Irrigation and Melioration


Irrigated agriculture plays a major role in Uzbekistan for both economic and social reasons. The state has remained the key player in irrigated agriculture by implementing various land- and irrigation-related reforms. In particular, the establishment of Water Consumers Associations (WCAs) in place of former shirkats has been one of several institutional changes in the irrigation sector. However, the performances of these associations have provided mixed results. As a means of discovering why this is so, this paper discusses possible constraints that have been hampering water resources management in Uzbekistan, with special reference to the Bukhara region, derived from analysis of expert interviews. We seek to provide a thorough discussion of the rationale behind the mobilization of the formation of local-level irrigation management associations (i.e. WCAs) and analyze current challenges that these associations are encountering with respect to water resources management, focusing on irrigation management. Based on empirical findings, the organizational structure to improve water resources management is outlined.

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