of the contacts indicates loss of status in the eyes of the farmers. Table 6.18: Quantity and Quality of Contacts Between Categories of Field Staff, Before and After DSC N=137 Average no. of Contacts per month (means) Before* After MOA Extension worker District Engineer Gate Keeper IAS Field Agent IAS Engineer IIP Design Engineer IIP Construction Eng.

3.71 1.69 3.99 1.40 1.08 0.72 1.04

3.71 1.15 2.23 4.52 4.04 1.44 2.04

Usefulness of contacts (means, scale 0 5) Before* After 3.60 1.56 3.43 1.47 1.22 0.67 1.04

3.64 1.38 1.82 4.53 4.08 1.57 2.12

Note: A contact is defined as a situation in which a water user and an official meet face to face to discuss issues and exchange information. * “Before” refers to the period before the mesqa and pump started operation, but after WUAs were formed.

Data in Table 6.18 show that the average number of contacts between both the district engineer and the gate keepers and the respondents is reduced after the shift to the DSC package. It is most dramatic for the gate keepers, where the number of contacts were reduced by half after the shift to the DSC package. Furthermore, the perceived usefulness of the contacts is also reduced. This supports the argument that these two categories of irrigation department staff are losing status in relation to farmers where the DSC package is implemented. At the same time, IAS staff ’s, the field agents’ and the IIP engineers’ status seem to have increased. Based on discussions with district engineers and gate keepers, the loss of functions and status are an issue of great concern. This is especially

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the case for the gate keepers, since implementation of automated downstream control gates threatens to completely eradicate their function. But it is also of concern for the district engineers, especially the younger ones who need to fulfill this position for a number of years before they can possibly be promoted to higher positions in the MPWWR. In other words, the field staff responsible for operating continuous flow have little or no incentive to forcefully implement the continuous flow system. Given the above arguments concerning the political and bureaucratic process involved in providing CF, it is hypothesized that the implementation of CF will lag behind the implementation of the mesqa systems. That is, the implementation of CF must be preceded by water-hungry farmers who either directly, or through the IAS/IIP organization, pressure the MPWWR staff at all levels to get CF up and going. This point is important for two reasons: (i) When CF is implemented after the mesqa systems, farmers experience long periods of uncertainty (two to three cropping seasons as the data suggest) in relation to the benefits expected by them.47 This is, furthermore, strongly detrimental to the confidence-building processes initiated by the IAS.48 Confidence between IAS and the WUA members is of utmost importance because the important work in redirecting water use and agricultural practices (on-farm water management) begins when the physical system is in place. Thus, in order to acquire the visible and felt benefits expected by farmers, an ongoing emphasis on expanding the knowledge element of the DSC package must take place. This process is probably hampered by the late arrival of CF, – which has created grave doubts in the minds of farmers concerning the willingness of the IAS staff to support the improvement process. (ii) It is hypothesized that the difficulties of establishing CF create a bias among the decision makers to accept only large canal commands for improvement.49 However, as more areas are brought under improvements, CF will become more of an accepted norm. Large-scale implementations are always more difficult to deal with than smaller ones when the process involves redirecting the way farmers think and act. At large canal commands, more farmers need to agree that they want improvements and should be willing to pay for these. This may lead to a longer start-up period for large than for smaller canal commands. Due to the criteria that 80 percent of farmers along a branch canal must accept the improvement program before work can begin at it, it might also mean that many more farmers will be put under pressure by fellow farmers and irrigation personnel to accept the improvements. Furthermore, large numbers of IAS staff are required, because much work must be carried out at the same time in order to implement the seven phases of the WUA building process.50 In this way, if the bias towards improving

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large canal commands in fact exists, it might be detrimental to a demanddriven spread of the DSC technology in Egypt. In summary, it has been argued that the combination of the following factors: (i) preferential water allocation (ii) the susceptibility of MPWWR to pressures from interest groups, and (iii) the lack of incentive structures for local level agency staff, substantially hampers the MPWWRs ability to adequately support a timely and stable continuous flow regime in the branch canals. This suggests that the opposition, or resistance, to implementing the changes by the regional staff and the lowest level of field staff may slow the speed of implementation of CF. There are, therefore, good reasons for the observed delays in implementing CF, and for the difficulties in maintaining its operation. While it could be argued that these findings are closely related to the fact that the field study was conducted on only the first canal commands that were improved, it is thought that the problems are of a more general nature, as indicated by the literature on the Egyptian bureaucracy. Furthermore, it is safe to assume that the bureaucratic structures, and thus the incentive structures, change very slowly in a society such as the Egyptian. Therefore, it is expected that these problems will continue to impede the timely implementation of continuous flow in all areas designated for the future NIIP improvements.51 CONCLUSION In this chapter, analyses of the impact that the shift from the traditional irrigation technology to the Downstream Control Technological (DSC) Package has had on farmer water control have been undertaken. Three different types of analyses were utilized: univariate, bivariate and stratified. The univariate analysis was reported in Tables 6.2 to 6.8. These data show findings for each indicator of the water control variable. Table 6.9 summarizes the findings of these analyses. It was found that the water adequacy and reliability situations were improved considerably. Fairness in water deliveries also, showed improvements, but the results were more difficult to interpret. The bivariate analysis moved the entire analysis one step further. The levels of association between the selected water control indicators and the dimensions of the DSC technology were analyzed. The presence of CF was found to be the single most influential factor of the DSC package in improving the water control situation for the farmers. Bivariate analysis in relation to the respondents’ socioeconomic situation showed no impact on water control (Table 6.11). In the final section, two issues related to these findings were analyzed.

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The first used stratified analyses. First, a further inquiry into the contribution of the organizational and knowledge aspects of the DSC package was undertake through a two-step analysis. First, it analyzed whether or not the mesqa system improvements increased water control independently of CF. It was found that it did, but that the effects were not as strong as the case when CF was in operation. It was also shown that the flexibility of the new mesqa systems placed the farmers in a position in which they could make better use of the available irrigation water, whether or not CF was in operation. It was also pointed out that farmers were not placed in a more vulnerable water supply situation by having their mesqa system improved. Following this analysis, an attempt was made to single out what effect WUA organizational strength and knowledge had in securing water control. It was found that WUA strength only impacted water control in situations where unstable water supplies in the branch canal occurred. It was also hypothesized that the effect will be stronger when the farming system has had time to develop a more diversified and moisture-sensitive cropping pattern, and specialized its organizational functions. A discussion of the knowledge and organizational requirements of the DSC package and its degree of compatibility with former practices was presented. It was shown that the knowledge and organizational requirements were relatively small and did not deviate substantially from the level which existed among the farmers before implementation of the DSC package. The analysis of the degree to which these attributes were implemented among the sample farmers showed that they were generally implemented after the improved mesqas had been in operation for more than six months. The second issue discussed in this section was the relationship between CF and the age of mesqa implementation. It was concluded that it was more than normal inertia and ‘resistance to change’, that impeded the timely implementation of CF. Furthermore, it was concluded that there are good reasons for the observed delays in implementing CF and the difficulties in maintaining its operation. It was hypothesized that political/ bureaucratic problems will continue to impede implementation of CF in all the areas that are to come under CF during the IIP project. This Chapter set out to test the following hypothesis: H1: The DSC technological package does not improve farmer water control. Based on the presented data and arguments, this hypothesis must be rejected. Ample evidence supported by data shows that the shift to DSC

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improves farmer water control on all of the selected dimensions. The strongest effect identified is when CF is fully operational. However, effects are visible even if the improved mesqa technology is implemented without continuous flow in the branch canals. While it is possible to say that water control is improved, it is not possible, using available data, to state exactly to what extent this is the case. Data based on physical measurements of efficiencies on DSC mesqas, as well as controls with and without DSC, have been collected by the IIP monitoring and evaluation program. They support the findings presented above (IIP, 1994a:37). And finally, what can be concluded concerning the two overall purposes of the research project: (i) to document and analyze the impacts of the DSC technological package on the farmers, concerning water control, and (ii) to analyze the possibility of a demand-driven spread of the DSC package? Concerning the first purpose, this chapter has documented and analyzed the impact of the DSC package on water control. The detailed univariate analysis documented the effects, and further analyses were carried out in the latter part of the chapter leading to the conclusion stated just above. Hypothesis H1 was rejected. Concerning the second purpose, a number of important findings emerge from the analysis. Positive incentives to adopt the DSC package can result from the findings that (i) water control is vastly improved, (ii) the adoption of the DSC package did not, in the short run place the farmer in a more vulnerable water supply situation, compared to the situation prior to the shift to DSC, (iii) the short-term knowledge and organizational requirements for operating the mesqa systems were found not to deviate substantially from the levels present the areas before the DSC technology, given adequate support by IAS; and (iv) the farmers did in fact use time, effort and money to establish the mesqa systems and the organizational and knowledge attributes required by the DSC technology. Disincentives, on the other hand, result from the findings that (i) implementation of continuous flow is likely to lag behind the implementation of the mesqa systems, causing distrust and less than expected water control benefits to the farmers, and (ii) vulnerability of the water supply is likely to increase when the individual mesqa moves from the establishment phase to the full usage phase – characterized by highly diversified and moisture-sensitive cropping patterns – if the MPWWR does not come to grips with the issue of continuous flow. These points are discussed further in the concluding chapter of this study.

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Notes 1 These supplementary data are published in IIP (1994a). The IIP ‘before improvement’ data are based on a random sample of 90 farmers distributed among 27 mesqas. The ‘after improvement’ data cover 27 farmers (IIP, 1994a:12). The IIP survey includes the mesqas surveyed in Beni Ibeid and Qiman al Arus, but it does not include Herz-Numaniya command area. 2 The terms ‘Before’ and ‘After’ are used as abbreviations for the conditions before the implementation of the DSC package and after it. 3 Calculated on the basis of the summer season data. 4 The decrease of 85 percent is thought to be a conservative figure. For example, at Beni Ibeid canal command, an average of 19 farmers per month reported days with critical water shortages. These, however, are not included in Table 6.3 because the farmers could not estimate the exact number of days of critical shortage of water. 5 An average of 10 days per month was rated ‘critical.’ This is equal to all the monthly ‘on’ days in a 5/10 rotation. 6 The ‘age’, or time lapsed after the mesqas were made operational, has a considerable impact on the findings. For the category of mesqas over 20 months, the decrease is from 1,607 days to 40, which is equal to a decrease of about 98 percent. For the younger mesqas (< six months) the decrease was 48 percent. 7 This would be even more difficult at buried Pipeline mesqas, due to the way in which the delivery pipes are connected to the tank stand. 8 The improved mesqa systems are designed to deliver the peak water demand during a 16-hour workday (IIP, 1991b:3-1). 9 From personal conversation with the tube well owner (at mesqa 19, outlet 6), it is known that he and his family operate 66 feddans in Beni Ibeid area. 10 IIP measurements show that only minor differences in the time used to irrigate for example one feddan berseem at the head and at the tail reaches of mesqas are found after DSC. Thus, friction and leakages are not factors (IIP, 1994a:35). 11 This is why experienced Egyptian irrigation practitioners state: ‘there is no such a thing as a typical mesqa.’ 12 It was thought relevant to include three other independent variables as proxies for ‘technique’, namely (i) the ‘age’ or lapse of time since mesqa improvement, (ii) the ‘canal command’, and (iii) the ‘type of mesqa’ (RLM or PL). Due to strong interrelationships between the CF variable and the two variables mentioned first, they were excluded from this analysis. The third variable, ‘type of mesqa’, was excluded because of shortcomings in sampling. All operational PL mesqas were found in locations where CF was not operational. 13 Both indexes were constructed using the same procedure. Below the procedure is described for the index measuring WUA organizational strength. The purpose of the index is to establish an aggregated measure of WUA organizational strength. The index was constructed of eight subquestions in the questionnaire. The index was then weighed and checked. First, the strength of the association between the index and each of the eight variables was analyzed using Gamma statistics. Second, association between all variables was checked. Variables showing near-perfect (positive or negative) association led to exclusion of one of them in the final index, because if two questions provided the exact same distribution, they measured the

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same. Therefore, the rule is to exclude one of the two variables if they yield the same distribution. The number of variables in the index was then reduced from eight to three on this basis. The organization’s ability to collect charges for water, to maintain the pump and solve conflicts were the three variables selected. 14 The nomenclature used here for describing values for Gamma, are the conventional one (Pine, 1977:136). 15 There are no indications, that the extend of night irrigation differs according to the type of mesqa, either Raised lined or buried Pipe lines. 16 This practice was established in Beni Ibeid by the IIP rural sociologist. 17 Mainly because of the reasoning behind the relationship between fairness and product. 18 Spurious effects were also detected. Because of the relatively small sample size, minor differences in percentage are not viewed as important. 19 The numeric results of this analysis are not provided because of the complexity in interpreting such data. To present them would not contribute to a better understanding of the subject. 20 It is recognized that the variable ‘product’ has only been subject to superficial discussion in this section. It will be discussed in further detail in Chapter 8, along with the farm income analyses. 21 This, however, is likely to change after a number of years with CF in operation. This study is concerned only with the first two years of implementation. 22 The argument being that farmers like most other rational decision makers, practice risk aversion (Todaro, 1994:304ff) Increased vulnerability in relation to the water supply is viewed to be strongly detrimental to their incentive to adopt the DSC package. 23 The effect could also be viewed as a ‘Hawthorne effect’. That is, that simply because a process of change is underway the attitude and feelings of the farmers might change, which can result in better performance. The classical example is the study at the Chicago Hawthorne Plant conducted in the early 1930’s. The researchers changed the illumination levels in the plant and found, for each change of level whether a increase or decrease, production increased. This effect was attributed to the fact that ‘researchers and the company management in the experiments solicited the ‘workers’ opinions and sought their cooperation. This unintentional stimulus made the workers respond by increased production.’ For further elaboration of this point see Herbert (1976:13-15). 24 This has, for example, been the case at the tail of Beni Ibeid canal. 25 This has evidently caused problems for the farmers. ‘To provide adequate flow rates, many farmers illegally installed extra pipes or larger outlets. Along the Daqalt canal, 72 percent of the mesqas had illegal turnouts. In El-Hammami, there were three times as many illegal turnouts as there were legal sizes. In Beni Magdul, there were 61 outlets, rather than the 25 which were legally permitted (EWUP, 1984:21). 26 Other design assumptions used: ‘Peak daily consumption used for the irrigation period, a minimum flow of 60 lps for areas up to 52 feddans, 16-hour daily pumping capacity to meet maximum crop demand and a PVC low pressure pipe design velocity of 1 meter per. second.’ The additional capacity provides farmers with increased flexibility (Devres Inc., 1993:Annex 11 p.15).

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27 Note the resemblance between these organizational requirements and Ostroms (1992) design principles quoted in Chapter 3. Especially according to the proportional equivalence between benefits and costs, the emphasis on payment for received water, collective-choice arrangements, fair sharing of water between users, and monitoring, here represented by the financial records, which allow for easy monitoring by all water users at a mesqa. 28 The survey data show, that 39 percent of the marwa leaders were ‘elected’, while 61 percent were ‘selected.’ 29 This is at least the case among the first implemented mesqas, for example at Beni Ibeid, where one of the Mesqa leaders is an Umda. Arguments can be made for and against the rural elite heading the mesqa improvement effort. On the positive side, these people are respected for their ability to make decisions and carry them through, and thus, might introduce a strong ‘management factor’ to the WUAs. Furthermore, they might add status to WUAs among other farmers potentially adopting the DSC improvements. On the negative side, one could argue that the decision processes might not become democratic. There is no evidence that the involvement of the rural elite in the leadership of the WUAs has had negative effects on the functioning of the WUAs. In fact, some of the best operated WUAs were headed by powerful farmers, who employed their management capacity and power to make the new technology function. There is, furthermore, no evidence of a substantial power struggles between the rural elite and smaller farmers over the issue of water allocation. This might be due to the fact that there is no correlation between farmers location on the mesqa and their size of land holdings. In other words, farmers with large land holdings are evenly spread out along the full length of the mesqas (IIP, 1990e:Chapter IV). The implication is that the farmers – large and small – have a mutual interest in getting the mesqa systems to functions in the best possible way. This does not mean, that there are no struggles between the two types of farmers, but merely that such power struggles seem to be played out in other spheres than that associated with water. Based on field observations, it seems that the main type of power struggle concerned with the water issue is between ‘the farmers’ as a group and the government supply organization, the MPWWR. 30 The two indexes ‘WUA organizational strength’ and ‘WUA knowledge’ are very strongly associated (0.79374, p< 0.001) concerning these variables. Therefore only WUA strength is used here. 31 The issue of implementing continuous flow is discussed in depth in the next section. 32 This argument refers to the theoretical point made in Chapter 3, that a technology must be developed both technically, organizationally, in terms of knowledge and with the product in mind, if it is to be fully operational. 33 For a further elaboration of the term ‘resistance to change’, see for example Herbert (1976:341-344). Attempts to implement changes can be met with in five different ways by people, according to how they perceive the outcomes: Rejection, resistance, tolerance, acceptance, or enthusiastic implementation. At a more specific level, some engineers voiced concerns about the adverse effects of continuous flow: e.g. problems with maintenance of the system. Weeds, for example, will grow in canals when they don’t dry out, drains will overflow due to

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farmers’ excess use of water, evaporation and seepage from canals will increase (Interview with Assistant director, MPWWR, Minya Engineer Adel Zaky, 21 October 1992 and Inspector, MPWWR, Minya Engineer Samir Faheem, 11 November 1992). 34 One such activity is the MPWWR/IIP Continuous Flow Seminar held in Fayoum, Egypt, on 22 September 1992. 35 Interview with Assistant director, MPWWR, Minya Eng. Adel Zaky (21 October 1992) and Inspector, MPWWR, Minya Eng. Samir Faheem (11 November 1992). 36 Meaning that identical volumes of water are allocated to a canal during a given period, both before and after the shift to continuous flow. 37 Excess irrigation also existed prior to the shift to DSC. IIP (1993d:Table 2) report a figure of approximately 27 percent for July 1993. The excess application of water by farmers is, however, to some extent caused by technical deficiencies in the system. 38 In a number of cases the investigator has witnessed how farmers as individuals or groups approached the assistant director of irrigation in Minya to complain loudly about lack of water. 39 Interview with District Engineer, Magdy Mahmoud, Minya (11 November 1992). This has often led to discontinuing continuous flow especially during the summer months (IIP, 1993d:59-60). Note that the canals selected for IIP improvement all suffered from severe lack of water during, especially the summer months. 40 The experience of the operational personnel, and the satisfaction of complaints from water users are the normal means by which water deliveries are planned (IIMI, 1995:35). 41 Discussion with Head of IAS, and former district engineer, Engineer Essam Barakat (8 August 1992). 42 E.g. Ansari (1986); Commander (1987); Cooper (1982); Olsen (1988); Palmer et al. (1988); Sadowski (1991); Springborg (1989); Waterbury (1983); Zohny (1988). 43 The term ‘soft state’ is understood to comprise ‘all the various types of social indicipline which manifest themselves by deficiencies in legislation and in particular law observance and enforcement, a widespread disobedience by public officials on various levels to rules and directives handed down to them, and often their collusion with powerful persons and groups of persons whose conduct they should regulate. Within the concept of the soft state belongs also corruption ... These several patterns of behaviour are interrelated in the sense that they permit or even provoke each other in circular causation having cumulative effects’ (Myrdal, 1970:208). See also Sadowski (1991:90ff). 44 See also Richards (1982: 178ff) for a further discussion of rich farmers’ influence on local politics. 45 The term status as it is used here, has a ‘common sense’ meaning. Based on field experience and general experience with Middle Eastern societies, status seems to be closely linked to a person’s abilities to help others solve their problems. Examples of this are lending money to persons in need, or providing useful advice when someone has a problem. A very important indicator of status is to whom a person turns in time of need. 46 This statement is by nature impossible to quantify. Field experience, however,

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points out that extralegal payments takes place. As stated by Sadowski (1991:122) ‘In any soft state, where officials are underpaid, poorly trained, and loosely supervised, corruption tends to be a problem’. 47 See measurements of water levels in Qiman al Arus area undertaken in 1993 (IIP, 1993d:22-23). 48 Based on field experiences. See also Devres Inc. (1993:11-20) and Laitos, (1992:viii). 49 An example is Beni Ibeid canal command, where 4,250 feddans, including 194 mesqas and canal outlets, are served under one head regulator (IAS, 1990:1). 50 This, too, might demand a more formal bureaucratic structure in the IAS, which might create less interaction, communication, participation and accountability among the IAS staff. For an elaboration of this point see Uphoff et al. (1991:4043). 51 While CF was well implemented in Herz-Numaniya, little improvement in the operation of CF was experienced when the investigator visited the Beni Ibeid and Qiman al Arus areas one year after the field survey.

