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International Journal of Engineering Science Invention ISSN (Online): 2319 6734, ISSN (Print): 2319 6726 www.ijesi. Volume 2 Issue 10 November 2013 PP.35-42

Performance Evaluation of Irrigation System an Overview

Bvdu,Coe Pune

ABSTRACT.: Management reforms are considered one of the best alternatives in increasing efficiency Of the
irrigation systems. Transfer of day-to-day operation and maintenance to farmers is not a new concept. However due to lags, even now it is a hot issue in developing countries. In this context of growing argument about the transfer of management of public irrigation systems to the Water Users Group, this paper examines the comparative performance of farmer-managed and agency-managed irrigation systems. In this paper irrigation water management is considered as one of the activities of the irrigation scheme. Three phases of irrigation water management namely planning, operation and evaluation are identified. A framework for the performance assessment of irrigation water management in heterogeneous irrigation schemes is proposed in this paper, based on earlier studies made in this direction. The paper presents three types of allocate measures (productivity, equity and reliability) and five types of scheduling measures (adequacy, flexibility, sustainability, social impact and efficiency), together with the methodologies for estimating these for the scheme as a whole during different phases of irrigation water management.This paper recommends a specific set of indicators for measuring performance. Although the primary focus is on the management of canal systems for agricultural production, the paper also discusses indicators that can be used for assessing longer term performance, including physical, economic and social sustainability. Finally, the paper highlights the crucial importance of strategic, as well as operational management performance..

KEY WORDS: adequacy, equity, irrigation water management, performance assessment, productivity,
Reliability, sustainability, social impact.



Developing countries have made huge investments in infrastructure for irrigation in the form of irrigation schemes over the last half century, realizing its importance for food production for the growing population. This investment, together with improved crop production technologies such as use of fertilizers, hybrid varieties, plant protection techniques, etc. has enabled many countries to move towards achieving selfsufficiency in food production. Nevertheless there is also a perception that many irrigation schemes do not perform up to expectations or achieve the goals. Therefore the issue of equity was not addressed.A set of comparative performance indicators is defined, which relates outputs from irrigated agriculture to the major inputs of water, land, and finance. five indicators are presented with the objective of providing a means of comparing performance across irrigation systems. These indicators require a limited amount of data that are generally available and readily analyzed with respect to farmers participation. Results of application of the indicators at irrigation systems are presented and large differences in performance among systems are shown. In spite of uncertainties in estimation of indicators, the large differences discerned by the indicators justify the approach taken.Previous studies that used the multi field type of model Sritharan et al. 1988 and Shyam et al. 1994_ produced the allocation plans and water delivery schedules for each allocation unit or field for optimum productivity. These studies discussed or estimated the performance measure of equity for the optimum allocation plan, as they obtained the distribution of the resources by allocation unit. Therefore the methodologies included in these models fall in the second category of methodologies, which optimizeproductivity while addressing the issue of equity. However these models did not aim for optimization or maximization of the equity. The models which are of simulation in nature such as reported by Keller _1987_, Jian _1990_, and Steiner and Walter _1992_ estimated the equity for the given land and water resources allocation plan or for specified crop areas and the water distribution rule. But these models did not attempt to optimize productivity or equity.



Performance assessment has been an integral part of irrigation since man first started harnessing water to improve crop production. The consequences of failing to monitor performance have also been known for many centuries: The twentieth century has seen a massive growth in irrigation. About 35% of all food grown is

