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Local transformation of a state-initiated institutional innovation: The example of water users' associations in an irrigation scheme in Morocco

Kadiri Z., Kuper M., Faysse N., Errahj M.. 2009. Irrigation and Drainage, 58 (3) : S346-S357.

DOI: 10.1002/ird.529

The international debate on participatory management and irrigation management transfer has mainly focused on ex-ante/ex-post evaluations that rely on quantitative performance indicators to measure the failure or success of management transfer and the functioning of water users' associations (WUAs). This article focuses on the appropriation by farmers of state-initiated WUAs illustrated by the case of the Moyen Sebou irrigation scheme in Morocco. This scheme, which was designed for agency-managed water distribution, was implemented at the height of the debate on participatory management in the early 1990s, and was transformed into a farmer-managed irrigation scheme. The results revealed the gradual adoption of the water institutions (WUAs and the federations of WUAs) by farmers, who continuously crafted and adapted rules for the management of water distribution, collection of water fees, and governance of the irrigation scheme. In addition, there were a number of indirect spinoffs generated by the collective learning process in terms of leadership, collective action, local democracy and local development.

Mots-clés : gestion des eaux; eau d'irrigation; maroc

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