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chapt er 7 Saving Scarce Land Resources

Land saving is just one component of the broader concept of resource conservation, which is an aim of the IIP improvement effort. Resource conservation encompasses such elements as savings of water, land, energy, pesticides etc. For reasons discussed in Chapter 3, only land saving is selected for analysis in this study. The hypothesis now under consideration is H2: The DSC technological package does not save land Savings in agricultural land area are an important issue for Egypt because of the country’s limited land resource. As mentioned in Chapter 1, Egypt has an area of about one million km2, or 238 million feddans, of which only a fraction (3 per cent) is used for agricultural purposes. The country’s scarcity of land becomes even more evident when viewed in relation to the size of the population. Egypt has only 0.13 feddan of agricultural land per capita which is among the lowest in the world. And the encroachment of agricultural land due to rapid urban development makes the issue even more problematic. As stated by the World Bank in its recommendations for an Egyptian agricultural strategy for the 1990s, there is a: … need for measures aimed at ensuring efficiency and environmental sustainability in the management of the most important natural resources of the country, i.e. water and arable land (World Bank, 1993a:xii).

Hypothesis H2 includes the term ‘land’. In this context, the term encompasses not only the land that is saved and used for production of agricultural crops. It also includes land that is used for such things as improved roads, which are necessary for further modernization of the agricultural sector. FINDINGS Table 7.1 below provides data on the measured savings in land resulting from the improvement of the mesqa systems. The area occupied both

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before and after DSC improvement of the mesqa system was measured in terms of the length and width of the cross-section of the mesqas. Data on the lengths of the unimproved and improved mesqas were acquired from the mesqa design records. The total width of the mesqas, including the embankment on each side of it, was established by actual measurements. To compensate for the fact that mesqas are usually widest at the head and progressively become more narrow towards the tail, a measurement was made for each 50 m of running mesqa. In some cases, for example at mesqa number 1 in Qiman al Arus, a pipeline mesqa was installed some meters beside the old mesqa, which at the time of the study had not been filled in. In such a case it was possible to measure the exact size of the old mesqa. In Herz–Numaniya, however, mesqa construction was done approximately two years before this survey was undertaken. Here the ‘before’ width of the mesqa was estimated by measurements conducted on a number of other mesqas of similar size adjacent to the improved mesqas. An average mesqa width of 4.75 m was established. Concerning the improved raised lined mesqas, it was found that the width varied substantially between mesqas, due to either too wide or too narrow embankments. Usually mesqas were narrow at the berms because farmers were growing crops only 30 to 50 cm from the mesqa. This is harmful to the new mesqas because the J-sections, of which the mesqa is constructed, might be dispositioned and thereby create leakages and excessive friction. It is expected that this harmful practice by the farmers will eventually cease as more emphasis is put on mesqa maintenance. As a result of this, the investigator chose to use the specifications recommended by the design engineers as the proper mesqa width. The top width of the mesqa should be, and always was, 80 cm, and there should be one meter of earthen embankment on each side of it. This brings the total mesqa width to 2.80 m. SAVINGS IN LAND Table 7.1 below shows that the average savings in land following the implementation of a buried pipeline mesqa are 100 percent, while the savings resulting from implementing raised lined mesqas are 44 percent. 1 The savings associated with the pipeline implementation are easy to interpret because farmers cultivate over the buried pipeline.2 The savings associated with the improved raised lined mesqas are slightly more difficult to interpret. Under the rotational system, the mesqas not only served as a conveyance canal for the water, but also as a storage reservoir of water (for example during the night) thereby building a certain

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Table 7.1: Savings in Land Following the Shift to DSC, in Square Meters Mesqa number Pipelines Qiman el Arus Beni Ibeid

Raised Lined Qiman el Arus Beni Ibeid Herz-Numaniya

Before DSC Mesqa Average area*

1 19 29

3516 4965 6435

2 39 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 43 51

732 4448 3610 2138 3610 2114 3610 2613 2850 3088 2850 2138 3135 2138 2280 3230

4972

2786

After DSC Mesqa Average area*

0 0 0 490 2660 2128 1134 2128 1246 2128 1246 1596 1120 2100 868 1848 1260 1344 1736

Savings, in %

0

100%

1565

42%

* Area is measured as width of mesqas including embankment. The figures do not include the (insignificant) area occupied by pumps, tanks and sumps at the head of the Mesqa Note: Mesqa number 43, Beni Ibeid, a ganabya mesqa, is not included, because non availability of before data.

amount of flexibility into the system. The implication of this is that there has been little or no effort to reduce the mesqa width because larger mesqas could store more water. This means that the mesqa width not only reflects the exact technical need for conveyance of water (which the improved mesqas reflect), but also the storage needs. Further, this means that if continuous flow was to be implemented without improvements in mesqas, the mesqa width would be narrower. Mesqa number 28 at Herz-Numaniya serves as an example of this.3 The area used for raised lined mesqas is reduced by around 45 percent following the shift to the DSC package.

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Land savings are expressed in relative terms in the table below. Table 7.2: Measured Savings in Land Following Improvement of Mesqas Type of mesqa

Total area saved, in feddans

Pipeline Mesqa Raised Lined Mesqa

3.55 4.65

Total area saved, in percentages

Average savings, in feddans per 1000 meter mesqa

N

2.10 1.15

1.31 fedd. 0.49 fedd.

N=3 N = 16

Table 7.2 shows three ways to express the land savings following the shift to DSC: 1. The total area served shows that at the 19 surveyed mesqas a total of around eight feddans were saved by the shift to DSC. The savings resulting from pipelines are larger than those gained from raised lined mesqas, taking into account the sample size. This is due to the larger savings per mesqa, and the fact that the surveyed pipelines were considerably longer than the raised lined mesqas. The pipelines averaged 903 m while the length of raised lined mesqas averaged of 589 m. Furthermore, one of the pipeline mesqas (mesqa number 19 at Beni Ibeid) encompassed 450 m of tertiary canal, which was transformed into a pipeline mesqa. 2. The savings in terms of percentage of total area served by the mesqas show that those following the shift to DSC are relatively small compared to the entire area served by mesqas. 3. The average saving per 1000 m mesqa is around 1.3 feddans for pipelines and a half feddan for raised lined mesqas. Although the land saving appears to be small in relationship to the total area served by the mesqas, it amounts to substantial savings if applied nation-wide. The total cultivated area of the old lands is estimated to be 5.4 million feddans (World Bank, 1993a:30). If raised line mesqas were installed on all this land the total saving would be approximately 62,000 feddans (26,000 ha). If pipelines were installed it would yield a land saving of approximately 113,000 feddans (48,000 ha). A number of conclusions can be drawn from these data: (i) Mesqa improvements do save land, (ii) land savings resulting from pipelines are approximately 2.7 times greater than for raised lined mesqas, and (iii) the land savings are relatively small compared to the total area served, but amount to significant savings if applied nation-wide.

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DISCUSSION How do the farmers perceive the land savings? The data reveal that the overwhelming majority (81 percent) of the respondents express that the improved mesqas took less (48 percent) or much less (33 percent) land, compared to their old mesqa. Only some 3 percent reported that the new mesqas took up more land.4 These were all farmers located at mesqa number 43 at Beni Ibeid command area who, prior to the shift to DSC, had irrigated through direct outlets. At this mesqa, six direct outlets were combined into one pipeline mesqa, a Ganabya mesqa, running parallel to the canal. Because the mesqa improvement was followed by road improvements along the canal, these farmers correctly reported that the improved mesqa takes up more land than the old one. This is probably the case whenever direct outlets are combined into mesqas. Two related questions are thought to be important: (i) How is the saved land distributed? and (ii) Is the saved land put to agricultural use? Firstly, the land saved by mesqa improvements is seen as the property of the farmers adjacent to the mesqa. Eighty-seven percent of the respondents stated that the land saved had been returned to these farmers. The commonly used field layout is to have narrow strips of land (10-20 m wide) placed perpendicular to the mesqa, which allows most farmers direct access to the mesqa. This suggests that each field receives approximately 25 to 50 m2 extra land where a pipeline mesqa is introduced, and about 10 to 20 m2 extra land where a raised lined mesqa is implemented. 5 Secondly, the data show that the saved land either was put to ‘agricultural use’ (39 percent) or to ‘improvement in roads’ (53 percent). Road improvements usually consist of replacing the old footpath with a road 1– 2 meters wide, which makes improved access to the fields possible for different types of farming equipment and vehicles involved in the trucking and marketing of farm products. With ongoing mechanization of Egyptian agriculture, road improvements are thought to be important by the farmers. Approximately 80 percent of the respondents at mesqas where roads were improved stated that the improvements were ‘very useful.’ One could argue that the real effect of the land savings depends on what the land is used for afterwards. Generally, one feddan of land held a price of 35,000 to 40,000 Le. in 1992.6 In this respect, if the land was sold it could make a substantial contribution to reducing the cost of the mesqa improvements. Land, however, is rarely sold in Egypt, and the land savings following the shift to DSC are so fragmented that the sale of such small parcels is unlikely. It is possible, however, to estimate the income from one feddan of saved land over the 30-year period which is the technical life of the mesqa

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system. The average net return per feddan is calculated to be 1,296 Le per year (Devres Inc., 1993:37). If one does not include inflation and increases in the value of crop production, the net income from one feddan of land, over 30 years, amounts to 38,800 Le. This is a sizable amount of money in the Egyptian context. Finally, it should be mentioned that there is further potential for land savings associated with the pipeline technology. Using gated pipes (a cheap, lightweight, flexible plastic tube, 10–30 cm in diameter equipped with small gates which connect to the alfalfa valve by a hydrant) between the alfalfa valves and the fields makes it possible to eradicate the marwas. While the land savings associated with this type of improvement are rather small, it certainly makes for more efficient use of the land. This is also the case with pipeline mesqas which, by improving field layout and access, are much less sensitive to topography than the marwa gravity systems.7 Such marwa improvements, however, are not planned to be undertaken by IIP. CONCLUSION This chapter has analyzed land savings following the shift to DSC. The data show that for pipeline mesqas, the savings in land compared to the before situation were 100 percent and for raised lined mesqas, 44 percent. In relative terms, it was shown that the savings represented a saving of 2.1 percent for pipelines in relation to the area served by the mesqas, and 1.15 percent for raised lined mesqas. Furthermore, the land savings were expressed as savings per 1000 m mesqa, and it was shown that pipeline mesqas represented savings of 1.31 feddan per 1000 m, while the savings for raised lined mesqas were found to be 0.49 feddan per 1000 m. Applied to all of the old lands in Egypt, the savings resulting from implementing improved mesqas would range between 62,000 and 113,000 feddans (26,000 to 48,000 ha), depending on the choice of either raised lined and pipeline mesqas. In other words, significant savings would be achieved if the mesqa improvements were extended to all the old lands of Egypt. Furthermore, a rough figure of increased income resulting from agricultural production on the saved land was made and found to be approximately 39,000 Le/feddan over 30 years. In light of these findings, it was concluded that: (i) mesqa improvements do save land, (ii) land savings resulting from pipelines are approximately 2.7 times greater than for raised lined mesqas, and (iii) land savings are relatively small compared to the total area served, although they do add up to sizable savings when applied across the country. These findings lead to the rejection of the second hypothesis, (H2): that the DSC technological package does not save land.

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A number of further issues were analyzed. How was the saved land distributed, and what was it used for? It was pointed out that the land was the property of individual farmers adjacent to the mesqa, and that the saved land was returned to them. It was shown, however, that only approximately 40 percent of the saved land went toward agricultural production. The remaining part of it was used for improvements in access roads to the fields, facilitating the task of transport of equipment and products. What can be learned about land savings in relation to the two main purposes of this study? Where the first is concerned, land savings were documented and analyzed, resulting in the findings set out above. This led to the rejection of hypothesis H2. Concerning the second issue – the possibility for a demand-driven spread of the technology – positive incentives were identified. They include the following: (i) there are real savings of land, (ii) all farmers, except those previously using direct outlets, receive a share of the saved land, which potentially increases crop production, and (iii) when saved land, or some of it, is used for road improvements, the overwhelming majority of the farmers say that these improvements are very useful to them. The greatest incentives are received by farmers at pipeline mesqas, and to a lesser extent, by farmers at raised lined mesqas. Farmers who previously irrigated from direct outlets, which occurs only in Beni Ibeid command area, stand to loose a little land by the shift to the ganabya mesqas (which are all pipelines). Notes 1 The IIP Water Management Monitoring and Evaluation Program find land savings of 25 percent for raised lined mesqas and savings of 100 percent for pipelines (IIP, 1993d:8). It is, however, not possible to discuss the discrepancies in the findings related to raised lined mesqas because the authors do not specify the way the measurements were undertaken. 2 Approximately 60 m2 of land is occupied by the sump, tank and pump stands of the pipeline mesqas. 3 This mesqa is a raised mesqa, with berms of heavy clay soil. Like the concrete raised lined mesqas, it uses single point lift at the head of the mesqa. This mesqa has approximately the same cross section as the raised lined mesqas designed by IIP engineers. 4 This finding has no significant correlation with the type of mesqa being implemented, either raised lined or pipeline. 5 The savings are 5.5 m2 per running meter of pipeline and 2.1 m2 per running meter of raised lined mesqa. This figure has to be divided by two because the right- and left-bank fields equally divide the saved land. 6 Based on the questionnaire data. The general belief among IAS staff is that this price estimate is too low, and the actual selling price in 1992 would more likely be between 40,000 and 45,000 Le per feddan irrigated land. 7 Discussion with Irrigation Engineer, James Schoof, Cairo (5 May 1992).

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chapt er 8 Increasing Farm Income

This chapter provides an analysis of the extent to which the shift to DSC leads to increased monetary income (benefit) to the farmers. As stated in Chapter 3, the level of monetary gains to be derived from the DSC package is viewed as crucial to the farmers’ decision to adopt or reject a given technology. The application of the farmer perspective implies that a number of other equally important issues related to the economic/financial implications of the IIP program and DSC package are not dealt with. They are: 1. The possible benefit of the DSC technology to Egyptian society. For example, the macroeconomic effects of increased agricultural productivity, savings in agricultural water usage and land usage etc. 2. The issue of ‘cost sharing’ or ‘cost recovery’. Cost sharing implies a political decision process in which the cost of the improvement of the irrigation system is allocated to different categories of users of the Nile water, for example the farmers. The issue will only be dealt with to the extent that it has direct implications for the farm level monetary incomes.1 3. The effectiveness, or overall profitability, of the IIP project. 2 It should be remembered that this study is not an evaluation of the project in terms of overall financial and economic benefits. A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS Focusing on the farm level, monetary benefits have implications for the tools that can best be used in the analysis. Well-known measures derived from investment theory, such as internal rate of return (IRR) and cost/ benefit ratio are not applicable, because they deal primarily with issues of total project cost/benefit.3 Instead, an accounting approach is applied here. Essentially, this implies adding up the costs and incomes associated

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with the shift to DSC. The result is expressed as potential net returns to the farmers. It is found beneficial to conduct the analysis in terms of a farmers’ decision of selecting between two alternatives: (i) either to keep the system as it is, or (ii) to adapt the DSC package.4 A choice between the alternatives implies an analysis of the differences between them. As is the normal convention in this type of analysis, only factors that differ among the alternatives are taken into consideration. For example, the purchase prices of fuel or fertilizer and the amount of livestock owned by the household are considered to be the same under both alternatives and, therefore, are not included in the analysis. From a theoretical standpoint, the analysis is structured according to the ‘alternative surplus’ approach to cost and incomes associated with selection between alternatives.5 Three concerns are applied for the analyses carried out in this chapter: (i) The focus is the monetary benefit to the farmer. As defined in Chapter 3, these gains are thought to encompass the totality of the costs and income associated with the shift to DSC. This, however, does not mean that the possible change in income resulting from the DSC system has to necessarily appear as cash in the hands of the farmers. For example, the budgeting procedure of the WUAs entails small savings for the future replacement of pumps and maintenance of the mesqa system. These savings, however, are not paid to the farmers, but will eventually be used to cover future costs. (ii) A focus on the medium-term perspective, by which is meant five to ten years. This represents a shift from the time perspective applied in the analysis of the water control issue. However, the shift is necessitated by the fact that changes in crop yields and cropping patterns simply do not occur within just a few years. By applying a medium-term perspective, it is possible to include estimates of increases in crop yield and changes in cropping patterns in the analysis. Realizing that the sample data only provide information on the short-term costs and benefits, calculations have been done to transform these data into mediumterm data. The medium-term focus is basically used in the summarization tables. It does not, however, preclude a discussion of the actual estimated short-term benefits, which are thought to be of utmost importance for the farmers’ decision about whether to adopt the technology. The mediumterm focus further has the advantage that the ‘start-up’ problems associated with the technology and the way it is implemented can be left out of the analysis, (iii) ‘going concern’ is assumed.6 This means that it is assumed that the farmers are to keep their land and use it for agricultural production in the medium-term. Without this assumption, the alternatives to choose between might not be ‘DSC or not’ but ‘not DSC’ compared to ‘selling the land, the pump and starting a small business in Cairo.’

