An Investigation of Groundwater Irrigation and Command Area Management Issues in Bangladesh

M. Wakilur Rahman, Mohammad Razu Ahmed, Rayhan Hayat Sarwer


The site of the present study is an intensively irrigated area in the central part of Bangladesh, which falls in the middle part of Indo-Gangetic basin region. Five adjacent villages were selected in which the entire irrigation system mainly depends on Shallow Tubewell (STW) technology. A total of 64 irrigation equipment owners and 100 water buyers were selected for this empirical study. The majority (55 percent) of the STW owners run their management activities through partnership arrangements. The management of STW operation by joint owners was found to be more efficient compared to management by single owners. Also a majority (66 percent) of the owners was found to possess higher social statuses who actively engage in local social institutions. These indigenous social institutions have played an important role in solving conflicts for settling and resettling command areas, for resolving conflict among owners and between water buyers and sellers; and finally for sustaining command area management for groundwater irrigation during the last three decades. The indigenous social institutions also contribute to preserving common interest particularly for settling land use and cropping patterns in the study areas


Groundwater Irrigation, Command Area Management, Indigenous Social Institution

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