Institutions, Water and Socio-economic Change

Suhas R. Bhasme // Development Studies // 17th April // 1-2pm // Arts C 133


In 1990s with the introduction of irrigation reforms in India an initiative was taken in a direction to transfer the control of irrigation system to local famers by the state. Politically, one needs to understand the shift in light of growing intervention of World Bank in most of the developing countries. The process of building up new water institutions such as Water Users’ Association (WUA) emphasizes the idea of participation of farmers, efficiency and equitable distribution of water. It is through these associations that the farmers came to exercise a control over the irrigation water.

It is in light of the neo liberal background of the policy and the claims of ‘success’ made by the policymakers, I try to critically understand the process of formation and functioning of the WUAs through an ethnographic study of the these water institutions in rural part of India.

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