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Water Entitlement Issues in South Punjab

Water Entitlement Issues in South Punjab

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Published by Amjad Nazeer

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Published by: Amjad Nazeer on Nov 24, 2012
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11/24/2012

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ENTITLEMENT ISSUES OF IRRIGATION WATERIN SOUTH PUNJABAmjAd NAzeerDamaan Development organization (DDO)
September
2012
(Islamabad)
 
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Content:
Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………….………3I - Introduction and objectives of the research…………………………………………………….8Rationale for the baseline study………………………………………………………………....8The Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………...9Scope of the study and sampling……………………………………………………………….....9Indicators to assess the situation……………………………………………………….……….10Theoretical framework…………………………………………………………………..…………..11II – Historical context………………………………………………………………………………….13III - The present state of irrigation and agriculture in Pakistan……………...………………..18IV – Unpacking the Problems on ground….………….…………………………………………...21Bureaucratic Lanes and Alleys……………………………………………………….………….21Distribution, Warabandi and Insufficiency……………………………………………….…….28Waste and waterlogging…………………………………………………………………………..35Water theft……………………………………………………………………………………………36Vows of tenants and tailenders…………………………………………………………………..42Conflicts around distribution and access……………………………………………...………44Water Charges, Abyana or Moamla…………………………………………………..…………46Using the used water……………………………………………………………………..………..48National Water Policy and irrigation water…………………………………………………….48Women farmers and entitlement to water…………………………………………….………..50Water users associations…………………………………………………………….……...……51V – Much needed reforms in policy and practices…………………………………………..…..53Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………….58Annexure I………………………………………………………………………………...…………….60Annexure II………………………………………………………………………………...……………62Annexure III……………………………………………………………………………………………..64Annexure IV……………………………………………………………………………………………
 
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Executive Summary
Primary research in three districts of South Punjab i.e. Khanewal, Lodhran and Vehari form thebasis of water entitlement issues and analysis in this study. Where appropriate, however,secondary literature has also been corroborated to validate data on ground.By and large, authoritarian state control is evident in the distribution and management of canalwater. Like the rest of the provincean extensive network of canals, rajbahs and watercoursesoperates in South Punjab. Butirrigation water despite being a vital commodity is transferred asconcession or obligation not as users’ or farmers’ right. Availability, access and distribution ishighly skewed and inequitable between head-end and tail-end, big and small and rich and poorfarmers. Insufficiency and shortfall is compensated by pumping groundwater that is salinizingand water logging huge tracts of land.Pesticides and fertilizers further poison ground wateradding to deficit productivity.Traces of colonial maneuverability and instrumentality still dominate the system and the purposeof food security and poverty reduction is lost somewhere in the mist of bureaucratic oppressionand monotony. Any shifts or modifications made through time are also identified andappreciated.To approach realities on ground, I have employed anthropological approach that ‘water is a totalsocial phenomenon that cuts and connects people’. Its technical handling and engineering

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