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Performance Evaluation Of Irrigation

produced on irrigated land, and is the primary factor enabling mankind to feed an ever increasing population. Population increase in a finite world means that pressure to increase the productivity of both land and water is intensifying, particularly as demands for non-agricultural uses of water continue to increase. Some 70% of all water used in the world is for irrigated agriculture, but this figure will continue to decline as urban and industrial demands grow. The pressure to produce more food with fewer resources requires that performance in terms of both water and land utilization to improve. To achieve this, irrigation managers, whether at national, system or farm level, will need to work harder to meet the challenge of the future. In light of this scenario it is perhaps surprising that few irrigation agencies include rewards for high performance as an incentive for staff to try to improve productivity: most irrigation agencies have not adapted to the management Challenge following their establishment and growth as design and construction agencies. At the same time, there are few clear and comprehensive guidelines available to agencies or managers that can help them in the institutional and technical transformations that are prerequisites for achieving high performance. This paper is based on the belief that improvement in performance requires three conditions that must be satisfied simultaneously: a framework for managers to use in assessing performance, a practical and useful set of indicators for measuring performance, and an appropriate incentive and reward system that will encourage managers to improve their current levels of performance. Performance of irrigation water management Definition Lenton (1986) described irrigation performance as knowing the extent to which an irrigation scheme achieved established objectives. According to Abernethy (1989) the performance of an irrigation scheme is represented by its measured levels of achievement in terms of one, or several, parameters which are chosen as indicators of the systems goals. While reviewing and pr oposing different methodologies for assessing performance of irrigation and drainage schemes, Bos et al. (1994) commented, performance assessment is, despite its apparent simplicity, a very complex task and cited the definition of performance proposed by Murray-Rust & Snellen (1993) as the degree to which an organizations products and services respond to the needs of their customers or users, and the efficiency with which the organization uses the resources at its disposal. The performance of irrigation water management can be stated as the extent to which the land and water resources in the irrigation schemes planned for allocation to different users and their spatial and temporal distribution in planning and operation stages follow the objectives of the irrigation scheme. Evaluation of irrigation performance Performance assessment requires a framework that enables a manager to effectively use the data collected as part of the routine task of operating and maintaining irrigation systems. The purpose of any framework is to form a link between repeated actions in such a way as to provide a learning experience for the manager that allows things to be done better in each successive iteration. It has proven difficult for irrigation managers to use frameworks developed for other large organizations. In part this may be because, at least until recent years, performance criteria were not well defined for monopolistic service organizations, and partly because of the unique and complex nature of irrigation. This picture is now changing, and increased attention is being paid to frameworks suitable for assessment of performance in irrigation. It is not the purpose of this paper to comprehensively review a wide range of frameworks or to analyze them in detail. However, two approaches are described in this section that provide the basis for developing workable frameworks. There is considerable confusion over what is meant by an irrigation system, and what objectives are being used by whom at different locations and different times. Small & Svendsen (1990) attempt to overcome some of this confusion by describing irrigation as a set of nested systems, each of which has its own particular set of objectives. The primary linkage between these systems is that the outputs from one system become part of the inputs into the next system, establishing a means-end framework. They incorporate five systems into their model: the irrigation system, which has as its function the conveyance of water from the source to the farmer's field. The output from this system, water delivery at the farm gate, then becomes an input into

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Performance Evaluation Of Irrigation

the irrigated agriculture system where farmers use water and other inputs to produce crops; these crops become the inputs into the agricultural economic system that includes rain feed agriculture as well as irrigation; the value of the crops produced then forms part of - the rural economic system that deals with the entire set of economic activities in rural areas that in turn form part of the highest level,

Fig1: Nested System Network The purpose of defining this nested set of systems is that it allows the actions of a manager at one level to be placed in the context of the next higher level if irrigation delivery does not match the requirements of farmers who are responding to irrigation as part of a wider set of agricultural tasks, then performance will suffer. It also provides a clear way of splitting up objectives into constituent groups that reflect the purpose of that system: this avoids the common pitfall of trying to meet too many different objectives simultaneously. Three types of performance measures: process measures that refer to the processes internal to a system that lead to the ultimate outputs from that system, output measures that describe the quality and quantity of the outputs at the point where they become inputs into the next higher system, and impact measures that refer to the impact of these outputs on the wider environment. The distinction is useful because it helps us to understand that performance means different things to different people. Until the context in which a particular number or value is used has been defined, the scope for confusion and misunderstanding will remain large. Characteristics of performance measures Abernethy (1989) pointed out that performance indicators should provide irrigation managers with the answer to the following three questions. 1. Does the quantity of water provided meet the growth needs of the crops planted in a given season? 2. How fair is the water distribution among multiple users of the delivery system? 3. Does the water delivery timing match the growth needs of the crop and expectation of the farmers?

