Analysis of Disincentive Factors in Success of Water Users Associations from the Perspective of Exploitation Case Study of Karkheh Zone in Khuzestan Province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. in Agricultural Extension and Education, Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University

2 Assistant Prof., Dep. of Agricultural Extension and Education, Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University

3 M.Sc. Irrigation and Drainage of Khuzestan Water and Power Organization


The attention given to water management has increased lately due to the growing problem of water scarcity worldwide and rising conflicts between water users. Participation of local people in water management is now seen as a crucial prerequisite for the conservation and sustainable use of scarce water resources. Since the late 1990s, participatory and integrated water management has been noteworthy on the agenda of national governments and international donors. Irrigation institutions are results of historical developments, as well as processes and practices. Some of them allow for greater people’s participation. Water user associations are groups and formal organizations of farmers that provided managements for the whole or parts of the irrigation and drainage network. These have been created for organizing farmer in the legal frame work, and taking part in the effectiveness constructions, operations, developments and maintenance of facilities and water supply network. National irrigation systems, serving a large number of small paddy farmers, require water users’ organization for effective and sustainable joint management. However, water users’ organizations (WUOs) cover small part of the total irrigation area nowadays. Actually transfering irrigation management to WUAs Causes decrease in the water sector and irrigation Policies, Reduces maintenance costs and operation of irrigation systems, Improved maintenance of networks, and Reduces disputes arising from the lack of Fair distribution water among farmers. Furthermore they are effective in Development of cultivation, Employment, Increasing collecting cooperation and Creating solidarity among the rural community and prevent excessive consumption of water with structural problems.
The purpose of this study is surveying the disincentive factors that affecting on success of water users associations from the perspective of exploitation. Karkheh zone in Khuzestan province has been selected as the research area. Khuzestan province acts an important role in agriculture of Iran. Statistical population of the study has been formed by all farmers who have participated in the five active associations of Karkheh zone in Khuzestan province (Ferdos, Jasmine, Abran, Noore ehya water user association in south Karkheh and Negin Bright West Karkheh water user association in North Karkheh) with a population of 1219. The statistical sample was identified regarding to the table of Morgan and Takman (n=300). The data have been collected through a research made questionnaire. Validity was confirmed by the judgment and expert of agricultural extension and education; and reliability was determined by a pilot study in WUAs Shadegan area. Data analyze has performed by SPSS. Win. 16. Software.
The results of correlation analysis of success preventing factors showed that there have been significant relationships between irrigation lands, registered records in WUAs, the number of participations in course of education-extension, educational level, location of irrigation farm and interest to participate in social activities with success preventing factors. Also results revealed a difference between perspectives of users in north and south associations about water use association characteristics. Although two groups believed that government should not intervene in WUAs decisions. The results of analysis of the disincentive factors showed that factors such as social capital (30/564), management (19/307), awareness (6/540) and supportive (4/633) formed the most affecting ones. These factors explained 61/566 of the total variance.
In this regard, social capital factor, has been the most effective one in the Failure of WUAs, Weak local leadership and lack of influential individuals and public acceptance, Cultural problems of the rural community and farmers. In other hand, among the variables management factor is the most effective one in High primary investment cost for membership in the association, because of its incompatibility with the regional plan and Fair distribution of water. Also Among the variables, the awareness factor has been the most effective one the Failure of WUAs, Farmers lack of awareness of their rights as members of the association and Lack of awareness about preparing and sharing Water. Finally lack of governmental support has been the most effective factor for resiguation of responsibility to the people. Weakness of social capital as a key barrier to success of water use association; therefore, the social capital should be strengthened and applied properly.