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This chapter seeks to answer the following question, ‘What is the incremental benefit for the individual farmer of shifting to DSC?’ The inquiry is guided by the testing of the following hypotheses: H3: The DSC technological package does not increase farm income. H4: The DSC technological package requires more capital investment in pumps than the technology used before the shift to DSC. H5: Pump owners gain more from the shift to the DSC technological package than non-pump owners. H6: Farmers under improvement contracts encompassing primarily large mesqas will pay less for improvements than farmers under contracts encompassing primarily smaller mesqas. H3 is the overall hypothesis to be tested. H4 pinpoints one factor which is of special importance for the adoption or rejection of hypothesis H3. H5 and H6 are included for analysis, in order to take into account the socioeconomic differences among farmers, especially in terms of their previous level of investment. The factors selected for analysis in this chapter are highlighted in Table 8.1. Table 8.1: Factors Selected for Analysis Cost saving

Cost of pumping Cost of labor to irrigate Cost of maintenance Pumps Mesqas Capital costs Pumps Mesqas

Income

Yield increases Changes in cropping pattern

Each factor will be analyzed highlighting the ‘before-after’ scenario. Contrary to the format of the water control chapter, no bivariate analysis is undertaken because it is of little relevance to these analyses. The chapter is structured as follows. First, two small sections concerning the use of supplementary data sources and data validity are included. Secondly, the survey findings as they relate to each of the factors in Table 8.1 are presented. A specific monetary value is assigned to each of the cost and income factors for use in the further analyses. At points this becomes a rather technical endeavour, but it is necessary in order to

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establish a sound monetary aspect of combined in order different categories issues.

foundation on which conclusions concerning the the DSC package can be drawn. Thirdly, evidence is to establish an estimate of the potential benefits for of farmers following the shift to DSC, and other

A Note on the Use of Supplementary Data Sources Most of the data presented in the following analyses are drawn from the investigator’s field survey. These include data from the questionnaire, from WUA financial records, from interviews with key informants – both in technical and administrative positions – and from IAS field level workers. Information from a number of other studies has also been included to supplement the survey data: (i) to add validity to the survey findings by relating these to other findings, and (ii) to be able to obtain the specific knowledge of irrigation techniques and practices which is needed in order to be able to assign monetary values to the items listed in Table 8.1. The most important studies used for these purposes are briefly described below. The IIP Socioeconomic Study (dated August 1990). This study is an indepth baseline survey based on 1044 farm interviews along the Serry Canal Command in the el Minya Governorate. The Herz–Numaniya and Beni Ibeid canal commands are located within the area it surveys. It provides valuable descriptions and analyses of the functioning of the irrigation system, profiles of farms and water users, farm enterprise budgets and the like, prior to the implementation of DSC. This covers issues which had not been dealt with intensively in any other previous studies. This study serves as a reference for the before data, to the findings of the investigators field survey (IIP, 1990d). The Devres Inc. study (dated November 1993), is a study commissioned by USAID for an independent Evaluation of the Irrigation Improvement Project Component of the Irrigation Management Systems Project.7 The study focuses on the overall project efficiency, but also includes much valuable information on economic and financial aspects of the IIP project (Devres Inc., 1993). The IIP 1992–1993 Monitoring and Evaluation Findings (dated February 1994). This study presents data and findings resulting from the IIP monitoring and evaluation program. This also provides a basis on which to evaluate the findings of the field survey. On the more technical/engineering aspects of the DSC technological package, the Clay study (dated 15 August 1993) – Demonstration Mesqas Upper Egypt. – which was carried out by the Consulting Engineer for Upper Egypt, Donald E. Clay, has been used. This is a technical evaluation of the improved mesqa systems and it focuses on the scope of further

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optimization of the efficiency of these systems. It includes actual measurements of pump efficiencies and financial data concerning a number of the mesqas included in the field survey (IIP, 1993a). The Planning, Design and Operation of On-farm System (draft copy dated 1991) written by IAS Engineer Atef el-Kashef. The study provides a detailed description of the engineering aspects of the design of the DSC technology. The design criteria, soil and water information, mesqa irrigation scheduling and water use efficiencies are dealt with. This study has provided useful information on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the technology. A Note on the Validity of the Data As spelled out earlier, our findings are based on the first two years of experience with the DSC technology. This suggests that changes in variables such as crop yields, cropping patterns, and the cost of mesqa and pump maintenance are only preliminary. The utmost care has been taken to mitigate this problem; nevertheless, the figures presented in this chapter should be read only as crude estimates. A second point to note is that information on farmers’ costs and income should be treated with caution because this is frequently, to them, highly sensitive data. For example, the field agents in Herz–Numaniya believed that the cost of hiring a pump before DSC was undereported by some farmers because they thought that if this research proves that the improvements lead to sizable cost reductions, farmers might be taxed more, or in other ways made to pay more for the improvements of the system. 8 Thirdly, as is the normal practice, data are presented as mean values. It should be noted, however, that most of the data have high standard deviations. For example, the reported cost of one irrigation of berseem, using ones own pump before DSC, provided a mean value of 4.2 with a standard deviation of 2.8, expressing a range form zero Le to 10 Le. It is not thought, however, that this is due to inaccurate reporting or inadequacies in the questionnaire. This reflects rather the diversity in local circumstances or the environment in which the sample farmers operate. Finally the most conservative figures in estimating the costs and benefits were used. As a consequence, some of the conclusions reached on the basis of the material are stated in rather vague terms or gross estimates. PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS The purpose of this section is to report and discuss the findings of the survey and to assign monetary values to the cost and income items which

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make up the analysis of the DSC package’s impact on the farm economy. The outcome of the discussion of each item is reported in two ways; both as a percentage difference between the before and after situation and as items specific value. Each of these values will be used in the analyses to follow. Cost of Pumping The cost of pumping, as reported by the respondents, is found to depend on whether the pumping is done with the farmer’s own pump, a hired pump, or the WUA pump. From a technical point of view, the cost of pumping depends on such issues as the time the pump is operated, the cost of fuel and oil, the age and the state of maintenance of the pump. However, when reporting cost of pumping, both before and after DSC, the farmers use the concept of ‘one irrigation,’ as the unit used to calculate payment for irrigation.9 What is ‘one irrigation’? One irrigation is an operational term used by the farmers, but which lacks precision. One irrigation depends on the holding capacity of the soil and the rooting depth of the crops. A field can be thought of as a reservoir that is filled by the irrigator and then slowly emptied by the plants. Like any reservoir, it can only hold a certain amount of water and no more. If too much water is applied, the reservoir overflows and the water is lost to the drain. In the soil, water can be lost either by surface run-off or by percolation down into the soil beyond the root of the crop, a process called deep percolation (Kay, 1989:15). Given the heavy clay soils in most of the surveyed areas, one irrigation for engineers and irrigation personnel is the equivalent of the application of a water depth of approximately 10 cm in a field.10 The measure ‘one Irrigation’, then, is a spatial measure which is appropriate to use when crops have approximately the same rooting depth. Because one irrigation should be a fixed amount of water, given the specific soil and water requirement of the crop, changing irrigation needs are thus satisfied by changing the frequency of the irrigations. If more water is needed for example during the summer months, the number of irrigations is increased. But a water depth of 10 cm is difficult for the farmer to monitor in the absence of well-established methods for judging soil water content. The farmers also lack mechanical devices, such as tensiometers, to provide exact figures for the soil water deficit. 11 Furthermore, farmers have only crude ideas about such measurements as the stream size or discharge of their pumps. This means that ‘one irrigation’

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is a measure which not only reflects the actual crop water requirements, but also the cultural practice of irrigation, field topography and other factors.12 Below, the irrigation needs of one crop of sugarcane are discussed, in order to highlight the ambiguity of the term ‘one irrigation.’ The farmers report an average of 16 irrigations for growing a crop of sugar cane to maturity. Using the sugar cane crop water requirement figures for middle Egypt, means that 170.68 cm/year is needed for evapo-transpiration (IIP, 1991b: Appendix V). If one adds 0.1 cm/day for percolation loss and 10 percent for run-off losses,13 the result is a total of 227.35 cm/year (excluding evaporation loss). Other calculations support a crop water requirement for sugar cane in Middle Egypt of 256 cm/year.14 So, if one irrigation is equivalent to 10 cm water depth, this indicates around 23– 25 irrigations per year. This is considerably more irrigations than reported by the farmers. If, on the other hand, the total water requirement is to be satisfied with only 16 irrigations, this means the actual irrigation depth is not 10 cm, but somewhere between 14 cm and 16 cm. This little example shows, how loosely the term ‘one irrigation’ is defined by actual practices. Generally, however, the cropping pattern used in the surveyed areas needs more irrigations than sugar. The average number of irrigations to be applied on a soil per year in order to grow one, two or three crops, including wetting the fields for land preparation, is estimated to lie between 20 and 24 (IIP, 1991b:2/15).15 In the further calculations, the number of 22 irrigations will be used, in cases where no reported numbers of irrigations are present. Reported cost of pumping The average cost of pumping is depicted in Table 8.2. No cases of pumping by sakia were reported. Table 8.2: Reported Cost of Pumping, Berseem, in Le, 1992

Cost One irrigation/feddan Yearly for an average size farm*

Before DSC Own Pump Hired Pump (N=65) (N=69) 4.8 343.2

After DSC WUA pump (N=137)

9.4 672.1

6 429.0

* Assuming 22 irrigations and an average farm size of 3.25 feddan

Table 8.2 shows that the cost of pumping differs vastly among the three types of pumping. Compared to the cost of using a hired pump, the use

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of a WUA pump results in a 36 percent decrease in cost. Calculated on a yearly basis for an average size farm, the cost reduction amounts to 243 Le. Note the term ‘average size farm’ which is equivalent to 3.25 feddans.16 When relevant, the data are presented in this unit, because it is thought to provide a more accurate comprehension of the monetary impact on the farm economy than a calculation per feddan would do. Contrasted with the cost reported by farmers who own pumps, WUA pumping is more expensive. However, the cost figures as reported are difficult to compare directly because they include different types of costs. Owners of pumps typically only report the recurrent cost (for fuel and oil), while the costs of repairs, depreciation and capital costs are not reported. Hence the relatively low reported cost associated with own pump. The cost of hiring a pump includes not only operating cost, but also costs of maintenance, depreciation and capital costs. It is generally believed that the cost of hiring farm equipment reflects the true cost of this equipment.17 This means that the cost of irrigation by hired pump much more accurately reflects the actual cost of pumping. In the following, this cost is used as the ‘before DSC’ pump cost. A closer look at the fees paid for hiring a pump reveals that the rental fees paid were either seven Le/feddan (13 percent), eight Le/feddan (20.3 percent), nine Le/feddan (30.4 percent) 10 Le/feddan (10.1 percent) or 12 Le/feddan (11.6 percent). Unfortunately, these data do not provide an adequate answer to why different fees are paid. It is hypothesized that the price difference reflects the distance between the house of the pump owner and field to be irrigated. Longer transport time of the pump means that less usage of the pump can be made during one day, and in addition means more working hours for the family member who follows the pump from the house to the field. Furthermore, differences in the cost of hiring a pump might be attributable to kinship. In other words, does one pay the same rent to one’s uncle as to a non-family member? Another factor is the number of pumps on a mesqa available for rent. When there are few pumps and a high demand for them, the cost of rental is higher. The sample farmers were asked to estimate the cost of irrigation after DSC. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents reported that it was higher; 59 percent reported the cost to be lower. This finding is explained by the breakdown of the cost in either ‘own’ or ‘hired’ pump depicted in Table 8.2 above. As shown in Table 8.3 below, the WUA cost includes expenses for fuel, oil, salaries of pump operator and guard, repairs, mesqa and pump maintenance, and a reserve fund for pump replacement. This cost does not include installments on the bank loan for purchasing the first WUA pump(s).

0.5 8.3

2.75 45.8

0.5 8.3

3.75 62.5

1.00 16.7

2.25 37.5

1.00 16.7

1.25 20.8

Replacement

0.25 4.2

Emergency Equipment Rental Replacement

M & R funds

0.5 8.3

Mesqa Maint.

Maintenance

0.5 8.3

Pump Repair

WUA fee to irrigate one feddan = 6 Le

1.00 16.7

0.5 8.3

Pump Guard

Personnel

Pump Operator

Operating budget

Fuel and Oil

2.25 37.5

Oil

Mesqa Maintenance & Replacement Funds

Source: IIP (1993b): Monitoring and Evaluation of WUA Budgets for Activated WUAs in the Irrigation Improvement Project, by E. F. Shinn (Cairo, Egypt) p. 4.

Le Percentage

Le Percentage

Le Percentage

Fuel

Mesqa Operating Expenses

Table 8.3: Breakdown of WUA Irrigation Fee for One Irrigation as Used by Most Activated WUAs in Herz-Numaniya, Beni Ibeid and Qiman el Arus

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Note that these cost estimates are in 1992 prices. Following the national policy of price liberalization and the removal of subsidies on fuel, prices are rising. Between 1991 and 1992 the price for diesel fuel rose from Le .30 to Le .40 per liter which is a 33 percent increase (IIP, 1994a:40). The WUA budget is thought to provide a picture of the relative costs associated with pumping, also for privately owned pumps. This budget was established on the basis of actual measurements and practical experience prior to the implementation of the improved mesqa systems and, as such, it is a valuable statement about the cost disbursement to operate a pump. In summary, concerning pumping costs it has been found that the shift to single point lift decreases the pumping cost per feddan approximately 36 percent compared to the before situation, from 9.4 Le/feddan to 6 Le/ feddan. Compared to the Devres Inc. study, this is a conservative figure. They estimate a decrease in pumping cost of 50 percent following the shift to DSC (Devres Inc., 1993:35). Cost of Labor Time to Irrigate Before the shift to DSC, irrigation was performed by using mobile pumping sets.18 On the day of irrigation, each farmer transported the pump from his house in the village to the field site, set the pump on a level surface and connected the intake pipe. After irrigating, he disconnected the pipe and transported the pump back to his house. Following the shift to the DSC, the farmer simply approaches the pump operator the day before he wants to irrigate. He pays the irrigation fee, and the pump operator informs the farmer of the actual time when water pumping to his field will start. Calculations of the savings in labor time to irrigate are shown below. The data in Table 8.4 show that the average time to irrigate one feddan of various crops is reduced by approximately 50 percent using the WUA pumping plants.19 Two components make up the total time savings. They are: (i) the time to transport and position the pump and (ii) the improved pumping efficiency. On average, the time used to transport and set up the pump was reported to be 2 hours and 40 minutes, with a range of two to three hours. The time saved by improved efficiency of pumping can be calculated by excluding the time to transport and position the pump from the analysis. This leads to the finding that improved pumping efficiency accounts for a 27 percent reduction in the labor time to irrigate. 20 This figure seems plausible for several reasons: (i) The survey data show that the average age of farmer-owned pumps is approximately seven years, with a range from two to 25 years. The size of the pumps was, on

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Table 8.4 : Estimated Time Usage to Irrigate One Feddan of Various Crops, Before and After DSC, Decrease in Time Usage in Percentages and Number of Irrigations Needed by One Crop Before DSC Average time usage Berseem Wheat Cotton Maize Sugar Cane

7 6 6 6 7

h h h h h

20 30 10 05

min min min min

After DSC Average time usage

Savings in time usage

2 2 3 2 3

4 3 3 3 3

h h h h h

45 40 10 35 10

min min min min min

h h h h h

15 40 20 35 55

min min min min min

Decrease No. in of irr. time usage one crop 61% 42% 51% 42% 55%

10 6 10 9 16

Note: Before data include an average of 2 h 40 minutes per irrigation for transport and positioning the pump.

average, 5.5 horsepower (hp), with a range of two to 15 hp. When new, a 5.5 hp pump is expected to discharge 30 liters per second (l/sec). Knowing that pump performance decreases with usage (if not properly maintained), it is expected that a number of the pumps have difficulty in providing a flow stream of 30 l/sec.,21 (ii) pumps might not be adequately operated. While instructing the pump operators to run the WUA pumps, it was found that a general misconception existed as to the number of revolutions per minute (rpm) adequate for pump operation. Farmers would operate their pumps at 1300 to 1500 rpm instead of the 1800 rpm specified by the manufacturer because they believed that the high rpm level would damage the pump.22 This indicates that when using their own pumps farmers probably operated the pumps at the lower rpm level, thereby providing a lower than potential discharge, and (iii) such factors as the layout of the pumping system, the tank, and the size of intake hoses, have a marked effect on the total dynamic head (TDH) against which the pumping takes place.23 The less head and friction in the system, the better delivery efficiency. Although there is room for further improvements in the WUA pump systems, they have been optimized for efficient water delivery, which implies the least possible TDH is designed into the systems. There is no doubt that farmers’ pumps have been operated in a less efficient environment with less appreciation or knowledge of these engineering requirements. 24 These arguments validate the finding that the straight pumping time of one irrigation is higher for privately owned pumps than for the WUA pumps. Below, the data from Table 8.4 are recalculated in order to establish a more precise estimate of the time savings and thus, the cost aspect of labor time savings to irrigation.25

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Table 8.5: Calculated Time Savings in Hours and Le per feddan/year, and in Weeks for an Average Size Farm, for Selected Cropping Patterns * Crop Winter/summer

Yearly savings in hours/feddan

Yearly savings Yearly savings in weeks in Le/feddan** /avg. size farm ***

Berseem/Cotton Berseem/Maize

76 75

44.1 43.5

6.0 6.0

Wheat/Cotton Wheat/Maize

55 54

31.9 31.3

4.5 4.5

Sugar Cane (perennial crop)

63

36.5

5.0

* Based on the data shown in Table 8.4 ** Based on a hourly wage of 0.58 Le for hired farm labor *** One week is set to 40 working hours, avg. size farm = 3.25 feddans

Data in Table 8.5 show that the savings of labor time for irrigating are substantial when viewed on a yearly basis. Between 54 and 76 hours are saved yearly per feddan, which translates into savings of between four and a half and six weeks on a yearly basis for an average size farm. This is a substantial reduction in the time an individual farmer uses to irrigate. Assuming that the farmer was to hire a person to cover the labor use in pumping and irrigating, the reduction amounts to a reduced labor cost of between 31 and 44 Le/feddan or 101 to 143 Le yearly for an average size farm.26 For the purpose of the analyses to be carried out later in this chapter, the average figure of 37 Le/year/feddan will be used as the cost value of the saved labor time. These estimates are thought to be conservative, because the numbers for irrigations used in this calculation are the same as the ones in Table 8.4, and as such lower than 22 which is the average number of irrigations per feddan per year for Egypt. In summary, labor time for irrigation has been reduced by around 50 percent following the shift to DSC. When calculated on a yearly basis, this adds up to savings of between four and a half to six working weeks for an average size farm. The savings in monetary terms, assuming that the farmer used hired labor to do the work, were found on average to be 37 Le/feddan, which translates into average savings of 122 Le/year for an average size farm. Cost of Maintenance Maintenance cost relates both to pumps and mesqas. Pump maintenance costs, both before and after DSC, depend primarily on the age of the

