Improving Irrigation System Performance in Egypt: First Experiences with the WUA Approach
This paper analyses the extent to which Water Users Associations (WUAs) contribute to increased levels of farmer water control. Drawing extensively on field data collected in command areas rehabilitated by the Egyptian Irrigation Improvement Project (IIP), the author documents key features of the WUA formation process and changes in farmer water control resulting from the main and micro-system improvements. WUA organizational strength is found to play a decisive role in securing farmer water control in situations when main system water supply is unstable. It is argued that the impact of WUA organizational strength on water control is likely to increase further when the farming system has developed a highly diversified and moisture sensitive cropping pattern.