General features of performance indicators Monitoring is essential in providing the basic data used for performance assessment, but in its raw form it is merely data. A true performance indicator includes both an actual value and a target value that enables the user to quickly assess the amount of deviation and a standard that allows the manager to determine if the

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Performance Evaluation Of Irrigation

deviation is acceptable. It is therefore desirable wherever possible to express indicators in the form of a ratio. It is important to ensure that the indicators selected for a system will describe performance in respect of the objectives established for that system. It is this process that links the use of indicators to the overall performance assessment framework. A good indicator can be used in two distinct ways. It tells a manager what current performance is in the system, and, in conjunction with other indicators, may help him to identify the correct course of action to improve performance within that system: in this sense the use of the same indicator over time is important because it assists in identifying trends that may need to be reversed before the remedial measures become too expensive or too complex.From the perspective of operational performance, performance indicators are comparatively easy to define. They will normally be simple ratios of actual to target conditions, and the result of the performance assessment process will be to either change operational inputs so as to better achieve the target. Classification of indicators Performance indicators are grouped as, a. Water supply performance. This deals with the primary task of irrigation managers in the capture, allocation and conveyance of water from source to field by management of irrigation facilities. Indicators address several aspects of this task: efficiency of conveying water from one location to another, the extent to which agencies maintain irrigation infrastructure to keep the system running efficiently, and the service aspects of water delivery which include such concepts as predictability and equity. b. Agricultural performance. This addresses the direct impact of operational inputs in terms of such aspects as area actually irrigated and crop production, over which an irrigation manager may have some but not full responsibility. c. Economic, social and environmental performance. This deals with the impact of both operational and agricultural inputs on the viability and sustainability of irrigated agriculture; these impacts include both physical and socio-economic sustainability of irrigated agriculture. It goes from the specific aspects of irrigation management where system-level managers have direct control over water delivery, to less direct outcomes such as agricultural production, then on to the less tangible and more subjective aspects of individual performance and the performance of agencies. Using performance indicators in a spatial dimension also enables managers to identify precise locations at which problems are arising, and where to take remedial action. Dividing the system into several sub-systems, and assessing the performance at these lower levels, helps describe system performance more effectively. A system experiencing water distribution problems, for example, would need to know whether the most urgent management inputs are required at main, secondary or tertiary level. Water supply performance Water supply performance parameters are concerned with assessment of the water supply function of the conveyance system: they cover the volumetric component that is primarily concerned with matching supplies to crop demand, as well as the rather more subjective concept of reliability that may affect the users' capacity to manage water efficiently, and the socially oriented aspects of equity. These three aspects all represent facets of the concept of service being provided to water users. We focus our attention on this 'core business' of the organization managing the 'main system', the diversion, conveyance, and distribution of water to the users, i.e., to the point where it is handed over to an organization intermediate between individual farmers and the main system management, or in the absence of such an organization, to individual farmers. Conveyance indicators The primary task of organizations managing irrigation systems is to deliver water in accordance with a plan. Indicators in this section are therefore those that guide managers in respect to water delivery performance. In most respects they will be short term in nature, referring to performance in the space of a day or similar time frame. The simplest, and most short term, performance indicators are those that compare actual discharge to an intended or target discharge at any given location in the system. It is convenient to differentiate between instantaneous measures and those that cumulate performance over a specified period of time. The simplest and yet probably the most important hydraulic performance indicator is: Delivery Performance Ratio = Actual Discharge Target Discharge

This measure enables a manager to determine the extent to which water is delivered