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pumps used and their state of maintenance. Mesqa maintenance cost before DSC depends on the cross section of the mesqa, the degree of vegetative growth, the local labor cost and the rental rates for a tractor with a back hoe attachment. After DSC, it depends on the degree to which mud is cleaned out of the mesqas (raised lined mesqas), thereby preventing vegetative growth in the bottom of the mesqa, and on the maintenance of the earthwork by keeping an even spread of grass on it and removing trees in the vicinity of the mesqa to prevent roots from breaking the J-sections. Pump maintenance cost Sample farmers did not have precise knowledge of the maintenance costs of their pumps.27 Lacking the ability to read and write, and not being trained in accounting, they reported crude figures. Different pieces of data can be combined to estimate the yearly pump maintenance cost. Before DSC the pump owners report an average expense of 155 Le/year for repairs ranging from zero to 600 Le. This figure, unfortunately, does not provide information about the number of feddans the pump has served. If the costs of pump maintenance and repairs is assumed to be 8.3 percent of pump cost, as assumed in the WUA budgets, this means that Le 155 is equal to 8.3 percent of total income = 1867 Le, which makes the average number of feddans served by one pump during a year about 200.28 This suggests a maintenance and repair cost of about 0.77 Le/feddan/year. In the WUA budget, 0.55 Le/feddan is allocated for pump repair. This suggests that the difference in pump maintenance costs between a privately owned pump and a WUA pump is (0.77–0.55) = 0.22 Le/feddan. This translates into yearly savings of 15.73 Le/year/average size farm. 29 These are the figures that will be used throughout the further calculations. Note that these savings can only be incurred by farmers owning a pump before DSC. Mesqa maintenance cost Mesqa cleaning and maintenance is difficult to specify in general terms. Before DSC, mesqa cleaning and maintenance was conducted by a combination of hired labor, farmers’ own labor and mechanical cleaning by the local cooperatives paid for by the farmers. The practice followed at each mesqa varied widely.30 The data in table 8.6 shows that the total cost of mesqa cleaning has decreased from approximately 22 Le/feddan/year to 1 Le/feddan/year following the shift to DSC.31 The estimated cost after DSC does not, however, provide a true picture of the cost in the after situation, mainly because of the short time span between implementation of the mesqa and

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Table 8.6: Estimated Yearly Cost of Mesqa Cleaning per Feddan, Before and After DSC, in Le Before DSC Mechanical Labor Total Cleaning (N= 65) (N=81) Cost

16.68

5.17

21.85

After DSC Devres Inc. Mechanical Labor Total estimate * Cleaning (N=12) (N=53) 0.48

0.4

0.88

13

* Devres Inc. (1993): Evaluation of the Irrigation Improvement Project Component of the Irrigation Management Systems Project by C. Morgelard, D. Haslem, P. Hekmat, J. Layton, K. Swanberg, T. Weaver and F. Shahin (Devres Inc., Washington, D.C.) p. 35.

the survey. Inevitably, the cost of mesqa maintenance will increase with the age of the mesqa system.32 The final column in Table 8.6, therefore, presents an estimate of the cost in the medium term drawn from the Devres Inc. study. Their estimated cost is 13 Le/feddan/year. Note that these data only apply to raised lined mesqas. It is believed among engineers that the maintenance cost will be less at buried pipeline mesqas than with raised lined mesqas (IIP, 1993a:2).33 From the different estimates presented above, it is decided to use the cost figure of 21.8 Le/feddan as the before DSC cost, and the Devres Inc. estimate of 13 Le/feddan as the cost after DSC. This leads to yearly saving of 8.85 Le/feddan, or a decrease of mesqa maintenance cost of 41 percent. For an average size farm this figure translates into a saving of 29 Le/year/average size farm. In summary, it is estimated that the savings in maintenance cost incurred by the pump owners is 29 percent. For an average size farm, this would amount to approximately 16 Le per year. Concerning the issue of mesqa maintenance cost, a 41 percent reduction was found, an average decrease of 29 Le/year/average size farm. Capital Cost The changes in capital cost following the shift to DSC are analyzed below. First in relationship to pumps, and following that to the mesqa systems. Again, only crude calculations can be made due to a lack of long-term operational experiences. Pumps It is useful to deal with the issue of the capital cost of pumps from two perspectives: (i) from the point of view of the farming community at large, and (ii) from the point of view of the individual pump owner. The

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first analysis seeks to quantify the changes in total pumping capacity in the command areas before and after the shift to DSC. 34 In monetary terms, this issue focuses on the total amount of financial resources invested in pumps for the before and after situations. The second analysis specifies the capital cost of pumps incurred by pump owners. Analysis of total pump capacity before and after DSC In the situation before DSC, the pump capacity reflects not only specific pumping needs, but also a sizable degree of slack. The term ‘slack’ generally refers to the presence of resources over and above those required to carry out a given task.35 Thus, slack is expensive and can be regarded as an indicator of inefficiency (Robey, 1986:194). But slack has its merits; it reduces conflict potential, reduces coordination and scheduling needs and increases flexibility associated with the utilization of the resource. But what is the total pumping capacity? No studies have shown precisely how many pumps (and of what size) are present among the farmers at each of the surveyed mesqas. A crude estimate of the total amount of pumps can, however, be made. The total area commanded by the surveyed mesqas is 721 feddans. Dividing this by the 3.25 feddans which is the average farm size results in a figure of 222 farmers. The survey shows that on average 51 percent of the sample farmers own pumps with an average size of 5.5 hp. Thus, it can be estimated that the total pump ownership before DSC is 113 pumps (of 5.5 hp. each). The total number of pumps installed in the same area after DSC improvemens is 24 pumps of 7.7 hp.36 In other words, there are considerably fewer, but larger, pump units in operation under DSC, compared to the situation before. What are the costs of these pumps? The survey data yield information concerning the age and selling cost of the privately owned pumps. It would be wrong, however, to compare the cost of new, high quality, WUA pumps with old, low-quality pumps. For the calculations though, the installed base of an old pump is set at the replacement value for a highquality pump of 5.5 hp.37 It must be taken into account that the WUA pumps are operated more intensively (but maintained better) than the private pumps. Thus, it is assumed that the average technical life of a privately owned pump is 15 years and 10 years for a WUA pump. 38 The price of a 5.5 hp high-quality pump (Deutz) was 4000 Le, and a similar 7.7 hp pump was priced at 5000 Le in 1992.39 This suggests the following total pump capital costs at the surveyed mesqas:40 • Total capital cost, private pumps, before DSC = 452 000 Le • Total capital cost, WUA pumps, after DSC = 120 000 Le

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Although these are a crude estimates, they show that by implementing the DSC technology, the capital cost of the pumps can be reduced drastically. 320 000 Le is a tremendous amount of money in the rural areas of Egypt. More specifically, the amount of capital invested in pumps can be reduced by around 73 percent as a result of the shift to DSC. 41 Three reasons are found to accunt for this reduction in pumping capacity: (i) The shift from rotational system to continuous flow – which is the most important. This has created a completely new situation that allows each pumping unit to be utilized 30 out of 30 days during a month compared to only 10 out of 30 days in the situation before DSC. (ii) The slack associated with the farmer’s wish to excercise water control through private ownership of pumps is reduced.42 Before DSC, owning a pump allowed the farmer to irrigate when he wanted to (when the canals are ‘on’) and in the quantities required. It furthermore, relieved the farmer of the need to coordinate his irrigations with others. Thus, the ownership of a pump was the best possible solution to counteract instability in water flows. This lead to a situation where approximately half of the farmers had invested in a pump. (iii) There are distinct economics of scale associated with the purchase of larger (7.7 hp) pumps used by the WUAs compared to the smaller (5.5 hp) pumps owned by the farmers. As mentioned, the cost of the smaller pump is 4000 Le, while the larger pump costs 5000 Le. This means that, by increasing the cost by only 25 percent, the capacity of the pump is increased 100 percent (from 30 to 60 l/sec). One could then ask why the farmers did not purchase larger pumps prior to DSC. The simple reason is that the capacity of the marwas and the proper handling of the water flow on the fields only allows for a flow stream of about 30 l/sec (IIP, 1991b:3–1).43 This is also the case under the improved mesqas, but here the flow stream of 60 l/ sec is divided by two outlets. So what can be said about the hypothesis H4: that the DSC package requires more capital investment in pumps than the technology used before the shift to DSC? Given the above data, the hypothesis must be rejected. There is, on the contrary, amble evidence that the shift to DSC requires less capital investment in pumps compared to the situation before DSC. Capital cost of pumps: specific calculation The above calculation of capital cost is difficult to fit into the perspective of farmers’ monetary gain, as applied in this chapter, because it is difficult to allocate the cost to individual farmers. Specific calculations according to pumps are made below. What is the price of a high-quality 5.5 hp pump? As seen above, it is 4000 Le, assuming the farmer pays cash, which is not likely. A true figure

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for the pump cost is arrived at by discounting the value over the technical life of the pump. This amounts to an annual payment of 691 Le (15 year loan, interest rate 15.5 percent, four annual payments).44 It should be noted that this repayment situation probably looks different form the perspective of the pump owner. A pump loan is usually provided on a basis of a three to five-year repayment period and not a 15-year period, which is equivalent to the technical life of a pump. To discount the pump capital cost over 15 years, however, is thought to reflect the value of the pump more accurately. The implication of using the 15-year repayment period is that the monetary benefit for the farmers will appear to be less than if they had purchased it over a three to five year repayment period. Farmers consider the pump capital cost as sunk, and as soon as the loan is paid back the pump owners feel that their income is higher than estimated in the above calculations. For the further calculations, however, the 691 Le/year is used as the capital cost of a normal size privately owned pump. But what is the cost then, of a WUA pump? As will be seen in the next paragraph, this price is made a part of the entire mesqa improvement cost, and as such invisible to the farmers. Capital costs: mesqas At the outset, the capital cost of mesqas is easy to deal with. Each mesqa has a construction cost which is to be paid for by the farmers at the mesqa over a certain number of years. However, in reality, the issue is less straightforward. Neither the IIP decision makers nor the Egyptian parliament are of the opinion that the farmers alone should bear all of the costs involved in improving either the main or the mesqa systems. Under the term ‘cost sharing’ it has been debated how much of the operation and rehabilitation cost of the improved system (mesqas and canals) will be paid for by the Egyptian government, and how much by the farmers. It is not the intent to include an in-depth discussion of the cost-sharing issue here.45 However, a brief summary of the reasons behind the debate is presented. There are two main considerations as stated by ISPAN: The first consideration relates to the deteriorating operating condition of the numerous structures which make up the system. It is thought that improved water delivery performance – and therefore improved agricultural productivity – might be achieved by a general program of enhanced repair, replacement of the system’s structural components. However, for years government budget allocations have been restricted, both for regular irrigation system maintenance and for rehabilitation and improvements to structural components .... The second consideration derives from the major changes in financial policies being instituted by the Egyptian Government, particularly toward the

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agricultural sector ... Most of the farm sector’s contributions to government revenues previously came from the government’s resale of commodities on domestic or world markets at higher prices. The new pricing policies leave the Egyptian Government seeking new revenue sources to replace the old mechanisms. These two considerations have brought forth proposals for a program of enhanced spending on irrigation OM&R to improve system performance, together with suggestions that part or all of these expenditures be directly recovered from the agricultural sector (ISPAN, 1992:xix).

The rehabilitation cost of the IIP improvements is approximately USD 450 or 1495 Le per feddan when including both the rehabilitation cost of the main canals and the mesqas. The construction cost of the mesqas alone is USD 312 or 1034 Le per feddan (Devres Inc., 1993:35). By 17 June, 1994 a law was signed by President Hosni Mubarak concerning the cost-sharing issue (A.R.E. Ministry of Irrigation, 1994). Awaiting the final version of the bylaws and the decrees of this law, it is known from an informed source and a draft decree what will be the content of the specific bylaws. Agreement is reached on the following issues. 46 1. The farmers pay the full construction cost of the mesqa and the pump(s) through a 20-year loan, with a one year period of grace and no interest. 2. The total cost of mesqa improvements within an area covered by a single construction contract is calculated and divided by the total number of feddans served in the contract area. 47 Farmers are charged this amount per feddan. 3. In addition to the total cost of mesqa improvements, the farmers pay an additional 10 percent ‘administration fee’, of which 3 percent covers a land tax and the remaining 7 percent, plus the income from cost recovery, goes into a special revolving fund under the MPWWR for irrigation improvements. This fund is administered by a board of directors, including the undersecretary of MPWWR and farmer representatives. This information does not allow a strict ‘Time Value of Money’ calculation, but it is estimated that the annual repayment (repayment and administration cost) for the improved systems is 55 to 65 Le/feddan/year. Because the full construction cost is a ‘no interest’ loan, this amounts to a total repayment of the mesqa system of approximately 15 percent of the original construction cost.48 In comparison, if the farmers were to pay the full cost of the mesqa

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(not including the pump) at normal lending conditions, the cost would be 270 Le/feddan/year49 In other words, the farmers are only expected to pay a fraction of the total mesqa construction and pump costs following the implementation of the mesqa systems. A general principle applied in the cost-sharing debate is that the farmers at no point should pay more for the improvements than 75 percent of the incremental income per feddan resulting from these (Devres Inc., 1993:36). The law applies to all mesqas constructed after 17 June 1994. All mesqas of earlier dates are considered experiments, and the farmers at these do not repay the mesqa cost, but only the pump cost. Note that the cost of the mesqas is calculated as a flat rate for all mesqas under one contract. This means that farmers do not incur a higher cost per feddan by choosing a pipeline mesqa, which is more expensive in terms of construction than a raised lined mesqa. It also suggests that farmers will pay the same fee whether or not the individual mesqas require one or two or perhaps more pumps. So the legislation being developed for the WUAs implies a capital cost to be paid by the farmers for mesqa improvements that ranges from 55–65 Le/feddan/year. The figure of 65 Le/feddan/ year is used in the following calculations. Summarizing the issue of capital cost, the above analysis has shown that a sizable decrease (73 percent) in the capital tied up in pumps is incurred by the shift to DSC. The main reason for this is that continuous flow, less slack and transport time make way for much more efficient use of the pumps. The hypothesis H4 was rejected. The implication, ceteris paribus, is that fewer capital costs are incurred by the farming community, and thus, more money is made available for other agricultural purposes. This might lead to further investment in other types of productivityincreasing capital equipment. Concerning the capital cost of individual pumps, the figure of 691 Le/ year per pump was found. The legislation being developed for the improved mesqa systems is highly concessional. The cost to be paid is approximately 65 Le/feddan/year over 20 years. This covers both the pump(s) and the mesqa construction. Increased Income – Some Considerations The survey data depict the situation for only the first two years of improvements. Change in cropping pattern had not taken place, and yield increases were not significant. As of June 1994, there were no actual measurements providing information as to the increased income resulting from improved yields, or the monetary effect of changes in cropping patterns following the shift to DSC.

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Increase in yields As forcefully pointed out by Grigg (1984:4), ‘crop yields are a function of a great variety of factors, and the importance of one technical change is hard to disentangle from others.’50 However, below an attempt will be made to estimate the monetary effects of the potential yield increases at medium term. The field survey provides different types of useful information on this issue: (i) The farmers were asked to estimate any changes in yields following a shift to the DSC package, if any. For the total sample, an average increase of 13 percent was reported, ranging from zero to 40 percent. For the older mesqas (implemented for 20 months) the average increase was 15 percent. (ii) The bivariate analysis in Chapter 6 (Table 6.10) revealed that the estimated increase in yields was very strongly associated with the adequacy of water supply and the deviations from planned irrigations. This suggests that an adequate and reliable water supply impacts farmers’ estimates of yield increases. This adds validity to the increases reported above. (iii) It should be noted – as spelled out in Chapter 1 – that the average yields for most crops are high in Egypt prior to DSC compared to yields obtained in other countries. Given this fact, it is reasonable to expect that major increases in yields will take more time and more effort to show themselves, simply because it is more difficult to obtain a major increase in yields when the average yields are relatively high before changes are introduced. It is also thought that increases in yields must be preceded by a change from low-yielding to high-yielding seed varieties, and by the fine tuning of the agricultural system to accommodate the introduction of these varieties. However, the average yields vary greatly among specific locations in Egypt (Devres Inc., 1993: Appendix 11 p. 4). The canal commands surveyed in this sample were characterized by a poor water supply situation, which suggests that there is a potential for a relatively rapid increase in yields. Change in cropping pattern Only 3.6 percent of the farmers reported that they had introduced new crops after the shift to DSC (introduction of vegetables), whereas 35 percent of the farmers reported that they expect to introduce new crops within the next five years. In addition to increases in yield, a change in the farmers’ earnings in the short and medium run is likely to come from changes in cropping patterns. The improved water control situation resulting from the DSC package puts farmers in a position to select between a range of high quality crops to grow. As shown in Table 8.7 below, different crops yields different net farm revenue levels. With water control, and with a growing demand

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Table 8.7: Calculated Yearly Revenues per Feddan for Selected Crops, 1992 Crop Sugar Beet Long Berseem Short Berseem Wheat Maize Rice Cotton Sugar Cane Beans Tomatoes Orange Potatoe Sunflower

Gross Farm Revenue

Net Farm Revenue

1020.0 1231.3 590.0 1342.5 1243.4 1501.0 1757.2 3105.2 1247.9 3644.2 2600.0 2872.6 1026.0

487.4 873.1 342.3 782.5 639.5 724.2 850.0 1836.4 735.5 2465.3 1237.3 1181.1 616.3

Source: World Bank (1993a): Arab Republic of Egypt. An Agricultural Strategy for the 1990s: A World Bank Country Study (World Bank, Washington D.C.) Table 15.

for high-quality crops for local consumption and for export, there is a large potential for farmers, if and when the market infrastructure is in place. Using available data Devres Inc. (1993:35–6) concludes that estimated crop yield increases can generate an incremental income of 440 Le per feddan for the project area. They further point out that ‘in addition, there will be some shift in cropping patterns to more profitable crops, but this has not been calculated at this time because it is unknown how this shift will occur given the recent freeing up of commodity markets in Egypt.’ They estimate, however, that ‘with proper crop husbandry and a shift to more profitable cropping patterns, a farmer’s incremental income could increase two-fold to Le 880 per feddan (Devres Inc., 1993:37) In summary, the survey data indicates a trend towards increased yields. The data, however, say nothing about the potential for yield increases. The review of other data sources shows that there is a potential for increases in yields, and that changes in cropping patterns most likely will have an impact on cash returns. For the purpose of the further calculations, the figure of 440 Le will be used as a medium-term income increase attributable to the DSC package. Summary of findings Table 8.8 summarizes the findings resulting from the factor-by-factor analyses conducted above according to percentage differences between the

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Table 8.8: Summarizing of Findings, Before to After, DSC Percentages Difference Changes in Recurrent Cost Cost of pumping Labor time to irrigate

36 % decrease 50 % decrease*

Cost of labor time to irrigate 50 % decrease* Cost of maintenance Pumps 29% decrease Mesqas 41 % decrease

In Monetary Values 9.4 to 6 Le/one irr./feddan 6 h 30 min to 3 h 10 min/ one irrigation 59 to 29 Le/feddan/year 0.77 to 0.55 Le/feddan/year 22 to 13 Le/feddan/year

Changes in Capital Cost Pumps (overall investment) Mesqas

73 % decrease increased cost**

452,000 to 120,000 Le 65 Le/year

Changes in Income Income increased yields

increased**

440 Le/feddan/year

* variations exist according to the specific cropping pattern ** not applicable to before–after scenario

situations before and after DSC and the cost allocated to them. The picture that emerges is that the DSC package leads to sizable decreases in the cost of irrigation. The only factor which has increased after the shift to DSC is the capital cost of the mesqa systems. It is, however, a relatively small sum to be paid each year, because the Egyptian government has decided to subsidize the mesqa construction cost. The farmers, therefore, are only expected to repay approximately 15 percent of the total construction cost. Concerning the changes in income, the estimate at medium term is that the increased income from the DSC package is 440 Le/feddan/year. COMBINING EVIDENCE In this section, the results of the factor-by-factor analyses provided in the preceeding section is combined in order to analyze the monetary benefit the farmers are expected to gain from the shift to the DSC technological package. This issue will be analyzed under three headings: (i) As pointed out in the introduction to this chapter, it is hypothesized that, in the situation before DSC, there were differences among farmers related to ownership of pumps, which impacted the benefit they can be expected to gain from the DSC package. Thus the analyses will be made for two overall categories of farmers: the non-pump owners and pump owners.

