WUA operational performance and Problems

[Abstract] WUA irrigation in recent years, emerging as a voluntary participation by the farmers, legally established non-profit cooperative organizations of farmers with water. Successful experience from abroad, the establishment of WUA, the strengthening of irrigation engineering management, water conservation, and enhance product awareness with farmers and other aspects of democratic consciousness and effect is very obvious. In this paper, Inner Mongolia, World Bank Project area 10 WUAs example, analysis of the operational performance of this management model to explore this pattern defects, and to Inner Mongolia to further improve and perfect water user associations to provide countermeasures and proposals.

[Keywords:] farmers; WUA; performance; problems

doi: 10. 3969 / j. issn. 1673 - 0194. 2011. 02. 021

WUA (Water Using Association, WUA) is an emerging in recent years, irrigated by the voluntary participation of farmers, legally established non-profit cooperative organizations of farmers with water. In this paper, Inner Mongolia, World Bank Project area 10 WUAs example, analysis of the operational performance of this management model to explore this pattern defects, and to Inner Mongolia to further improve and perfect water user associations to provide countermeasures and proposals.

An investigation

To WUA has a comprehensive and in-depth understanding, we randomly selected Bayannao'er Linhe area and Hohhot Tumotezuoqi with Tuoketuo County 10 water users associations and associations of farmers within a 77 to conduct research. These associations include governance Village Water Users Association, prosperous Sansha canal WUAs, WUA East economic branch, sub-dry sixty-eight Douqu EVERISING WUA, unity village four branch canal water user associations, water users Unity Village five branch associations, left home village water user associations, water users associations Hai Bing states, cylinders and lofty room WUA WUA. Survey covering eight townships 14 administrative villages, this research 77 valid questionnaires, of which 67 parts of water user questionnaire, Farmer Water Users Association, 10 parts of the questionnaire. Based on actual survey collected information on the Inner World Bank project area WUA WUA operational performance and problems of a preliminary analysis of titles of papers.

2 WUA Operation Performance Analysis

This survey shows that after establishment of water users associations, farmers that irrigation in the following aspects have been improved:

2.1 strengthen the management of water conservancy projects last stage

Over the years, the last stage of rural water conservancy there someone with no control, aging disrepair engineering facilities, irrigation efficiency decay and other issues. WUA establishment, branch less water conservancy property ownership associations, so that water conservancy project management, maintenance, use of the responsibilities, rights, and interests consistent with drainage channels into a farmers' own projects to improve water conservancy facilities for the farmers the care awareness, water conservancy construction and management of the farmer's responsibility, so that the phenomenon of the building to reduce vandalism, channel capacity has improved significantly over the water. According to the survey, 10 associations of water conservancy facilities intact rate from 59.5% previously risen to 82.0%, the channel over the water flow rate increases 20%, improved agricultural production conditions, in order to ensure timely and adequate irrigation agriculture foundation. Household survey reflects the establishment of associations, the channel quality has been significantly improved, including 81.5% of households that channel quality has been greatly improved compared with the previous, this is mainly because the region is the establishment of associations Bank projects area, invested heavily in the project area for the construction and improvement of channels, compared with before the establishment of associations, canal project matching rate, good rate and canal water utilization coefficient has improved significantly. Since the channel quality better, than the amount of water lost before the establishment of associations greatly reduced. All farmers agreed that after the establishment of associations reduces water loss rate, where 28.4% of households that irrigation water loss is lower than before 5 to 10 percentage points, 22.4% of households that reduce water loss by 10 to 15 percentage points .

2.2 straighten out the order of water, reducing the water disputes

Before the establishment of associations, Douqu lack of effective water management the following organizations, irrigation water is very serious disorder. Association was founded, farmers have their own water management team, the association by strengthening management, rational distribution, unified management, making irrigation orderly. Survey, each association WUG have at least one member of the water pipe irrigation water to maintain order. Farmers' water management staff familiar with the situation of the local water users, particularly those involving village to village, the groups, between households and households of complicated contradictions, they are most clearly targeted services, and high efficiency. This will not only streamline the order of water, reducing labor, and avoid competition for water caused due to the water disputes, improve irrigation efficiency. More than 90% of households that after the establishment of associations between the village and household water use conflicts decreased significantly. These findings fully explained, after the establishment of associations to improve the quality of the channel, the water supply to ensure improvement in the level of the village water dispute between households significantly reduced.

2.3 enhances the farmers awareness of water conservation, water saving irrigation

After the establishment of associations, the Association in accordance with the principle of paying more and more water, the implementation of a reasonable fee collecting methods, increase the awareness of farmers of water. In addition, farmers voluntarily participate in water management, water use, and truly reflects the ownership position of farmers, farmers' sense of responsibility and enhanced product ideas, get economical use of natural resources.