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as planned at any moment in time and at any location in the system. The primary utility of Delivery Performance Ratio is that it allows for instantaneous checking of whether discharges at any location in the system are more or less as intended. It is obvious that the more frequent the measurement the greater the likelihood that managers can match actual to target discharges. Actual Volume. Target Volume Over a sufficiently long time frame (e.g., monthly, or over three or four rotational time periods) it can be assumed that if total volume delivered is close to intended, then the management inputs must be effective. Efficiency- A related set of indicators refers to efficiencies. In most cases, efficiencies deal with volume delivered within a set time period rather than instantaneous discharge. Efficiency is a measure of hydraulic conditions in a spatial context over a specific time period. Maintenance indicators In contrast to the considerable work done on water delivery performance indicators, remarkably little attention has been paid to assessment of performance in respect of maintenance of irrigation infrastructure. This is despite the fact that physical infrastructure is the most costly item in irrigation development and in the subsequent rehabilitation of older systems. Maintenance is designed to accomplish three main purposes: keeping canals in sufficiently good condition to minimize losses and sustain designed discharge-head relationships, safety, and keeping water control infrastructure in working condition. Conveyance efficiencies provide the best way of assessing whether canal maintenance is required. By tracking changes in conveyance efficiencies over time it should be possible to establish criteria that will indicate when canal cleaning or reshaping is necessary. In many systems this is undertaken subjectively on appearance rather than using a more analytical approach. An alternative measure of maintenance performance is to assess the extent to which control structures can be operated as intended. Allocative type performance measures The allocative type performance measures are those which need to be attended primarily during the allocation of the resources at the planning stage. Allocation of the resources influences production, area to be irrigated, net return, distribution of the resources to the users based on certain considerations, or combinations of these. Hence we classify the performance measures as, 1. Productivity 2. Equity 3. Reliability Scheduling type performance measures The irrigation schedule (consisting of the temporal or intra seasonal distribution of the resources to different users) needs to be prepared for the allocation plans developed according to the objectives of the scheme. Depending on these objectives, the schedule should be such that water deliveries may need to be adequate both in planning and operation, reliable when in operation considering all the complexities in the irrigation scheme, flexible and sustainable. Depending on the objectives of the scheme we propose following five scheduling type performance measures. 1. Adequacy 2. Flexibility 3. Efficiency 4. Social Impact 5. Sustainability Features of the Selected Indicators Minimum set of external indicators was originally presented by Perry (1996). The indicators have been widely field-tested and slightly amended, resulting in this present list. The intent of presenting this set of indicators is to allow for cross-system performance. Some of the features of the indicators are: The indicators are based on a relative comparison of absolute values, rather than being referenced to standards or targets. The indicators relate to phenomena that are common to irrigation and irrigated agr icultural systems. The set of indicators is small, yet reveals sufficient information about the output of the system. Data collection procedures are not too complicated or expensive. Water Delivery Performance =