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Whether a farmer owns or does not own a pump is thought to be the most decisive factor in the benefits he stands to gain from the shift to DSC. (ii) A second issue is whether or not the potential monetary benefit to be gained is related to whether or not the improvements take place at large versus small mesqas. It is hypothesized that the economics of scale associated with the construction and operation of the mesqas mean that the farmers at large mesqas gain more than farmers at smaller mesqas. (iii) The final part of this section focuses on farmers’ perception of the monetary benefits. The above analyses are done from a ‘farmer point of view.’ But one could argue that it doesn’t matter what the monetary analysis says, if the farmers are of a different opinion. In this section, the farmers views are expressed. This information is useful to the discussion of farmers’ incentives to adopt or reject the technology. Monetary Benefits to Non-pump Owners Following the Shift to DSC Table 8.9 shows the potential benefits at medium term for non-pump owners. The data in the table shows that the total annual benefit for the farmers is 496 Le/feddan. For an average size farm this figure translates into a benefit of approximately 1600 Le/year. Note that even without any increase in income from the DSC package, the farmers are still better off Table 8.9: Analysis of Potential Medium-Term Monetary Benefit for NonPump Owners, Following the Shift to DSC. Annual Le/feddan

Annual Le/Avg. size farm *

Savings in Cost Cost of pumping Cost of labor time to irrigate Cost of mesqa maintenance

75 ** 37 9

243 122 29

Increases in Cost Repayment of mesqa system

65

211

Total Saving in Cost per Year

56

183

Increases in Income Increases in income from yields

440

1430

Total Annual Benefit

496

1613

* Average farm size = 3.25 feddans ** Based on 22 irrigations a year, includes capital and recurrent cost of pumping

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than they were before. This means that the cost savings resulting from the DSC package alone make it beneficial for the farmers to shift to DSC. The figures presented in Table 8.9 are thought to be conservative for three reasons: (i) The Devres Inc. study calculates the reduction in pumping cost to be around 200 Le/feddan/year, which implies that farmers might be gaining a greater benefit than depicted in the table (Devres Inc., 1993:35), (ii) whereas the technical life is estimated to be 30 years, the repayment period for the mesqa system is 20 years, which means that after 20 years no installments are to be paid, (iii) technical optimization of the mesqa system is likely to make benefits even greater, as pointed out in the Clay study (IIP, 1993a). But how do the annual benefits calculated above relate to the household incomes? Devres Inc. (1993:37) provides the following budget for Farmers’ Cash Earnings per feddan without DSC improvements. The gross income Total input costs

2780 Le/feddan/year 1472 Le/feddan/year

Net returns

1296 Le/feddan/year51

Using this net return figure the percentage increase in farmers net cash earnings as a result of DSC is calculated. Table 8.10: Increase in Non-Pump Owner’s Income Following the Shift to DSC, Expressed as Percentages of the Household’s Net Cash Earnings Percentage Increase In Farmer’s Net Cash Earnings as a Result of DSC 38

The data in Table 8.10 show that the monetary benefit following the shift to DSC represents a 38 percent increase in a farmer’s net cash earnings. In summary, for non-pump owners, the potential benefit of the shift to DSC is for an average sized farm around 1610 Le/year. This represents a 38 percent increase in a farmer’s net cash earnings. Monetary Benefits to Pump Owners Following the Shift to DSC In the sample, 51 percent of the respondents reported either owning pumps fully or owning part of them.52 Approximately 6 percent of the farmers reported owning two pumps and 1.5 percent (N=2) reported owning three pumps. On the basis of 1044 interviews in Middle Egypt, the IIP

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socioeconomic survey reported that 37 percent of water users owned pumps. It further reported that pump-ownership varies with land ownership and operated areas, in other words the greater the operated area, the greater the tendency for a water user to own his own pump (IIP, 1990d:27). Two sources of incomes are derived from pumps: rental fees, if the pump is kept in operation, and if sold, the capital value of the pump Rental fees Owning a pump makes it possible to hire it out and thereby create additional income. Only 10 out of the 70 pump owners reported income from hiring out pumps. An average of 440 Le/year ranging from 50 to 800 Le/year was reported.53 A discussion with three field agents from Herz–Numaniya, who are farmers themselves, provides the following insights: (i) In their opinion, the income from hiring out the pumps reported in this study is on the low side. (ii) They estimate that a pump used only for hiring out will make a maximum of 275 Le per month in 10 months = 2750 Le year (can at a maximum irrigate 45 feddan per day, 10 days a month (rotation)). The expense for this is estimated to be no less that 1500 Le. The maximum net income from pumping, then, before DSC, is 1250 Le/year. (iii) It is possible that a farmer owning a pump does not hire it out at all. 54 Due to the relatively small size of the operational holdings of the sample farmers, it is reasonable to assume that the farmers had purchased the pump to satisfy their own irrigation needs. Only to the extent, that each farmer does not use the pump himself, is it hired out. In this context the income figure of 440 Le/year per pump seems plausible. The likelihood that persons with more than one pump are hiring them out is thought to be higher. This, however, cannot be verified from the existing data. None of the farmers with two or three pumps reported any income from pumping. The two farmers reporting ownership of three pumps operated four feddans each, which suggests that they have a substantial excess pump capacity to hire out if they desire. Further evidence is that the two farmers owning three pumps reported the combined values of their pumps, if sold in 1992, to be 10,250 Le.55 One farmer with 7 feddan of land reported the value of his two pumps to be 10,000 Le. These capital cost are so high that it is hard to believe that the farmers do not hire out the pumps. It might be symptomatic that only small farmers (operating between one and 2.5 feddans) reported income from pumping. The sale of pumps Another source of income is the capital value of the pump. The farmers estimate that the value of their pumps, if sold in the latter part of 1992,

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would on average be 1754 Le per pump, with a range from 300 to 8000 Le.56 Calculating the monetary benefit for pump owners Below is a crude estimate of the potential monetary benefit pump owners might experience with the shift to DSC. Because the feddans served by each pump are not known, these calculations are done in Le/year, assuming 22 irrigations a year and an average-size farm of 3.25 feddans. As explained in the section on pump capital cost, the annual capital cost of a normal (5.5 hp) high-quality pump amounts to 691 Le. Repayment of loan Repair plus maintenance

691 155

Yearly cost Maximum net income

846 1275

Maximum net revenue

429

Le/year Le /year (average reported cost) Le /year Le/year (from pumping) Le/year

Due to the lack of information on the amount of income a farmer gets from pumping for others, three different scenarios for pump uses will be calculated: ‘Renting out’ – pump used solely to hire out – ‘own use’ – pump used solely for own purposes and ‘mixed use – pump used both for satisfying own irrigation needs and to be hired out. ‘Renting out’ scenario: If the pump is used solely to hire out, it can make a maximum net income of 1275 Le/year (see above). Subtracting expenses for repayment of the loan, repairs and maintenance it provides a maximum net revenue of 429 Le/year. This does not include irrigation of the farmer’s own land. If he hires a pump to satisfy his own irrigation needs it will cost him 665 Le/year. 57 This implies a total irrigation cost of 236 Le/year/average size farm. In this scenario, the farmer’s total irrigation cost is 193 Le lower than the cost of WUA irrigation.58 ‘Own use’ scenario: If the farmer chooses to use the pump solely to irrigate his own land, he will have to bear the capital and repair and maintenance costs alone, which are 846 Le/year. To this, one must add operational costs of 4.4 Le per irrigation for recurrent cost = 315 Le/ year/average size farm. This implies a total irrigation cost of 1161 Le/ year/average size farm. In this case, the farmer has an irrigation cost that is 732 Le/year more expensive than that of the WUA irrigation. ‘Mixed use’ scenario: If he makes around 850 Le/year in pumping for others, his pumping cost is approximately the recurrent cost, or 4.4 Le

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/feddan, which implies a total pumping cost of around 315 Le/year/ average size farm. 850 Le/year is estimated to be the maximum possible income to be incurred if the farmer wants to satisfy his own irrigation needs as well. In this case, the total cost is 114 Le/year lower than that of the WUA irrigation cost. It is not possible to state which of the pump-use scenarios are most commonly practiced. Examples of all of them were observed during the field work. It is thought that some variation of the mixed use is the most common. If these figures are used as bases for calculations, the following results are obtained. From Table 8.11 it is seen that for each category of pump use, the pump owner gains a sizable monetary benefit following the shift to DSC. The exact benefit, however, depends upon the use of the pump before DSC. The pump owners who minimized their total pumping costs prior to the shift to DSC by hireing out or making mixed use of the pump gain Table 8.11: Analysis of Potential Monetary Benefit for Categories of Pump Owners by Shifting to DSC, in Benefit Le/year/Average Size Farm, at 22 irrigations

Renting Out Savings in Cost Change in cost of pumping ** Cost of labor time to irrigate Cost of mesqa maintenance

Pump used for: Own Use Mixed Use

-193 122 29

732 122 29

-114 122 29

211

211

211

Total Saving in Cost per Year

-253

672

-174

Changes in income Income from yield increases

1430

1430

1430

Total Annual Benefit

1177

2102

1256

Increases in Cost Repayment of mesqa system

One-time income from selling old pump = 1754 Le. * Average farm size = 3.25 feddans ** Calculated as the difference between WUA cost = 429 Le/year/average sized farm and the pump owners irrigation cost, before DSC Note: Total Annual Benefit is calculated as savings in cost minus increases in cost plus changes in income

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Table 8.12: Increase in a Pump Owner’s Income Following the Shift to DSC, Expressed as Percentages of the Household’s Net Cash Earnings Percentage increase by different pump uses: Renting out Own Use Mixed Use 28

50

30

the least (around 1200 Le/year/average size farm), while the pump owner who uses the pump only to irrigate his own land gains (around 2100 Le /year/average size farm). This finding strongly points out that the farmers who exercised the least economic optimizing behavior prior the introduction of the DSC package are likely to gain most by shifting to DSC technology. Note that the pump owners receive a one-time income of 1752 each if they sell their pumps. Note, furthermore, that only in the case of ‘own use’ are the farmers still better off if no incremental income was to be derived from the DSC package. If these figures are related to the household incomes, the results shown in Table 8.12 are obtained.59 Comparison of monetary benefits for pump and non-pump owners Having established budgets for both non-pump owners and pump owners, it is possible to arrive at the following conclusions: (i) Both pump owners and non-pump owners stand to gain a sizable amount of income by the shift to DSC. Non-pump owners stand to gain a yearly potential benefit for an average size farm of around 1650 Le/ year, while pump owners stand to gain between 1200 and 2100 Le/year, depending of the use of the pump before the shift to DSC. The pump owner further gains a one-time cash income from the sale of the pump, (ii) among the pump owners, the largest monetary benefit is realized by pump owners who incurred the highest total irrigation cost before DSC. These were the owners who used their pumps solely for their own irrigation. This again implies that the pump owners who exercised the least optimizing behavior prior to the shift to DSC gain most by the shift to DSC, and (iii) for both categories of farmers, the monetary benefit were calculated and related to estimates of the annual net farm income. For non-pump owners, the monetary benefit amounted to approximately 40 percent of the net farm income. For pump owners, the numbers were between approximately 30 to 50 percent, depending on the use of the pump before DSC. Concerning the issue of farmer’s incentives to adopt the DSC package, there must be visible economic benefits associated with the adoption of a

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new technology if farmers readily are to accept it. It is not possible, however, to state exactly how beneficial a technological package should be in order for it to be adopted. This analysis has shown that non-pump owners increase their net cash income by approximately 40 percent, while the pump owners gain somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. In the view of the investigator it is certainly both a visible and a felt benefit, if the DSC technology improves farm income by 30 percent. The following hypothesis was put forward at the beginning of the chapter: Hypothesis H5: Pump owners gain more from the shift to the DSC technological package than non-pump owners As shown above, the different types of pump uses prior to the shift to DSC determine the level of farmers’ monetary gain. Lacking information on exactly how the farmers used their pumps, the analysis must be considered as a contingent one. Figure 8.13 below provides a basis for such an analysis. Figure 8.13 summarizes the discussion in the previous sections. It shows how the levels of pump owners’ total irrigation costs prior to the shift to DSC determine the relative gain by the shift to the DSC package of pump owners or non-pump owners. The break-even point depicts the situation in which pump owners and 1200 1000

Break-even point

Total pump owner cost of irrigation prior to DSC

800 600

Benefit greater for pump owners than for non-pump owners

Benefit greater for non-pump owners than pump owners

400 200 0 Scenario "Renting out"

Scenario "Mixed use"

Scenario "Own use"

Figure 8.13: Contingency Analysis, Pump Owners Versus Non-pump Owners. Who Gains Most by the DSC Improvements? Note: The cost figures do not include income from sale of pumps

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non-pump owners stand to gain the exact same amount of benefit from the DSC technology. This happens when the total irrigation cost for pump owners equals 672 Le/year/average size farm.60 Thus, a pump owner gains more than the non-pump owner if his total irrigation cost is higher than 672 Le/feddan/average size farm,61 and less than the nonpump owner’s, if his total irrigation cost is lower than 672 Le/year/ average size farm. The x-axis shows, that the gradual shift from the ‘renting out’ scenario to the ‘own use’ scenario, affects the total irrigation cost. The closer to a pure ‘own use’ scenario the pump owner exercised before DSC, the higher the relative advantage of owning pumps over not owning pumps. 62 This leads to final conclusions on the hypothesis H5: (i) H5 must be rejected if the pump owner incurred a total irrigation cost of less than 672 Le/year/average size farm, before DSC. (ii) H5 must be accepted if the pump owner, before DSC, incurred a total irrigation cost higher than 672 Le/year/average size farm. As mentioned, no reliable data exist from which it can be determined where the majority of the farmers are placed on this continuum. It can be said, however, that in order for the pump owners to gain more than the non-pump owners, they would have to satisfy their own irrigation needs and make an income from pumping of less than 489 Le/year. As mentioned, the survey data indicated a 440 Le/year income from pumping (N=10), and it was argued that there were reasons to believe the figure to be somewhat underestimated. In accordance with this it is likely that a great part of the pump owners could gain approximately the same benefits as the non-pump owpners. In summary, although the above estimates are crude and should be treated with appropriate caution, it is believed that the comparisons between the before and after situations, and between different categories of pump owners and users, express valid relationships. Future research is required on this issue. It has been shown that pump owners as well as non-pump owners stand to gain a sizable monetary benefit by shifting to DSC. The total cost of irrigation incurred prior to the shift to DSC was found to be decisive for the exact amount of benefit to be derived from the shift. It was concluded that the farmers who incurred the highest total irrigation cost before DSC were the ones to gain most by the shift to DSC. It should be pointed out that a part of the gain to be incurred by pump owners is the sale of their old pumps. The testing of the hypothesis H5 showed that if the total irrigation cost before DSC was below 672 Le/year/average size farm, the non-pump owners would gain more by the shift to DSC than pump owners. If the

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total irrigation cost, however, was higher than 672 Le/year/average sized farm, the reverse was true. The overall conclusion of this analysis is that both pump owners and non-pump owners stand to gain in monetary terms by the shift to DSC. This gain is estimated at roughly 30 to 50 percent of the farming household’s annual cash income. Monetary Benefit to Farmers at Large versus Small Mesqas Because of assumed economics of scale in mesqa construction costs, it is hypothesized that larger mesqa systems will be cheaper to construct per feddan than smaller mesqa systems. As a consequence, the farmers at the larger mesqa systems (measured in feddans commanded by the mesqa) would be charged a lower cost per feddan, and thus, gain a larger benefit, than farmers at smaller mesqas However, the new legislation (law 213 of 1994 and its bylaws under development) specifies that the cost the farmers incur is the cost of the total contract divided by the area. This means, that the cost to farmers per feddan within one contract is a flat fee. Everyone pays the same amount of money per feddan, regardless of the actual cost of constructing the mesqa. Thus, the hypothesis to be tested is reformulated as follows – H6: Farmers under improvement contracts encompassing primarily large mesqas will pay less for improvements than farmers under contracts encompassing primarily smaller mesqas. This analysis deals only with the situation after DSC. The unit of analysis in this section is the individual mesqa and its pumps. On the basis of the findings the impact on the contracts is spelled out. The discussion focuses primarily on the total cost of the mesqas system, that is, including the pump(s). However, a brief note on the cost composition related only to pumps is included at the start. Besides testing the above hypothesis, this section illustrates some important aspects of the cost composition of mesqa construction which are of relevance to the discussion of the possibility of demand-driven spread of the mesqa technology. Pumps The issue of the capital cost of pumps is essentially a question of how indivisible the technology is. As shown in Figure 8.14, the capital cost of pumps varies with the size of the mesqa. Figure 8.14 shows that the closer the mesqa’s size is to the capacity of the installed pump(s), the less capital cost is paid per feddan. At 50 or 100 feddans the pump cost is at a minimum. The sample mesqas range in size from 12 to 72 feddans (five out of 20 mesqas are below 20 feddan).

wat e r , t e c h n o l o g y a n d d e v e l o p m e n t

216 500

Le/feddan

400

300

200

100

0 10

20

30

40

50 60 70 Mesqa size/feddan

80

90

100

Figure 8.14: Capital Cost of Pump(s) as a Function of Size of Mesqa, in Le/ feddan, Cash Payment, 1992 Prices

The capital cost of mesqas Mesqa improvements vary in cost according to area served, length, width, number of outlets, crossings, type (pipelines or raised lined). This is depicted in Table 8.15. Table 8.15 depicts a breakdown of the actual costs of building 10 mesqas. It shows: 1. That the average cost of constructing pipeline mesqas is 23 percent higher than that of constructing raised lined mesqas. 2. That the cost per feddan varies according to the size of the mesqa, at least for raised lined mesqas. The data has been arranged so the smallest mesqa within each type is furthest to the left. It can be clearly seen that the cost per feddan varies with the size. The two smallest mesqas are two to 3.5 times as expensive to build than each of the larger mesqas. For pipeline mesqas the situation is reversed. There is a tendency for the pipelines to become more expensive per feddan as the area covered increases. This provides evidence for the general belief among IIP engineering staff that pipeline mesqas are more economical at relatively small mesqas. The cost of pipeline mesqas is approximately 55 percent more per meter than that of raised lined mesqas. 3. The calculated cost per meter of running a mesqa does not seem to be dependent on the size of the mesqa. However, the survey data covering 20 mesqas show that an average of 19.8 meters of mesqa are

1678 142 12

43200 1500 2060 730 6050 75 270 200 4660 58745

35 415

33 BH

1479 144 10

41600 1840 2060 730 6050 100 360 280 4750 57700

39 400

43 BI

2109 n.a. n.a.

79200 1500 2060 730 6050 100 270 200 4800 94910

45 N.a.

1997 138 14

82100 1840 2060 730 12100 100 180 125 4615 103850

52 750

Pipeline Mesqas 26 QA 19 BI

3182 250 13

223100 1840 2060 730 12100 125 180 200 4700 245035

77 980

29 BI

2114 176 12

93840 1770 2060 730 8470 100 252 201 4705 112048

53 636

Average

4264 95 45

58100 340 2060 730 6050 50 360 175 4620 72485

17 760

31 HN

* BH = Beni Heidar, BI = Beni Ibeid, QA = Qiman el Arus, HN = Herz-Numaniya Adapted from: IIP (1993a): Demonstration Mesqas Upper Egypt, by D. E. Clay (Cairo, Egypt) p. 3.