2.4 reduces water tariff sectors to improve the collection rate of water

Irrigation water fee is related to the survival and development of the Association decisive factor. Construction Association ago, the water tariff program for farmers - groups - Village - township (town) - County - Irrigation Water Management Units, middle links. From the village to the township (town) to irrigation layers of overweight, layers of interception, misappropriation of water is serious, causing farmers to implement pay the water bill approved by the state price than the price of water to a high standard with a high burden of farmers water, great views. After the formation of associations, changing the traditional village water collection farmer, into water user associations charged directly to the water, reduce intermediate links, effectively avoid riding fees, misappropriation and other phenomena withheld to protect the interests of farmers. Meanwhile, the Association will collect and expense charges, water consumption, etc. so that farmers know using the form of publicity, so that farmers use the word 'understand water' pay 'rest assured that the money' to enhance the consciousness of the farmers pay water, irrigation water charges collection rate has been significantly improved from the surveys, the project area water fee rates are above 90%, and the farmer water for water are controlled within the scope of the approved tariff.

2.5 saves labor inputs, reducing the cost of irrigation

Past each branch, lateral canal because there is no effective management organization, together with ancillary buildings is low, turn on the water downstream of each village must send a lot of labor to keep the water. Association is established, a branch, lateral canal Association Executive Committee only 5-8 people to deploy traffic, coupled with a small amount of temporary water management staff, to keep the water greatly reduces labor costs. Economic branch establishment of associations such as the East before, each drainage irrigation water required to keep more than 30 labor camp, each bucket mouth at least two people, this channel to spend a year generally keep the water nearly 6 million labor expenses. Association was founded just after the association of this branch committee member, four pipe water each WUG member of the Executive Committee members of the wage in 2008 spent a total of 10,000 yuan, plus WUG members pay about water pipe 18,000 yuan, so in 2008 a year to keep water costs about 30,000 yuan, 60,000 yuan more than the original to be reduced by half, to keep water costs greatly reduced. Many farmers in the survey believe that after the establishment of associations for other water, watching the water time is shortened. This is mainly because the channel after the Association was founded to improve the quality, improve the ability of the majority over the water channels, shortening the irrigation cycle, greatly improving the irrigation guarantee rate.

2.6 expand irrigation
Irrigation Water Users Association was established, the project operating conditions improved, especially with the Association Irrigation District irrigation assurance has improved significantly. As water in a timely manner, so that less irrigation water downstream past and dead ends into the water irrigation, irrigated area expanded.

3 Problems

3.1 Farmers level of awareness and sense of participation needs to be improved

Survey Association has been formed for two years, local farmers should have a very high for this form of organization of awareness and understanding, as the operation and management of the Association requires the majority of farmers personally involved. But the survey found that 35.8% of households are not involved in the maintenance of branch following works, 38.8% of households reflect WUA democratic decision without soliciting their views, 59.7% of the farmers do not know own expenses which include water charges, which are described some farmers did not really participate in the operation and management of the Association, the farmers' level of awareness and sense of participation needs to be improved.

3.2 increase farmers pay water

In many existing literature points out that after the establishment of WUA farmers to pay water charges declined, but in the actual survey, we found that not all of the association after the establishment of farmers' irrigation can reduce water bills. In the survey, some households that pay for water has increased compared to before the establishment of associations, such as the Village water users associations in the governance of the survey, a total of 10 farmers surveyed, six of them considered the establishment of associations ago, water fee increases, when asked why, they said that was mainly due to increase in the price of water, and still others because of the establishment of associations, the association increased operating costs, such as those who have to pay daily expenses and keep the water association staff salaries , also expressed clear reasons for the increase of water.

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3.3 Association funding shortfalls exist

Association was founded, engineering and maintenance and management responsibility and authority for the transfer of water to farmers associations, the implementation of the responsibilities, rights and interests combine to implement the Guanhuzeren. This requires the association to have a stable and reliable source of income for the takeover field canal project for management and protection and maintenance, to ensure the project is running well, if the lack of normal operating funds association, will inevitably lead to associations operating difficulties. In the survey of 10 associations, all of the President of the Association have expressed canal management and protection of insufficient funds, there are many canal can not be repaired, lack of funds has become a serious obstacle to the further development of associations. Association of shortage of funds is a major cause of poor association funding sources, irrigation management authority after the transfer, the main source of income for most associations of irrigation water charges, in addition to no other sources of income. Association is responsible for the survey 10 per capita, said 2008 revenue in addition to water, other income are 0. Because lack of funds, the impact of the overall work of the normal association, many association staff have great views, which in our survey have clearly reflected.