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The indicators relate to outputs and are bulk measures of irrigatio n and irrigated agricultural systems, and thus provide limited information about internal processes. This set of indicators is designed to show gross relationships and trends and should be useful in indicating where more detailed study should take place, for example where a project has done extremely well, or where dramatic changes have taken place. This approach differs from that of using ratios of actual to target in that the interpretation of these ratios relative to performance is not always clear (e.g., if the target value is 1, is 0.9 better than 1.1?) . A relative comparison of values at least allows us to examine how well one system is performing in relation to others. And, if we have enough samples, this approach may ultimately allow us to develop standards and targets. The main audience for these external indicators comprises policy makers and managers making longterm and strategic decisions, and researchers who are searching for relative differences between irrigation systems while the main audience for internal indicators comprises irrigation system managers interested in dayto-day operations. Productivity The productivity is related to output from the system in response to the input added to the system and there are several indicators of productivity. The principle output of the scheme is the crop produce or its economic equivalence and the area irrigated. These need to be assessed seasonally or annually. The productivity can be indicated by measuring these outputs in gross terms or relative to input utilized. Equity Water is a scarce resource in many tropical countries and some may argue that it is advisable to achieve the maximum productivity in its use. However in these countries, the objective of social justice in the irrigation scheme may also be important and many peoples livelihoods may depend on their irrigation supplies. Thus the allocation of water to achieve the maximum productivity is not the only objective but to allocate those resources such as water and area equitably according to the prevailing equity objectives is necessary to ensure social justice. Reliability Water allocation or supply may be less than maximum demand (estimated with potential crop water requirement). However, in operation it is necessary to match the water deliveries to allocations, which may be less than maximum demand, as in case of deficit irrigation. If water is delivered to the farmers in accordance with the schedules prepared during the planning process, the supply is considered to be reliable; otherwise the supply is unreliable. The reasons attributed to the unreliable supply are many: water availability in the irrigation scheme is lower than estimated during the allocation process, unexpected demands arise from sectors other than irrigation, inappropriate consideration of the capacity of the water distribution system, canal breakage and theft and management capacity or capability of the irrigation organization to deliver the scheduled supply. Scheduling type performance measures The irrigation schedule (consisting of the temporal or intra seasonal distribution of the resources to different users) needs to be prepared for the allocation plans developed according to the objectives of the scheme. Depending on these objectives, the schedule should be such that water deliveries may need to be adequate both in planning and operation, reliable when in operation considering all the complexities in the irrigation scheme, flexible and sustainable. Depending on the objectives of the scheme we propose following five scheduling type performance measures. 1. Adequacy 2. Flexibility 3. Efficiency 4. Sustainability 5. Social Impact Adequacy Adequacy deals with water supply to the crop relative to its demand. The measure of adequacy, relative water supply (RWS), proposed by Levine (1982) is the most comprehensive. RWS is the ratio of supply due to irrigation and effective rainfall to the demand due to evapotranspiration and other needs.This indicator in itself or in little modified form (to account for variation in supply and demand) was used or proposed by many

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(Keller, 1986; Moya &Walter, 1988; Oad & Padmore, 1988;Weller, 1991; Sakthivadivel et al., 1993;Bos et al., 1994). Flexibility The water delivery schedules decided during planning are often subjected to changes. These changes are firstly due to variability in weather parameters, which cause the deviation of supply and demand during actual operation from those considered during planning. Secondly, there are different types of interventions when the scheme is in operation. The irrigation authorities are interested to know the influence on the outputs of any change in water delivery schedules during the operation. These outputs are in the form of allocative types of performance measures, i.e. productivity and equity and scheduling type of performance measure, i.e. adequacy. Once the areas are allocated to different crops for irrigation and the operation of the scheme has begun, any changes in the water delivery schedules should cause minimum reduction in the output or tend to recover towards the intended output. In short it is necessary to know how flexible are these schedules to take in these changes. We define flexibility as the ability of the water delivery schedule of the allocation plan to recover from an y changes caused in the schedule. This needs consideration during planning of the irrigation water management. The schedules based on a management strategy of full or over irrigation are normally more flexible than those based on deficit irrigation. Achieving high flexibility in water delivery schedules may require compromising on other performance. Sustainability Sustainability is the performance measure related to upgrading, maintaining, and degrading the environment in the irrigation scheme. According to Abernethy (1986), the sustainability is the most difficult factor to encompass and refers to the issue of leaching, drainage and Stalinization which if not attended to properly, may shorten the systems life. Though a lot of work has been published o n the indicators of performance measures such as productivity, equity, adequacy, etc. few efforts have been made to define the indicators for sustainability. The indicators should enable the irrigation authorities to know which management strategy or option is more sustainable or environmentally friendly and how the chosen management strategy performed for sustainability while the scheme was in operation. Efficiency Allocation plans are developed using estimated efficiencies of water flow at various stages and time and if these allocation plans are implemented properly, most of the performance measures described above will be good indicators irrespective of whether the efficiency of the network is good or bad. However deteriorating efficiency over the years will reduce the performance of the irrigation schemes over this period. Hence though the efficiency is related to the maintenance of the physical infrastructure of the water distribution network it needs to be evaluated as performance of the irrigation scheme when it is in actual operation. This helps to show the causes of performance deviating from the desired standard. Efficiency is important in two ways. Firstly, appropriate optimum allocation plans cannot be developed if proper consideration is not given to efficiency. Inaccurate or simplified estimates also have a major influence on other performance parameters such as productivity, adequacy, equity and reliability.Secondly, the inspection of efficiencies over space and time at different levels enables the irrigation authorities to learn which part of the scheme is inefficient, where it is inefficient and how it is deteriorating. It is necessary to define and use efficiencies at different levels in the scheme, as the measures to improve these efficiencies are different at these levels. Social Impact Social impact refers to the effects of irrigation on people. Measurements can include comparisons of irrigated and adjacent non-irrigated areas, variation over time and space within the irrigated area, and variations among socio-economic classes on specific social parameters. In multipurpose projects measures of the benefits of non irrigation uses of water, such as recreation or fishing, could also be incorporated. Managers and policy makers need to decide on the priority issues, and develop their own indicators for these. The most effective way of obtaining the data required to measure social impacts is through sample surveys. If an agency is able to contract periodically with a local research group to carry out such 'market research' it could be very useful. For the purpose of this paper, however, we assume that the irrigation agency will use data to which it has direct access, whether collected by its own staff or other agencies. Sometimes this indicator can be used as an indirect measure of farmer satisfaction: the higher the ratio, the more the satisfaction. Other feasible approaches to