Cost measures Cost per feddan Cost per meter Meter mesqa per feddan

Costs (in Le) Pipeline / J-sections Discharge Tank Canal Turnout Sump Pump Discharge Line Suction Line Overflow Pipe Security Building Total

Size of mesqas (feddans) Lenght of mesqa (meters)

Mesqa No. *

Table 8.15: Financial Comparison of Demonstration Mesqas, As Build, in Le

2546 107 24

36300 340 2060 730 6050 75 450 200 4705 50910

20 475

10 QA

1601 131 12

78900 340 2060 730 12100 50 360 125 4620 99285

62 760

1485 102 15

76400 340 2060 730 12100 50 180 100 4570 96530

65 950

1209 133 9

64000 340 2060 730 12100 125 270 150 4435 84610

70 635

Raised lined Mesqas 33 HN 39 BI 31 BH

1718 113 15

62820 340 2060 730 9680 70 324 150 4590 80764

47 716

Average

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constructed per feddan (ranging from a minimum of 9.5 meters/feddan to 51.7 meters/feddan). The five smallest mesqas in the sample (ranging from 12 to 18.5 feddans) have 34.4 meters mesqa/feddan. The five largest (ranging from 52 to 77 feddans) have only 13.5 meters mesqa/ feddan served. In other words, the smaller mesqas demand two and a half times the length of the larger ones, for both raised lined and pipeline mesqas. This, again, suggests that smaller mesqas are considerably more expensive to construct per feddan than larger ones. 4. The number of meters of running mesqa measured per feddan show no significant relationship to the size of area covered by the mesqas. Note, however, that the two smallest raised lined mesqas have required considerably more meters of mesqa than the rest of the mesqas covering more than 35 feddans each. 5. It is also important to note that all items except the pipeline/J-sections and the pump(s) vary only slightly according to the feddans commanded by a mesqa. This is due to the fact that the IIP engineers have introduced standard drawings for all mesqa components63 in order to optimize the design, to exercise quality control and to calculate the price of a mesqa as a function of the mesqa components. This means that each component of the mesqa is designed to fit various types of water demands. Components such as the intakes, sumps, delivery basins, tanks and outlets are virtually the same, whether used on a small mesqa of 25 feddan or a large mesqa covering 100 feddans. For example, the J-sections, which are the basic building blocks of the raised lined mesqas come in only two sizes, one with a capacity of 60–180 (l/sec) and another of 180 to 360 l/sec. Knowing that 30 l/sec satisfies an area of 26 feddans at peak water demand, this means that the smaller J-section is used on mesqas from 20 feddans to around 150 feddans. Comparable tolerances are found for other components such as alfalfa valves (IIP, 1991b: 3–9). This analysis does not provide firm conclusions. In Table 8.15 only the data for the raised lined mesqas showed substantial differences according to mesqa size. These show that there is a tendency for the size of the mesqas (in area covered) to affect the cost per feddan. However, the mesqas under 20 feddans are significantly more costly than larger mesqas, per feddan. For pipeline mesqas, the reverse is true. The variation in the figures suggests that local circumstances, for example the original layout and location of the previous mesqas, impact the cost per feddan of the mesqas. This suggests that, if IIP could get the farmers’ approval to redesign the mesqa layout within an a entire area, much could be done to lower the total mesqa system cost per feddan.

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Summary and testing the hypothesis The available data does not allow firm conclusions as to the relationship between mesqa size and cost per feddan. It was found, however, that the smallest category of mesqas (below 20 feddan), were significantly more expensive than the larger ones. This is why the IIP has adopted a policy of merging mesqas under this size together (IIP, 1990d:4). Furthermore, the potential cost differences between individual contracts covering primarily larger and primarily smaller mesqas might be evened out further for two reasons: Firstly, the draft by-laws of the legislation state that, at a maximum, the farmers can be charged 75 percent of the incremental income gain resulting from the improvement effort. This means that if a contract is awarded which covers primarily small, and thus expensive mesqas, the farmers might not incur the full cost. Secondly, much can be done to even out the per feddan cost of the improvement, in the specification of which mesqas are to be included in each individual construction contract. For example, within the sample mesqas in Herz– Numaniya, all the right bank mesqas were small (length around 450 m covering around 30 feddans), while the left bank mesqas were larger (600– 760 m, covering from 40 to 60 feddans). If such an area were to be improved, the least cost for the average farmer in the area would naturally occur if each contract was to cover both right and left bank improvements. So on the basis of the data and these considerations, it is not possible Table 8.16: Comparative Statistics on Mesqa Sizes for Selected Canal Commands Area Command

Length Meters (mean) Range

(mean)

Feddans Range

130 179

22 to 548 13 to 482

1023 920

150 to 3790 100 to 2700

Middle Egypt Herz-Numaniya Beni Ibeid Saidyia

34 15 97

4 to 62 2 to 41 24 to 690

588 168 779

200 to 1060 115 to 600 220 to 2680

Upper Egypt Abbaddi

38

11 to 100

512

200 to 1010

Delta Qahawagi Belaqtar

Source: IIP (1990a): Comparative Study of Mesqa Sizes, Maintenance Costs and Pumping Irrigation Water by Diesel Pump Sets (Cairo, Egypt)

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to find adequate evidence to accept hypothesis H6 which is therefore rejected. This means that it is not possible to state whether farmers on large or small mesqas will pay different amounts for the construction of the mesqa system. The above considerations relate closely to the surveyed mesqas. Table 8.16 provides information of the average mesqa sizes in other areas of Egypt under improvement by IIP. Data in Table 8.16 shows that there are, in fact, tremendous differences in the average feddans commanded by the mesqas in the different locations. If the trend found above – namely that large raised lined mesqas are less costly per feddan than smaller ones – is also valid for mesqas above 70 feddans, then ceteris paribus mesqa cost per feddan will be less expensive in the Delta than in Middle and Upper Egypt, where the mesqas in general are smaller. So, viewed in the context of all the IIP command areas of Egypt, the hypothesis H6 could well be accepted. However, there are inadequate data to support it. Farmer’s Perception of the Monetary Benefits The final section of this chapter is devoted to the sample farmers’ perception of the benefits that flow from the improvements. Two indicators are analyzed: first, the usefulness of the DSC improvements in terms of farm income, and, second, the use of old pumps after the DSC improvement. Usefulness of DSC improvements for farm income Sample farmers were asked to estimate how useful the DSC improvements were in terms of increasing their farm income. The reported data are presented in Table 8.17. Data in Table 8.17 show that 98.5 percent of the respondents report that the DSC improvements are ‘useful’ for farm income. Approximately 42 percent rate the improvements ‘very useful.’ Further bivariate analyses were conducted. They show no association (Gamma = .09965, p > 0.05) Table 8.17: Estimated Usefulness of DSC Improvements for Farm Income, in Percentages Percentages N= 137 No change Useful Very useful

1.5 56.9 41.6

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between the estimated usefulness of the DSC improvements and ownership of pumps, which suggests that the reported usefulness of the DSC package is not a function of whether or not a farmer owned a pump prior to the shift to DSC. Farmers were also asked to specify why they found the DSC improvements useful for improving farm income. These responses are reported in Table 8.18. Table 8.18: Farmer’s Perception of Why the DSC Improvements are Useful for Farm Income, in Percentage of Reportings N=195 * Can irrigate when required Increase in productivity Time saving Cost saving Land saving Road improvement Less submersion of land Less salinity Irrigation scheduling leads to less conflict Too early to know

27.7 24.7 17.0 10.0 7.7 5.1 4.1 2.1 1.0 0.6

* The 137 farmers were allowed to provide more than one answer

The data in Table 8.18 show that flexibility in irrigation, increases in productivity, time saving and cost saving are the issues the farmers thought were most important for increasing their farm income. As seen, the usefulness of the DSC package so far as farm income is concerned is a mixture of effects resulting from the increases in water control, land saving and factors directly associated with farm income. Use of old pump(s) after DSC improvements A second indicator of the sample farmers’ satisfaction with the improved mesqa systems is the extent to which they have actually been selling their pumps. Recognizing how essential a reliable water supply is for the farmers, the sale of a pump is thought to be the ultimate reflection of a farmer’s confidence in the new system. It further points out the extent to which the farmers have actually realized the monetary value tied up in their pumps. Table 8.19 provides information on the use of old pumps after DSC has been implemented. It shows the use of the pumps after the shift to DSC for two mesqa age groups; three to 10 months and 20 to 25 months after mesqa improvements were undertaken. Concerning the first group, only five percent of the pump owners have sold their pumps; 11 percent want to sell them, 63 percent used them on other mesqas and 21 percent

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Table 8.19: Reported Use of Private Pumps After DSC Improvement, in Percentages of Reporting

Total sample Mesqas > 20 months

Sold pump

Want to sell pump

Use on other mesqas

Keep if WUA pumps fail

N

19.1 44.0

8.8 4.0

54.4 40.0

17.6 12.0

68 25

have kept the pump in case the WUA pump fails. For the second age group, where the improved mesqas have been operational for more than 20 months, 44 percent had sold their pumps, 4 percent wanted to sell them, 40 percent used them at other mesqas and 12 percent kept them as security in case WUA pumps failed. This shows a significant and dramatic increase in the sale of pumps according to the age of the mesqa improvements. It is an indication that farmers have gained confidence in the ability of the improved systems to satisfy their irrigation needs.64 The category ‘use at other mesqa’ is thought to encompass the irrigation needs that the farmer might have on other land located at unimproved mesqas. So they keep the pump for that use and perhaps hire it out, especially if the pumps are old, and therefore only yield a small sales value. To summarize, virtually all farmers rate the DSC improvements either as ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ in increasing farm income. The qualitative answers they provided showed that flexibility in irrigation, an increase in productivity, time saving and cost saving are the issues most important to the sample farmers so far as increasing their farm income is concerned. As an indicator of the farmer’s confidence in the improved irrigation system, it was found that the farmers had sold off their old pumps after the shift to DSC. It was also found that the sale of pumps was closely connected to the time that had elapsed since mesqa improvements were undertaken. Forty-four percent of the pump owners had sold their pumps within a two-year period after the implementation of the new mesqas. CONCLUSIONS This chapter has dealt with the monetary, or income earning, aspects of the DSC package. The essential question analyzed was whether or not the farmers could be expected to gain monetary benefits by shifting to DSC. Dealing with monetary data is a two-step process. Firstly, the economic factors relevant to the specific analysis must be established. Secondly,

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exact cost figures must be allocated to each of these factors. Where there is inadequate data, as was the case in this survey, the completion of the latter task is slow and laborious. For this reason, much effort and space was required to establish as precise cost figures as possible and to explain the choices taken in this process. This chapter has focused on medium-term benefits. Table 8.8 summarized the findings of the factor-by-factor (univariate) analysis. It was found that, for each item associated with recurrent costs, decreases of between 29 and 50 percent were present. That of pumping decreased by 36 percent, that of the labor required to irrigate by approximately 50 percent, that of pump maintenance by 29 percent and the cost of mesqa maintenance by 41 percent. Concerning the capital cost of pumps, a comparison was made between the total installed base of individually owned pumps before DSC, and the installed base of WUA pumps after DSC. This analysis showed that the DSC package decreases the monetary value of the pumps needed to provide irrigation for the surveyed mesqas by 73 percent. The total amount of money thus saved would be in the vicinity of 320,000 Le, which is by any standards a great deal. The implication of this finding is that only around a quarter of the capital tied up in pumps before DSC needs to be invested in pumps after the shift to DSC. This led to the rejection of hypothesis H4. The issue of the capital cost of mesqas was found to depend on the repayment arrangements of the MPWWR. Because the Egyptian government and the farmers share the benefits of the improvements, the MPWWR has decided upon highly concessional repayment terms, which means that the farmers will only be repaying approximately 15 percent of the total construction costs of the mesqas. The increase in costs to the farmers is between 55 to 65 Le/year. However, the data show that substantial savings are associated with the shift to DSC, and it was concluded that the potential medium-term increase in income resulting from the DSC package can be plausibly put at 440 Le/feddan/year. The benefits associated with the DSC were also analyzed for two categories of farmers: non-pump owners and pump owners. It was found that for both categories the change to DSC yielded considerable benefit. While the non-pump owners gained approximately 40 percent of their net cash earnings, the pump owners’ benefits depended on the use of the pump before the shift. In the three pump-use scenarios, the incremental net cash earnings resulting from the shift to DSC ranged from 29 to 51 percent. From these analyses, an essential point emerged: that the farmers who were worst off in the before situation stood to gain most by the shift to DSC. On the basis of these findings hypothesis H5 was rejected.

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Next, the issue of the impact of the size of the mesqas (large versus small) was discussed in relationship to the cost per feddan farmers are to pay for the improvements. Economies of scale were found to be associated with the improved raised lined mesqas. But because local circumstances also played a role in determining the prices of the mesqas, and because the repayment method of the MPWWR is based on an average cost per feddan, the differences in construction costs associated with small versus large mesqas largely disappeared. This led to the conclusion that it is not likely that farmers under contracts involving primarily large mesqas will pay (significantly) less for the improvement than farmers whose contracts cover primarily small mesqas. Hypothesis H6 was therefore rejected. The final section of the chapter presented the farmers’ viewpoints on the usefulness of the DSC technology to farm income. Almost all sample farmers reported the DSC improvements either as ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ in increasing farm income. The qualitative responses showed that flexibility in irrigation, increased productivity, time saving and cost saving were most important to the sample farmers in increasing their income. An indicator of the farmers’ confidence in the improved irrigation system is the extent to which they had sold their old pumps after the shift to DSC. The sale of pumps was closely connected to the age of the mesqa improvements, and 44 percent of the pump owners on mesqas which had been improved for about two years had sold their pumps. On the basis of the findings in this chapter, the overall hypothesis H3 is rejected. In other words, DSC does lead to increased monetary benefits for the farmers. There is ample evidence that both farmers who owned pumps prior to the shift to DSC and those who did not achieved substantial monetary benefits from the DSC improvements. Although the figures for cost savings are valid, the joker in the monetary analysis is the expected income resulting from the implementation of the DSC package. The sensitivity analysis, however, showed that for both non-pump owners and for one category of pump owners, even if no additional income is derived from the improved system, the farmers still stand to gain by the shift to DSC. So far as the first main purpose of this study is concerned (to document and analyze the impact of the DSC technology on farm income) hypothesis H3 was rejected. In other words, farmers experience monetary benefits as a result of the shift to DSC. In relationship to the second main purpose (to analyze and discuss the possibility that a demand-driven spread of DSC technology will occur in the Egyptian farming community at large) the following incentives were found: (i) the DSC package results in sizable monetary benefits to all farmers (ii) Almost all farmers report that the DSC package is ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ for farm income, and (iii) after the

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initial start-up period of the improved mesqas the farmers do in fact sell their pumps, indicating confidence in the new system. There were also some disincentives: the few farmers who purchased pumps solely to hire them out have found the value of that investment is reduced as a result of the shift to DSC. Notes 1 For a discussion of this issue, see for example IIP (1991a); ISPAN (1990); ISPAN (1992); and PACER (1993). 2 See for example Devres Inc. (1993). 3 For further elaboration of these techniques see Rasmussen and Scherfig (1981). 4 It could be argued that more alternatives exist, for example, to have continuous flow and no mesqa improvements, the use of privately owned pumps on improved mesqas, to impose an intensive water management program for farmers on unimproved mesqas and so forth. In the real world, however, none of these intermediate forms of improvements exist, at least not within the IIP program. As pointed out in Chapter 1, the DSC package encompasses a range of highly interdependent components. If one component is introduced without the others, the efficiency of that component is sharply reduced. 5 For a detailed description of this approach, see Horngren (1984:Chapter 3). 6 See Horngren (1984:100–101). 7 The evaluation was carried out from 8 September to 5 November, 1993. The team consisted of persons with the following expertise: an Evaluation Specialist, an Irrigation Engineer, a Water Resources Planner, a Sociologist, an Economist, a Water Management Specialist and an Egyptian Institutional Analyst. 8 Discussion with Field Agents Sami, Ali and Nabil (29 September 1992). 9 In the fine-tuning of the WUA operations, farmers are discussing the introduction of a per hour irrigation fee instead of a fee per ‘one irrigation.’ This allows farmers who grow short-rooted crops to irrigate a large number of times of less volume for the same amount of money as fewer irrigations of larger volume (IIP, 1993b:3). 10 Se IIP (1991b: app, v–3). See also Kay (1989) for a listing of the parameters involved in proper irrigation. 11 This does not exclude the possibility that farmers can apply the appropriate water depth by experience and intuition. The author knows Danish farmers who irrigate solely on the basis of intuition in their greenhouses. 12 One purpose of the on-farm water management program initiated under the IIP in 1993 is to assist the farmers in applying the optimal amount of water, based on scientific knowledge. 13 As suggested by IIP (1991b:3–1). 14 Another way to establish the number of irrigations needed is to use the irrigation Water Use Index (WUI), which expresses the relationship between amount of water delivered and the crop and soil water requirements (IIP, 1993d:10ff). From actual measurements, it is found that farmers in Herz–Numaniya and Beni Ibeid have an average WUI of 1.5, which means that they applied an amount of water 1.5 times the crop water requirement (IIP, 1993d:10). If this figure is multiplied

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with the crop water requirement for sugar cane in Middle Egypt, the result is 256 cm/year. The figure of 256 cm/year is is equivalent to 10,752 m3/feddan/year which is the water demand figure for sugar cane used by the MPWWR to calculate water needs in Middle Egypt (Interview with Assistant director MPWWR Eng. Adel Zaky (21 October 1992). 15 Rice is not included in this figure. It demands a higher number of irrigations. In the following calculations, where actual numbers of irrigations are needed, the figure of an average of 22 irrigations per year is used. 16 An ‘average size farm’ describes the operational farm size. But farm sizes differ according to the command area in question. In Herz–Numaniya it was 2.32 feddans, in Beni Ibeid, 5.02 feddans and in Qiman el Arus it was 2.81 feddans. The average size of 3.25 is used. This figure corresponds to the finding of the IIP socioeconomic survey, which on the basis of 1044 farm interviews found an average operational farm size of 3.56 feddans for the entire Serry Canal. 17 Personal communication with Dr. Max K. Lowdermilk. 18 The pump and the engine is fitted on a steel frame equipped with wheels. The pump is always stored in the house of the owner, to prevent theft. Because farmers often operate farms divided into several parcels of land not necessarily located adjacent to each other, the mobility of the pump unit is important in order to irrigate an entire farm. 19 The IIP socioeconomic survey finds that the average time to irrigate one feddan (berseem) is 4 h 52 min. (N= 982) before DSC. This corresponds to the above findings, excluding the time usage to transport and position the pump. Furthermore, the time usage to irrigate one feddan was found not to vary significantly between head, middle and tail section of canals and mesqas (IIP, 1990d:39). The reported number of irrigations are confirmed by IIP (1990d:38) and IIP (1991b:Table 2–3). As mentioned, some uncertainty exists concerning the number of irrigations of sugar cane. 20 2 hours and 40 minutes are subtracted from the time usage before DSC and related to the data concerning the after situation. The savings attributable to pumping efficiency as it relates to different crops are: Berseem = – 36 % Cotton = – 17 % Maize = – 26 % Wheat = – 26 % Sugar Cane = – 29 % 21 It is estimated that a normal 5.5 hp pump most likely provides a flow stream of 23–25 l/sec. (Discussion with Dr. Ed Shinn 23 June 1994). From discussions with the WUA leader at Beni Ibeid mesqa 29, Ibrahim, it is evident that the normal practice among the farmers is not to do preventive maintenance on their own pumps. Pumps were operated until they broke down, and then fixed. This practice has also been used for the WUA pumps, contrary to the wishes of IAS personnel (Field visit to Beni Ibeid, 24 August 1993). 22 Experience from a field visit to Beni Ibeid (24 August 1993), where actual measurements of rpm were made by IAS staff. 23 Total dynamic head (TDH) is a term used by engineers which encompasses the total lift (from branch canal to mesqa) and the friction in the pumping system. See IIP (1993a: 5).

