Management of water resources under different socio-economic conditions
Committee ChairEvans, Daniel D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe industrial revolution was a turning corner in the history of water management. New techniques helped to design multipurpose projects. Industrial expansion, urbanization, and changing life styles in the developed countries have ultimately resulted in multiobject ive planning with environmental quality and national economic development as co-equal objectives. However, there are still big lags between the developed and developing countries in this respect, and even in the developed countries, theory and practices of water management are following different directions. It is also true that application of sophisticated computerized models alone do not guarantee planned objectives. Inadequate data, non-availability of funds, standard materials and equipment, skilled labor, and inadequate implementation capabilities retard the execution of plans and inappropriate operation can scale down actual achievements. This calls for a periodic hindsight evaluation of operating projects. The "cost-effectiveness approach" has been found to be the best technique as it can be applied for "ex-ante" as well as "ex-post" evaluation, comparative evaluation of more than one objective, and for both tangible and intangible measures of effectiveness. For evaluation of water management under different socioeconomic conditions, performances of the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation District (WMID) in the U.S.A. and the Salinity Control and Reclamation Project No. 1 (SCARP-I) in Pakistan have been compared. While the American system is flexible enough to accommodate any subsequent technological innovation and can supply full water requirement for any cropping pattern, the water system in Pakistan is characterized by an inelastic 7-day fixed roster for water supply, not capable of meeting crop needs even for 500/ of the presently irrigated area. The shortfall in SCARP-I can be attributed to conceptual lapses, idealized planning assumptions, inappropriate engineering design, water quality and managerial constraints. It is also clear that the desalination plant for treating return flow from Wellton-Mohawk cannot be justified on technical, economic, and environmental reasons. The following suggestions can be made to remove management constraints in the developing countries in general, and Pakistan in particular. 1. Improved technologies may be introduced by renovating existing studies and research programs at the university level. Technical assistance available from a number of foreign sources may be pooled and reorganized to meet the desired objective. Instead of individuals of single discipline, multidisciplinary teams of professionals should be trained abroad to make the process of planning and management more effective. 2. Nucleus planning cells may be created at the subdivision level to benefit from farmers' participation in water management. 3. Implementation capabilities must be improved to accelerate the pace of project execution. 4. Operation criteria must be evolved objectively at the planning and design stages. 5. Adequate financial allocation must be made during implementation and operation. 6. More dams are needed for flexible water management, power generation, and flood control. Water control should be shifted from barrages to dams as early as possible. 7. Latest rain harvesting and runoff agricultural techniques must be introduced in dry farming areas in the upland plateau. 8. Small farms should be aggregated into cooperative units of 250 to 350 acres and farm layout redesigned, water courses realigned and lined in sandy reaches. 9. Extension service should be reactivated to educate farmers, in addition to launching a crash program on the pattern of the literacy campaign in Iran. 10. Private tubewells in sweet water zones and public tubewells in saline and marginal zones will improve flexibility of the system and save large public funds for executing important complementary programs to optimize benefits from water managements. 11. More emphasis should be laid on planning, operation, and expost evaluation of public investments in the water sector.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramArid Lands Resources