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Water Control and Irrigation Performance: A Case Study of Tubewell Irrigation Management in Bangladesh

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 5(1): 57-61. (doi: 10.13031/2013.26477) @1989
Authors:   Ramchand Oad, Robby Laitos
Keywords:   Groundwater, Irrigation system design, Rice production, Tropical agriculture

Two aspects of irrigation management in the tubewell irrigation systems of Bangladesh - water control patterns and performance of the tubewell groups-are analyzed. Results of a field study of five deep tubewell irrigation systems in Bangladesh show that effective farmer participation can provide necessary control to ensure adequate and equitable distribution of irrigation water. The study also shows that farmer participation is less likely to occur in the presence of a large, dominant landowner. To encourage a broad participation in irrigation development, a management model has organized groups of landless people to buy or rent shallow tubewells, and then sell water to the farmers. Following another model, government agencies have sold deep tubewells to private individuals. For the objectives of equity and increased rural employment, the former model appears to be superior. Water supplies available to the farmers were efficiently utilized. However, tubewell performance was well below design potential. Actual discharge of the five pumps ranged from 28 to 37 L/s as compared to the design discharge of 56 L/s. As a result, the actual irrigated area in the irrigation systems varied between 17 to 29 ha as compared to the design command area of 40 ha.

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