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24 The IIP (1993a:5) study on how to improve, or fine tune, the WUA demonstration pumping systems already in place provides evidence of the scope of benefits, for example in fuel consumption, that can be obtained by technically optimizing the system. By further fine tuning the system, a reduction of TDH can provide a measured reduction of fuel consumption of around 39 percent. 25 The following formulae have been used to calculate the figures in Table 8.5: Yearly savings in hours/feddan = Saving in time usage pr. irrigation/feddan/crop × number of irrigations per year/crop. Yearly savings in Le/feddan = Yearly savings in hours/feddan × average price of hired labor per hour. Yearly savings in weeks = Yearly savings in hours × average farm size / 40 hours Average operational farm size = 3.25 feddan. Average price of hired labor per hour = 0.58 Le/hour (from the survey data) Note that a workweek is set to 40 hours. The IIP socioeconomic study reports that ‘Serry Canal sample farmers’ average workday was six hours with a standard deviation of two’ (IIP, 1990d:16). Based on field experience it is known that a sixday working week is usual. Note, furthermore, that these calculations assume that the total operational land holding is grown with the crop in question. This is safe to do, because even though the farmer might not use his entire land holdings for one specific crop, he would otherwise put in other crops that will demand approximately the same amount of water. A precise calculation can only be done if the exact cropping pattern is known. See examples of these in EWUP (1984:11). 26 The monetary saving reflects the shadow price of the farmer’s own labor. 27 This, however, is not unique to Egyptian farmers. For example, how many car owners in the Western world know just in round figures the yearly cost of owning and operating their car? 28 1877 divided by the cost of one irrigation (9.4 Le/feddan) = 198,62 feddans 29 Assuming an average of 22 irrigations per year and an average size farm of 3.25 feddans. 30 For a further elaboration of this point see IIP (1990d:55) 31 The IIP monitoring and evaluation findings suggested a maintenance cost per feddan before DSC of about 8 Le, and a cost after DSC of only about 1 Le (IIP, 1994a:48). 32 This occurs simply because of the aging effect common to all technical systems. During late 1992 a mesqa maintenance program was initiated by IAS in Herz–Numaniya canal command. After two years of operation, the mesqas showed a lack of maintenance. There was an excessive growth of weed in the bottom section of the raised lined mesqas, cracks in the concrete J-sections, mud and, foremost, a need to maintain the earthworks which keep the J-Sections in place. Furthermore, larger trees had to be removed from a vicinity of 1.5 m of the mesqas to prevent roots breaking the J-sections. Finally, farmers had to be taught not to farm closer than one meter on each side from the mesqa. Most of these initiatives, however, do not represent a capital cost, but a labor cost. 33 A technical argument for this could be that raised lined mesqas are constructed

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with 10 J-sections per running meter. The joints between the J-sections are considered weak points, because the concrete can be eroded or penetrated by roots of grasses, and the like. 34 Pumping capacity is used here to mean the number of pumps multiplied by the size of each pump. Ultimately it could be expressed in total liters per second. 35 A typical example is the number of photocopying machines in a department. More machines reduce conflict over the use of them, but this is costly. An other example is the ownership of cars. In the Western world, a family often own a single car. Most often the total mileage driven per year would suggest that 4–6 families could satisfy their driving needs by mutual ownership of just one car. However, because of diverse driving needs and the timing of these, the purchase of more cars is undertaken. 36 IIP (1993a:48) present a detailed inventory of the mesqas surveyed. The design criteria is to use one 7.7 hp pump on mesqas up to 50 feddans and two pumps for mesqas up to 100 feddans. The remaining mesqas surveyed have been recalculated according to this. Mesqas 31 and 32 at Herz–Numaniya share one pump. 37 To use the replacement value in these calculations is thought valid, considering the ‘going concern’ assumption. Furthermore, the differences between low- and high-quality pumps are supposed to be small in the long run because low-quality pumps have to be replaced at a faster rate than high-quality ones. 38 This is thought to be a conservative figure if the WUA pumps are rebored every 10,000 working hours. This estimate concerning the privately owned pumps is made by WUA leader of mesqa 29 Beni Ibeid (23 August 1992). 39 Discussion with Dr Ed Shinn (23 November 1992 and 23 June 1994). 40 In comparison, low-quality pumps made in India or Egypt can be purchased for half the price of the Deutz pumps. The investigator has observed a widespread use of low-quality pumps among the farmers. 41 Using the average figure for pump ownership of 37 percent, as reported by the IIP socioeconomic survey, the reduction is 63 percent (IIP, 1990d:27). 42 Although the systems have optimized the relationship between the pumping capacity and the irrigation needs in the situation after DSC, some slack is built into the systems. Each mesqa system is designed to have a larger capacity than actually needed in order to provide flexibility (Devres Inc., 1993:Annex11:15). 43 Furthermore, one could expect the larger pumps to be more difficult to transport back and forth to the house. 44 A low-quality Indian pump would cost around 2000 Le, which would amount to half the annual payment. 45 See the commissioned studies on this subject, for example IIP (1991a); ISPAN (1990); ISPAN (1992) and PACER (1993). Furthermore, a high-level ‘Workshop on Cost Sharing for The Nile River System in Egypt’ was held in Ismailia, Egypt, 2– 5 December 1992, at which a range of papers was presented and discussed. 46 Personal communication with Dr. Max Lowdermilk (12 July 1994). See also MPWWR (1995) and IIP (1994b). 47 A command area is often divided into two or more construction contracts awarded to different contracting firms. 48 Using a capital discount rate of 15.5 percent, as done by Devres Inc. (1993:38).

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49 Being a 20-year loan, grace period 3 years, at a 15.5 percent interest rate (Devres Inc., 1993:36). 50 See Grigg (1984:5) for a schematic overview of the interrelationships of changes in cultivation practices and the effect upon crop yields. 51 This value closely resembles the net farm income (with home consumption) calculated in IIP (1990d: Table 13). 52 Nine of 70 pump owners (= 13 percent) reported that they partly owned their pump 53 The relatively small amount of farmers reporting income from pumping is thought to be an understatement. The estimated income corresponds, however, to the figures reported in the IIP socioeconomic survey This survey report an average income from pumping of 441 Le/year, based on 48 farmers out of 1044 who reported income from pumping on Serry Canal. The income ranged from 50 to 2400 Le/year (IIP, 1990d:27). 54 Discussion with Field Agents; Sami, Ali and Nabil, Herz–Numaniya (30 September 1992). 55 Located at mesqa 39, Beni Ibeid, outlet 13. 56 The age of the pumps were reported to range between two and 25 years. 57 Calculated as 9.3 Le/feddan × 22 irrigations × 3.25 feddan = 665 Le/year/ average size farm. 58 Annual WUA pump irrigation cost is calculated as 6 Le/feddan × 22 irrigations × 3.25 feddan = 429 Le/year/average size farm. 59 Note that the Total Annual benefit presented in Table 8.11 has to be divided by 3.25 before calculating the percentage difference to the net cash return of 1296 Le/feddan. 60 Which is when the non-pump owner’s monetary gain is equal to 1648 Le/ year/average size farm. The break-even point corresponds to a total irrigation cost level at which the pump owner satisfies his own irrigation needs and makes an income of 489 Le/year from renting out the pump. 61 Income minus recurrent and capital cost. 62 To these figures one must add the one-time income from selling the pump. 63 See Devres Inc. (1993: Annex 11 p. 26) for a list of the mesqa components included in the standard drawings. 64 It may also suggest, however, that it has become less profitable to hire out pumps following the DSC improvements in the area, because the demand no longer exists, and thus, there is less incentive to keep the pumps.

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chapt er 9 Conclusion

This study has analyzed the initial experiences resulting from the IIP effort to improve the performance of the Egyptian irrigation system in the old lands. The analyses set out to address two main objectives: (i) to document and analyze the impact(s) of the DSC technological package on the farmers, in terms of three selected variables: water control, land saving and farm income; and (ii) to analyze the possibility that a demanddriven spread of the DSC technological package could occur in the Egyptian farming community at large. THE IMPACT OF THE DSC PACKAGE Concerning the first overall purpose, each of the three chapters in which the DSC package was analyzed (Chapters 6 to 8) were divided into two main parts. The first presented findings while in the second further analyses related to these findings were provided. This structure relates to the two main tasks of the work – to document and to analyze the impact of the DSC package. A brief summary of these findings is presented below. Farmer Water Control There is ample evidence to show that the shift to DSC improves farmer water control on all the selected dimensions. The strongest effect identified is when CF is fully operational; however, effects are found even if the improved mesqa technology is implemented without continuous flow in the branch canals. More precisely, it was found that the water adequacy and reliability situations were improved significantly. Fairness in water deliveries was also improved considerably, but the results were more difficult to interpret. The presence of CF was found to be the single most influential factor explaining the DSC package’s impact on farmer water control. Further analyses differentiated between the effects of the main system

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and the mesqa system. It was found that the improvements in the mesqa systems in themselves showed a positive impact on farmer water control because the mesqa systems provided flexibility in water deliveries. Thus, improvements in the mesqa systems put the farmers in a far better position to make use of the available irrigation water – both with and without operational continuous flow – than did the old mesqa systems. The effect of the organizational and knowledge aspects of the DSC package were analyzed in great detail. It was found that these had a positive impact on water control when continuous flow was nonoperational. This led to the conclusion that the strength of the WUAs, and the knowledge they possessed, were important factors in counteracting instability in main system water supplies. It was argued that the impact related to the strength of the WUAs will be greater when the farmers have had time to develop more diversified and moisture-sensitive cropping patterns and have specialized their organizational functions. These findings led to the rejection of the hypothesis H1: The DSC technological package does not improve farmer water control. Land Saving It was found that implementing pipeline mesqas yielded land savings of 100 percent, and for raised lined mesqas, 44 percent, compared to the land taken up by the old mesqas. Viewed in relation to the area served by the sample mesqas, the savings were equal to 2.1 percent of the area commanded by mesqas improved with pipeline mesqas, and 1.15 percent commanded by the raised lined mesqas. Even though the savings appear small, they still amount to approximately 8 feddans for the 19 mesqas surveyed (commanding a total of 686 feddans). Extrapolations done for the old land of Egypt showed that if raised lined mesqas were installed on all this land, the total savings would be approximately 62,000 feddans (26,000 ha). If pipelines were installed, the result would be savings of approximately 113,000 feddans (48,000 ha). These findings pointed out that significant savings in land could result if mesqa improvements were extended to all irrigated land in Egypt. Another measure of land saving used was to express the land saved as the value of the crops which could be grown on it. Over a 30-year period, approximately 39,000 Le (excluding inflation) would be gained from each feddan of the saved land. Furthermore, it was found that the saved land was regarded the property of individual farmers adjacent to the mesqa and that the saved land was returned to them. It was shown, however, that only around 40 percent of the saved land went into agricultural production. The remainder was used

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for improvements on access roads to the fields, making transport of equipment and produce easier. On the basis of these findings it was concluded that (i) mesqa improvements do save land, (ii) land savings resulting from pipelines are approximately 2.7 times greater than for raised lined mesqas, and (iii) land savings are relatively small compared to the total area served; nevertheless, they add up to sizable savings when applied country wide. This led to the rejection of the second hypothesis, H2: The DSC technological package does not save land. Farm Income On the question of recurrent costs and income, it was found that the cost of pumping decreased by 36 percent, the cost of labor to irrigate by approximately 50 percent, the cost of pump maintenance by 29 percent and the cost of mesqa maintenance by 41 percent. A plausible estimate of potential income resulting from the DSC package in the medium term was found to be 440 Le/year. Concerning capital costs, it was found that, by implementing the DSC package, the amount of money invested in pumps among the surveyed mesqas could be reduced by 73 percent, due to optimized use of the pump capacity, primarily as a result of continuous flow and less demand for slack. The implication of this finding is that no more than approximately one quarter of the capital tied up in pumps before DSC needs to be invested into pump capacity after the shift to DSC. This led to the rejection of hypothesis, H4: The DSC technological package requires more capital investment in pumps than the technology used before the shift to DSC. The capital cost of mesqas was found to depend on the MPWWR repayment arrangements. The MPWWR had decided upon high concessions for repayment terms, which implies that the farmers would be asked to repay no more than approximately 15 percent of the total construction cost of the mesqa system improvements (including pumps). All categories of farmers were to receive a sizable monetary gain by shifting to the DSC package. The exact size of the benefit, however, was found to depend on the ownership of pumps prior to the shift to DSC. The monetary benefit to be incurred by farmers not owning a pump prior to the shift to DSC was found to be approximately 40 percent of their net cash earnings. The monetary benefit to farmers owning a pump before the shift to DSC was found to range between 29 and 51 percent of their net cash earnings, depending on the way they had used the pumps before the shift. These findings led to the rejection of hypothesis H5: Pump

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owners gain more from the shift to the DSC technological package than non-pump owners. From these analyses, the following point emerged: those farmers who were worst off in the before situation (for example the non-pump owners), or the pump owners who had exercised the least economic optimizing behavior, stood to gain most by the shift to DSC. An analysis of the issue of economics of scale associated with mesqa system construction was undertaken. For raised lined mesqas, distinct economies of scale were found to be present, which means that the larger the mesqa (in feddans) the smaller the cost per feddan for mesqa system improvements. For pipelines, the reverse appeared to be the case, but the data were not adequate to make a firm statement on this issue. Both the specific layout of each mesqa and the repayment method of the MPWWR, which specifies that the cost incurred by the farmers is an average cost per feddan of the total improvement contract, led to the conclusion that the differences in construction cost associated with small versus large mesqas largely disappeared. This further led to the conclusion that it is not likely that farmers under contracts involving primarily large mesqas will pay (significantly) less for the improvement than farmers at mesqas under contracts encompassing primarily smaller mesqas. These arguments led to the rejection of hypothesis H6: farmers under improvement contracts encompassing primarily large mesqas will pay less for improvements than farmers under contracts encompassing primarily smaller mesqas. The main conclusion concerning the farm income analysis is that all categories of farmers stand to increase their monetary income by a minimum of approximately 30 percent as a result of the shift to DSC. The primary reason for this relatively high return to the farmers is the repayment procedure followed by the MPWWR, which makes the cost of the improved mesqa systems only a fraction of the actual cost. Furthermore, sizable decreases in operational costs contribute to this finding. Even without the estimated increases in incomes resulting from the improved water control situation, the DSC package still provides a positive economic return to the farmers. As a result of all of the above findings, the overall hypothesis concerning the monetary aspects of the DSC package was rejected; H3: DSC does not lead to increased monetary benefit for the farmers. Note that the analyses leading to these findings have consistently applied the most conservative figures for both costs and incomes. Thus, there is reason to believe that the real monetary benefits to be gained by the farmers will be higher.

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A DEMAND-DRIVEN SPREAD OF THE DSC PACKAGE? This section deals with the second main aim of the study: to analyze the possibility that a demand-driven spread of the DSC package could occur in the Egyptian farming community at large. The term ‘demand-driven spread’ does not indicate that each individual farmer, or groups of farmers along a mesqa, can either adopt or reject the DSC technology as they choose. The DSC technology is a package which encompasses a number of interlinked components, some of which are main system features, for example, continuous flow, while others are micro-system features, for example, pump purchases. ‘Demand-driven spread’, then, is understood in the context of a command area which is designated for main system improvement. In such an area, is it likely that the farmers will demand or request the technology from the IIP on behalf of what they hear from fellow farmers at already improved mesqas? The term ‘demand’ is seen as an outcome of the balance between the positive incentives and disincentives the potential adopters of the DSC package are likely to experience by adopting the package.1 In Chapter 3 the following questions were presented to guide the inquiry into the issue of demand-driven spread of the DSC technology: (i) Is the DSC package a part of a substantial change process in society at large? (ii) Does the DSC package reflect a real need on the part of the farmers? (iii) Does the DSC package produce incentives to adopt and sustain use of it? Concerning the first question. It was found that the IIP project and the DSC package formed an integrated part of the ongoing efforts initiated in the agricultural sector since 1986 and especially after 1990 by the Egyptian government to decentralize, deregulate and liberalize the sector. For example, in order to allow the farmers to take advantage of a marketdetermined cropping pattern, improvement of the water supply system, which allowed farmers to control the flow, duration and frequency of the irrigation water, was necessary. The traditional upstream control system was simply too rigid, and allowed only the production of long-rooted crops. A redirection of the irrigation system to downstream control was thus a precondition for successful liberalization efforts. A second important point is that producer prices for all products except cotton and sugar cane have been completely liberalized. Crops are no longer sold through the agricultural cooperatives but instead are traded on the free market. This has meant that alternative means of obtaining revenue from the agricultural sector to pay for irrigation system improvements have to be found. The WUAs and the WUA federations are a vital first step in this direction. Eventually, these organizations might be

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responsible for handling a system of water fees which could both create revenues and optimize the allocation of scarce water resources. A final point in the argument that the IIP effort is part of a substantial process of change in society is the fact that the Egyptian government has passed Law 213 of 1994. This is a very clear statement that improvement of the Egyptian irrigation system, which facilitates increased productivity and optimization of the water and land resources, is rated as a priority among the highest level decision makers in Egypt. On the basis of these arguments, it is concluded that the DSC package is an integrated part of a substantial process of social change. The second question is: does the DSC package reflect a real need among the farmers? By the term ‘real need’ is meant ‘felt needs’, which are assumed to encompass physical demands from the agricultural production. The survey findings and the description of the surveyed command areas, show that the de facto water control situation was deteriorating in the before situation. Thus, assuming that farmers like to produce more crops and, thereby, receive a higher monetary return for their investment of time and money, there was a real need for the water control component of the DSC package. The third question was does the DSC package produce incentives to adopt and sustain the use of it? The answer depends on the extent to which the farmers get visible and felt benefits. A brief summary of the incentives and disincentives identified in the analysis provides an answer to this question. The incentives identified were as follows: 1. Water control is vastly improved. 2. The adoption of the DSC package did not place the farmer in a more vulnerable water supply situation than the situation prior to the shift to DSC. 3. The short-term knowledge and organizational requirements for operating the mesqa systems were found to be relatively small and did not deviate substantially from the levels which existed among the farmers prior to the implementation of the DSC package. In fact, for the overwhelming majority of farmers, irrigation demands fewer skills, because pumping, and maintenance of the pumps, is a specialized skill posessed by a very limited number of persons at the mesqa. 4. There was less need for night irrigation. 5. The farmers did in fact use time, effort and money to establish the mesqa systems and the organizational and knowledge attributes required by the DSC technology.