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measuring farmer satisfaction include carefully recording the number, types, and temporal and spatial variation in farmers' complaints received either in writing, or through intermediaries, or through meetings with farmers. In many countries, there are departments of agriculture, labor, or census which collect basic agricultural and economic data. These can be used very easily by irrigation managers as sources of information on socioeconomic impacts and trends, such as employment, wages and poverty levels.



Irrigation water management in irrigation schemes is complex due to their heterogeneity. Three phases of irrigation water management namely planning, operation and evaluation were identified. Previous studies on the performance assessment of irrigation scheme have provided the conceptual framework for performance measurement. This has been extended in this paper for the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of performance during every phase of irrigation water management. Two types of performance measures were proposed in this paper: the allocative type comprising productivity and equity; and the scheduling type comprising adequacy (excess), reliability, flexibility, sustainability and efficiency. These performance measures are described with different attributes in this paper. The methodologies to estimate these measures explained in this paper provide the irrigation authorities with the information on the performance of irrigation water management in the scheme, their management capability, the response of the irrigation water management to variations in climatological, physical and management aspects and insight to improve the performance during different phases of irrigation water management. Although the primary focus is on the management of canal systems for agricultural production, we have also discussed indicators that can be used for assessing longer term performance, including physical, economic and social sustainability. Finally, the paper has highlighted the crucial importance of strategic as well as operational management performance. It is unlikely that in any single evaluation there will be sufficient time or resources to assess all aspects of performance simultaneously.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Abernethy, C.L. 1984. Indicators of the performance of irrigation water distribution systems. Symposium on the Performance Evaluation of Irrigation Systems, 23rd November, 1989, IIMI, Colombia, Sri Lanka. Abernethy, C.L. 1986. Performance Measurement in Canal Water management: A Discussion. ODI-IIMI Irrigation Management Network Paper 86/2d, pp. 25. Abernethy, C.L. 1989. Performance criteria for irrigation systems. In J.R. Rydzewski and K. Ward (Eds.) Proceedings on International Conference on Irrigation Theory and Practice, University of Southampton, UK, 1215 September, 1989. Bos M.G., Wolters W., Drovandi A. & Morabito J.A. 1991. The Viejo Retamo secondary canal Performance evaluation case study: Mendoza, Argentina. Irrigation and Drainage Systems 5: 77-88. Allen, R. G., Pereira, L. S., Raes, D., and Smith, M. _1998_. Crop evapotranspiration. Guidelines for predicting crop water requirements. Food and agricultural organization irrigation and drainage paper 56, United Nations, Rome, Italy. Doorenbos, J., and Pruitt, W. O. _1984_. Guidelines for predicting crop water requirements. Food and agricultural organization irrigation and drainage paper 24, United Nations, Rome, Italy.

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