Social studies, Public Participation and Management of Lishter Irrigation-Drainage Network

Description of Project

Project area is located southwest of Iran in Kohgiloieh Province downstream of the existing Kosar dam. The project includes development of Lishter irrigation-drainage network and the left bank terraces of Khayrabad River with total area of 4587ha of agricultural land. There are 10 villages in Lishter area home to 500 families with total population of about 2600 people. The left bank terraces of Khayerabad River include 6 villages with about 560 families and 2600 inhabitants. It is noted that the main canals and water conveyance pipeline are already built and lateral irrigation-drainage network system is under construction.

Objective

The investigation aims to improve the overall impacts on the agricultural development in this area and prepare a comprehensive action plan for this project by:

  • Considering the important social factors in system design
  • Overcoming social resistance and gaining public support and stakeholders' participation as the most important social challenges that need to be addressed for implementation of this irrigation-drainage project
  • Promoting financial participation of beneficiaries in construction and maintenance costs of lateral canals and pipelines
  • Organizing the Water Users Associations inline with the established policies to transfer the management of the Irrigation network to water users
  • Developing / Improving land and water use regime
  • Capacity building, empowerment and training of water users

Actual Services Provided by MGCE

MGCE performed an extensive study, fieldwork, surveys, interviews and focus groups and proposed the required action plan with close interaction with the Client and local facilitators, local authorities and farmers. The performed tasks are summarized as follows: 

  • Social studies and public participation:

Examining the demographic characteristics and trends in communities, identifying all stakeholders and collection of their views about the project, examining the previous and current participatory potential of water users, identifying the social supporting forces and obstacle, playing the facilitating role to reach an accord and common understanding among  stakeholders and gaining public acceptance promoting shared responsibility

  • Studying the land/water use regime and important inputs or resources for agricultural activities:

Identifying land/water user regime, studying the trends and pros and cons of the current agricultural regime in the area and proposing suitable  improvement measures for the system under the present and future project condition

  • Studying the establishment and empowering the Water Users Associations:

Identifying the problems and challenges in management and maintenance of lateral irrigation-drainage network system, designing water users associations based on technical, socio-economical and cultural conditions, proposal of suitable and practical methods for scheduled and timely transfer of irrigation management to water user associations , proposing suitable empowerment and capacity building methods for transferring the managerial responsibilities to water users

  • Studying primary network management and maintenance system:

Selection of suitable system and organizational structure for management of the irrigation network and water facilities considering the regional condition and potentials, preparation of tender documents for selection of contractor  to manage the primary irrigation-drainage network, preparation of guidelines for network utilization, maintenance and repair procedures