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The disincentives associated with water control were identified as follows: 1. Implementation of continuous flow is likely to lag behind the implementation of the mesqa systems, causing distrust and less than expected benefits to the farmers in the short run. 2. Vulnerability of the water supply is likely to increase when the individual mesqa moves from the establishment phase to the full usage phase, characterized by highly diversified and moisture-sensitive cropping patterns. It is therefore imperative that the MPWWR keep the improved branch canals on continuous flow. 3. The limited number of farmers at Herz–Numaniya who were fortunate enough to be able to irrigate by gravity flow prior to the shift to DSC have incurred a higher water cost following the shift. On the question of land saving, the following incentives were identified: 1. Actual savings in land were made, especially at pipeline mesqas, but also to a lesser extent at raised lined mesqas. 2. All farmers, except those previously using direct outlets, get a share of the saved land, which can potentially be used for expanding crop production. 3. When some or all of the saved land is used for road improvements, the overwhelming majority of the farmers express the opinion that these improvements are very useful to them. The disincentive associated with land saving was as follows: 1. Farmers who previously irrigated from direct outlets, which was only the case in Beni Ibeid command area, stand to loose a little land by the shift to the ganabya mesqas. On the question of farm income, the following incentives were identified: 1. The DSC package results in a medium-term monetary gain of 30 to 50 percent in farmers’ net cash earnings. The cost reduction is felt immediately, while the income increases take some years to become visible. 2. Almost all farmers report that the DSC package is ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ for their farm income. 3. After the start up period of the improved mesqas, the farmers did in fact sell their pumps. Forty-four percent of the sample farmers at mesqas which had been improved for about two years had sold their pumps.

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This brought them additional income, and indicates considerable trust in the new systems. 4. Farmers’ responses showed that flexibility in irrigation, increased productivity, time saving, and cost saving were most important to the sample farmers in increasing their income. Identified disincentives associated with farm income were as follows: 1. The shift to DS reduced the value of their investment for the few farmers who had purchased pumps solely for hire. 2. Differences in actual monetary gain depend on the farmers’ situation before the shift to DSC. The farmers worst off, or the ones who have exercised the least economic optimizing behavior in relation to pumping costs, stand to gain most by the shift to DSC compared to the betteroff farmers, or farmers who have optimized their pumping costs. It is difficult, if not impossible, to make a direct comparison of the positive and negative impact of the shift to DSC. Nevertheless, it is useful to summarize the situation in terms of the possible forms incentives might take, as presented in Chapter 3: (i) material inducements – money or goods; (ii) opportunities for distinction, prestige, and personal power; (iii) desirable physical conditions of work – clean, quiet surroundings, for example, or a private office; (iv) pride in workmanship, service for family or others, patriotism, or religious feeling; (v) personal comfort and satisfaction in social relationships; (vi) conformity to habitual practices and attitudes; (vii) feeling of participation in large and important events (Ostrom, 1992:25). There is no doubt that the major incentives originating from the DSC package stem from the ‘material inducements’ received by the farmers – a dimension which, as pointed out in Chapter 3, this study sees as central. As reported by the farmers, the most visible and felt benefit of the DSC improvements is the improvement in water control resulting from the presence of continuous flow. The extent to which MPWWR comes to grips with this type of improvement and, as a result, is capable of implementing it relatively soon after the mesqa systems are in place, is viewed as decisive for farmers’ satisfaction with the improved system. Land savings and improvements in roads are visible and felt immediately by all categories of farmers. The cost savings are experienced by the non-

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pump owners as a reduced irrigation cost, and the pump owners’ sale of their pumps are also visible and immediately felt benefits. Concerning ‘opportunities for distinction’, these forms of incentive are present in association with WUA organizations, simply because someone must be the leader(s). If the WUA leadership positions are associated with prestige, it is likely that the powerful, or most well-to-do, farmers occupy these positions. If these positions, on the other hand, are rated less prestigious by the powerful farmers, any of the farmers along a mesqa might be selected to leadership positions. Field experience shows that it had been common practice to select a WUA leader who held ‘some power.’ So far as the next two issues on the list are concerned, field experience indicated that most water users took considerable pride in their new mesqas. Furthermore, in informal conversations, farmers expressed great satisfaction with the fact that they had to do less or no night irrigation, and had to invest less time and experienced less hassle when irrigating. On the matter of ‘conformity to habitual practices’, neither the improvements in canals nor the mesqa systems impose any changes in the way farmers irrigate and produce their crops in the short term. In the initial phase the DSC package simply provides a more efficient and reliable water supply system. What the farmers do with the water on their fields does not change. It is only at a later stage that the IAS sensitizes and teaches the farmers to conduct improved agricultural practices. This means that for the vast majority of the farmers (who are not WUA council members) the DSC package conforms fully to the habitual practices of crop production. This is believed to be the reason that, relatively speaking, little ‘resistance to change’ has been experienced among farmers. The study does not provide any specific insight into the final issue, ‘feeling of participation in important events.’ However, it is a key strategic emphasis of IAS to make the farmers feel important, to gain their trust, and to listen to them in order to facilitate the participatory process, which involves the farmers in the planning, design and operation of the mesqa systems. The investigator has attended meetings between IAS staff and farmers in which the keynote speaker emphasized that the improvement efforts undertaken in Egypt by IIP are being followed by farmers and irrigation bureaucrats throughout the world. Thus, there is reason to believe that the sample farmers do experience a feeling of participation in important events. The Reasons for All-round Improvement In a study of this kind, it might be disturbing to find improvements registered on virtually all the parameters analyzed. This result is thought

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to stem from the following: (i) The concepts and practical application of the DSC package have been under development since 1976, when the EWUP project was initiated. It was further developed under the RIIP project and finally refined and field tested on a larger scale under the ongoing IIP project, (ii) the DSC package has been developed in Egypt by a mixture of Egyptian and American staff; (iii) the IIP project has succeeded in institutionalizing some of its key elements, namely the legal basis for the WUAs, the cost-recovery issue, and making the IAS a permanent sector under the MPWWR. The investigator has seen a number of development projects in Africa and the Middle East, but none with as long a lead time as the IIP. In other words, the DSC package represents a range of very well thoughtout solutions to the problems facing the old lands in Egypt and possible negative features have been removed from it along the way. By way of example one might cite the non-participatory process applied to the initial mesqa improvements in Herz-Numaniya, which were rejected, or the shift from advocating concrete pipelines to advocating PVC pipelines. But the finding of positive impacts also stems from the selection of parameters to analyze. This study has focused on a number of the key issues of the IIP improvement effort which have attracted much attention during the initial phase of the improvement effort. Other issues, if studied in depth, might yield less positive conclusions. For example, such issues as (i) the actual savings in water resulting from the DSC improvements, (ii) the financial viability of the WUAs in place, and (iii) the capabilities of the IAS staff to transfer on-farm water management techniques to the farmers. CAN THE FINDINGS BE GENERALIZED? It is thought that the findings of the water control analysis can be generalized to large segments of the Egyptian agriculture. As has been seen throughout the analysis, the data was genuinely representative. In general, where other data sources existed, the survey data was confirmed by these. Note, however, that this study was conducted at command areas which were selected for improvement because their water control situation was deteriorating. Thus, concerning the findings related to water control a similar impact is likely to be found only under the same circumstances in other parts of Egypt. At command areas which have a better water supply situation before the improvements of the DSC package it is likely that the impact will be less dramatic. Land saving: the findings according to this variable can be generalized

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to Egypt as a whole. These findings – namely the differences between the size of the old and new mesqas – are thought to be constant wherever the improvements are undertaken. The farm income findings are more difficult to generalize to the whole of Egypt because they are determined by a complex set of production variables (labor cost or cost of pumping). However, some of the major determinants of farm income are relatively independent of the specific location, for example the general income figure. Furthermore, Law 213 of 1994 is applicable all over the country. On the basis of this, it is thought that the general tendencies resulting from this analysis are valid for generalization to Egyptian agriculture as a whole. Note 1 The focus is on potential adopters of the technology. It is thought that the farmers at the already improved mesqas will continue to use the mesqas. Their benefits are certainly high, particularly since they got the mesqa for free because these mesqas were considered demonstrations.

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Index

Aalborg School of International Technology Studies 87, 88, 89 Abu Kurkas 122 actor-oriented approach 83 Africa 236 agrarian reform 9, 120, 121, 123, 125, 126 Agricultural Development Bank 126 agricultural sector 1, 3, 4, 8, 16, 178, 198, 199, 232, 233 agronomics 40, 41 alfalfa valves 24, 147, 182 analyses, univariate and bivariate 135, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 152, 158, 159, 186, 200, 209 analytic framework 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 83, 86, 87, 88, 92, 105, 106, 107, 135, 139, 140, 142, 144– 7, 151–3, 159–60, 185 anthropology 37, 40 arid zones 85 Aswan Dam 1, 5, 6, 9, 11 Asyut 6, 11 Bakhaty 122 basins 1, 13, 18 Beni Ibeid 11, 12, 13, 102, 103, 104, 116, 137, 138, 142, 146, 154, 180, 181, 183, 187, 234 Beni Suef.11, 124 berms 179 Brazil 2 canal command areas 4, 8, 12, 15,

17, 85, 102, 103, 116, 232, 233, 234, 236 canal systems, different types of 37, 39, 123, 124, 126, 140, 143, 144, 146, 150, 152, 183–4, 198, 230, 232 canals 2–4, 6–20, 86, 90, 101, 103, 116, 120–5, 136–9, 141-6, 149–54, 156–9, 179–81, 187, 197–200; varieties of 2, 4, 7–10, 12, 14–15, 17–18, 85–6, 103, 124–30, 136–46, 149–154, 157–159, 180, 183, 199, 230, 232, 234 Continuous Flow (CF) 12, 15–20, 103, 122, 124, 126, 137–8, 140–6, 150–9, 180, 197, 200, 230–5 cooperatives 3, 4, 9, 17–18, 120–3, 125–6, 144, 151, 194 cost benefit analysis 8 cost savings 202, 211, 235 costs 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 17, 19, 86, 90, 110, 116, 138, 179, 185–8, 190–1, 193–4, 196–200, 202, 204–7, 210– 11, 231-2, 234–6 crop water requirements 36, 85, 146– 7, 151, 153, 158–9, 189 cropping intensity 123 cropping patterns 3–4, 7–11, 15, 20, 86, 103, 121, 136, 143, 151-2, 156, 159, 186–7, 200–1, 230, 234 crops 2, 4, 7, 9–10, 19–20, 83–6, 90– 1, 103, 121, 123, 125, 137, 145, 149–50, 153–4, 178–9, 182–3, 186–9, 191, 200–1, 233; high value

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index 84; long-rooted 4, 10, 233; rooting depth 4, 10, 188; short-rooted 4, 10 data collection methods 43, 100–116, 126, 135–41, 144–7, 149–51, 156– 9, 178–9, 187–8, 200, 203, 205 delivery 8–9, 20, 38, 40–2, 123, 125, 136, 138, 144–7, 149–53, 158, 192, 198, 208, 230 development strategies 89, 92, 178 Devres Inc 187, 191, 195, 199–202 directorates 7–8 districts 8–10, 17, 101, 141, 152, 154, 156 donor agencies 38, 44, 83, 15 Downstream Control Technological Package (DSC) 5, 12–15, 17–20, 87–9, 91–2, 101–2, 105, 120–1, 126, 178, 180–3, 185–8, 190–1, 193–7, 200–7, 209–12, 230–6 drainage, sub-surface 120, 124 drains 3, 6–7, 20, 120–5, 137, 188; collector 7, 18; farm 6–7;6–7 education 39 Egypt, Delta 1, 6, 9, 11, 209 Egypt, Fayoum.4, 6, 11 Egypt, Lower 9 Egypt, Middle 9, 11, 93, 116, 125, 189, 203, 209 Egypt, Nile 1, 7, 9, 120, 122, 124, 185 Egypt, Upper 6, 9, 187, 209 Egypt Water Use and Management Project (EWUP) 6, 9, 10–12, 20, 121, 235 engineering 37, 40–1, 187, 192, 207 engineers, irrigation 6, 8, 10, 17, 101, 121, 124, 141, 154, 156, 179, 187– 8, 195, 208 Ethiopia 3 fairness, concept of in context of this study 85, 100, 102, 135, 138–9, 142, 158

253

farm income 44, 84, 86, 88–9, 91–2, 112, 115, 147–9, 156, 182–3, 185– 6, 205, 209–12 farm unit/level 39, 83–4, 87, 91, 101, 152, 185 farmer benefits 101, 115 farmer knowledge 1, 4, 19–20, 44, 140–4, 146–53, 157–9, 192, 194, 230, 233 farmers’ attitudes/behavior 37, 102, 139, 141–2, 147–8, 152, 156–9, 198, 202, 205, 207, 211, 232–5 Foreign Agencies 4, 6 friction 138, 142, 179, 192 Gannabaya Canal 124 Garris 122 gates 8, 123, 132, 138–9, 141, 182 GDP 8 government 103, 112, 154–5, 198, 201, 211, 233 government, bureaucracy 154–5, 158 government ministries 3–4, 7–9, 11– 12, 17–18, 20, 101, 138, 152–7, 159, 199, 211 government projects 3–6, 8–12, 14– 20, 36–7, 83–4, 86–7, 100–2, 113, 115–16, 120–1, 124–6, 135–6, 138–9, 152, 154, 160–3, 166–7, 169, 178, 182, 185, 187, 189, 201, 205, 207, 208–9, 211–13, 217–19 governorates 6, 8, 122, 124–5, 187 Gowade 122 gravity flow irrigation 6, 11, 13, 15, 19, 121–3, 125, 182, 234 Head-Tail differences 138–9, 142 Herz-Numaniya 13, 102–4, 116, 120–2, 124, 126, 138, 141, 148, 180, 187–8, 203, 208, 234 hydraulics 36, 40, 42 hydroelectricity6 IAS training courses 125–6, 149–50 Ibrahimiya 11, 124–5 incentive structures 152, 156–8

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India 2 inspectorates 6, 8 Inter-Ministerial Committee on Water Planning (ICWP) 9, 20 interest groups 152, 154, 157 International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) 39–40 Irrigation Advisory Service (IAS) 11, 14–15, 18–20, 115, 121, 124–6, 146, 148–51, 156–7, 159, 187, 235–6 Irrigation Improvement Project (IIP) 3–5, 8–12, 15–20, 36–7, 83–90, 92–3, 100–2, 104, 109, 112–13, 115–16, 120–1, 123–6, 135–6, 138–9, 142, 144, 150–3, 178, 182, 185, 187, 189, 191, 195, 197–9, 202–3, 207–9, 230, 232–3, 235–6 irrigation management tradition 38, 40–2, 83 Irrigation, Ministry of 7, 9, 11-12 irrigation, 136–7, 141, 233, 235; planning deviations 122, 138, 141– 2, 146, 150, 188, 200 irrigation system performance 36–8, 41–3, 45, 83, 89, 92–3, 102–3, 106, 114, 126, 136, 138–9, 141–2, 144–7, 149–54, 158–9, 178–9, 181–2, 187, 191–2, 197–201, 209– 12, 230–6 irrigation systems 83, 89, 92–3, 103– 4; legal aspects 4, 6–7, 10, 13, 20, 156, 199–200, 207–8, 233, 236 irrigation technology 5, 9, 12, 14–15, 17, 19–20, 40, 101–2, 105, 109, 121, 124, 126, 135, 140–3, 146–7, 149, 151–2, 157–9, 182–3, 185–7, 197, 202, 205–7, 211 irrigation, traditional 5, 9, 12, 14–15, 17, 19, 109, 151, 153, 158, 198 Japan 9, 38 Jonglei Canal Project 2, 3 Korea, South 2, 4

Lake Nasser 1, 5, 7 land saving 84–6, 88–91, 100, 178, 180, 209, 230–1, 234–6 leakages 138, 179 Levine 43–5 liberalization 1, 4, 17, 90, 191, 233 lift irrigation 6, 8, 11–13, 15–19, 125, 144, 191 Likert scaling techniques 108 marwas 7, 13, 17–18, 101–2, 106, 108, 116, 123, 125, 138, 148, 182 Mediterranean 6, 8 mesqas 4, 7–8, 10–20, 86, 89, 91–3, 100–6, 114–15, 120–6, 136–9, 141–2, 144–53, 157–9, 178–83, 186–7, 190–1, 193–202, 207–12, 230–6; high level 12, 15–17, 19; low level 11, 15, 20, 121–4; maintenance 186–8, 190, 193–5, 198, 204, 210 Middle East 236 Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) 3, 9, 18, 20 Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources (MPWRR) 4, 7, 8–9, 11–12, 17–18, 20, 101, 121, 124, 138, 152–7, 159, 199, 211, 231–2, 234–6 Minya 8, 11, 120, 122, 126, 153, 187 Minya, West 8 Moharam 122 navigation 4, 6–7 neo–liberalism 83–4, 86, 89–92 on-farm water management 39, 41, 187, 236 pipelines 13, 16–17, 105, 121, 124, 142, 147, 178–83, 195, 199, 207–8, 230–2, 234–6 pipes, gated 182 Portugal 2 productivity (yields) 41, 44, 84–6, 91, 121, 125–6, 140–1, 154, 185–7,

index 198, 200–1, 209–11, 233–4 pumping costs 110, 116 pumps 6–7, 11, 13–15, 18–19, 90–2, 101, 110, 112, 121–6, 136–8, 142, 145–7, 149, 151, 186–212, 231–5 pumps, maintenance of 186–8, 190, 193–5, 198, 204, 210; rental 110, 137, 190, 203 Qiman el Arus 102–4, 116, 124–6, 138 rational choice theory (and associated concepts) 44, 83–4, 86, 89–92, 101, 115, 152, 154, 156–8, 231, 234–5 respondent variables 142–3 rural elites 155 sakias 125, 179 salinity 120, 122, 124, 137 Seckler 36, 41 Serry Canal 116, 120–3, 187 sharecropping 125 sociology 37, 40–1 soft state, the 155 Spain 2, 5 state-farmer relations 103–4, 112, 126, 142, 153, 155 Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) 109 Sudan 3 systems analysis 39 technology, adoption of new 91–2; problems of definition 87–9, 92

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Third World, the 38, 42, 88 topography 10–11, 120–2, 189 tourism 4, 6–7, 9 United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 4, 6, 121– 2, 187 United States of America 2, 4, 38, 235 Upstream Control System (USC) 17, 20, 88, 233 validity, internal and external 100, 104, 106–16 Wade 36, 41 water control 84–5, 87–92, 101, 116, 230, 232–6 water demand 19, 120, 122, 124, 151, 154, 208 water level. 121–2 water scarcity 44–5, 121–5, 135–6, 150, 153–4 water supply 11, 101, 115, 120, 125– 6, 135, 137–9, 141–2, 144–6, 148, 150–1, 153, 158–9, 200, 210 Water User Associations (WUAs) 83, 89, 100–3, 121–6, 138, 140–54, 157–8, 186–8, 190–4, 196–200, 204, 210–11, 230, 233, 235–6 wells.121–4, 136–8, 143–4, 149, 155, 159 wells, tube 122–3 World Bank 178, 180 WUA training courses 148