3.4 Association remuneration of staff

The survey found that many association management personnel remuneration is low, the survey 10 associations, President of the Association, the average wage is 720 yuan / year, Vice-Chairman of the average wage is 510 yuan / year, the other members of lower wages. Year average of 400 yuan, and some associations due to funding shortages, since the formation of associations since 2007 has not yet been sent to the management staff wages, seriously dampened their enthusiasm is bound to affect the normal work of the Association to carry out, so that the functions of the Association can not fully play the role effectively. In addition, water users associations as low pay, in the formation process, many young people reluctant to join the work of the association, cooperative staff are mostly enthusiastic about public welfare, there is a high prestige among the masses of the elderly, because older workers and professional quality is not high, affecting work efficiency. Many Association hope the higher authorities to give more support to jointly promote the development of the Association.

3.5 Association inefficient management of water conservancy facilities

Association was founded, to respond to the canal project within the jurisdiction of asset evaluation, and management of their property rights, including the right to use and title shall be handed over to the association. Let members of the Association have end-canal project property, it really is conducive to the project management and protection and sustainable development of the Association. In the survey of 10 associations, there are nine associations in the formation of associations, there is no scope of its jurisdiction over the canal project for asset valuation. Some Association said only entitled Project Management Association and use rights, ownership, belonging to water units, the location of the village or local government. Another part of the association is not timely inspection, maintenance and association under the jurisdiction of water conservancy facilities, many associations even done on time inspection and maintenance, but the lack of written records. These questions illustrate Association engineering facilities management is still lacking efficiency, which to a certain extent, affect the association to raise funds for the canal project management and protection of the initiative, is not conducive to the preservation and water conservancy asset value.

3.6 is not completely abolish intermediate links

In the survey we found that some associations do not receive the right to water, some farmers reflects the association was founded they did not give the WUA water, but to the contractor, the village or the water pipes, Description of these associations are not truly associations, irrigation is only a dummy forms of organization, this is mainly due to the following two reasons: (1) Because water is more willing to pay the cost of farmers and township governments, village will often reluctant to transfer the rights of water will be charged to the association, even in the World Bank project area established WUAs many villages, water also tends to be charged by the village to the association and the right to receive no water . This makes it difficult to play the role of Water Users Association. (2) the formation of some irrigation water users association is forced by the pressure of the World Bank and not from the actual demand. Since the formation of the Bank Association as a necessary condition of its support programs, irrigation in order to get the project was forced to form water user associations. Survey shows that 59.2 percent of the President of the Association set up an association that is out of the requirements of the World Bank, 46.2% considered the higher levels of government requires them to do, 38.5% considered in order to reduce the burden on farmers, by the farmers offered WUA establishment and only 15.38%. Many irrigation in the formation of associations, it is not combined with the actual situation in the region, but simply the pattern of the other pilot areas to take over mechanically, in fact, the water needs of local farmers and management of desire is not strong, which resulted in water Association does not play a role in space, run the tangible results.

4 recommended

Through investigation, initially to find the current WUA functioning of the main problems, following recommendations are made. (A) to further increase the publicity and guidance, water administrative departments at all levels must be practical, using various modes of publicity, in-depth publicity WUA-related knowledge, enhance the sense of cooperation of all parties, to create a good atmosphere of reform. Final formation of the whole society to care, attention, support WUA development atmosphere. (2) strengthen staff training to improve their quality and ability. In addition, to absorb some of the younger comrades, especially the educated, high quality gay association management involvement, in order to improve the efficiency of operation and management associations. (3) to intensify support to ensure the healthy development of the Association. First, the government should gradually improve farmer participation in irrigation management system environment, and further introduction of water user participation in irrigation management related laws and policies, legal environment for the development of optimized association and further increase investment in irrigation area strength and intensity, and providing technical service work for the establishment and healthy development of the Association to provide protection. Secondly irrigation management units to the construction and renovation funds supporting the establishment of an appropriate regional WUA inclined to take financial support and technical support measures to promote the healthy development of WUAs. (4) the current irrigation water rights should be strengthened collective ownership of ideas, and gradually explore the experience of transfer of water rights for irrigation to provide compensation benefits and incentives. (5) the operation of multi-channel solution Association funding problems and promote sustainable development of the Association. WUA run after the establishment of the shortage of funds, not only against the association management staff enthusiasm for work, but also hindered Association normal work. To this end, WUA to run multi-channel solution Association funding. For example doing propaganda for farmers, promoting the 'thing' policies were implemented to improve the percentage of irrigation return water to encourage the development of integrated business associations and comprehensively strengthen the management of water metering, water-saving benefits increased association.

Main references

[1] Zhang Lubiao, Liu Jing, Huding Huan. WUA's performance and problem analysis [J]. Issues in Agricultural Economy, 2003 (2) :29-33.

[2] Chenzu Mei, Yang Pingfu, Zheng. WUA Zhang River Irrigation Survey [J]. China Rural Water and Hydropower, 2005 (3) :26-28.

[3] Wang Lei, Zhaoxiu Sheng, He JK. WUA Practice and Problems [J]. Agrotechnical Economics, 2005 (1) :36-39.

[4] That Wei. Water user participation in irrigation management Some Problems [J]. Information Development & Economy, 2005 (7) :287-288.

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