Aither is working with the University of South Australia and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to improve water management in South Asia, where institutional weaknesses can substantially reduce efficiency in irrigation. To address this, some jurisdictions have devolved irrigation management decisions to farmers. Known as Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM), such approaches have yielded mixed results, especially in India and Pakistan. Given the importance of irrigation to the livelihoods of rural people in India and Pakistan, there is enormous value in determining in advance whether PIM will result in overall gains and the magnitude of any gains. Drawing on case studies from Bihar and Assam, India, and Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan, the project will establish the relative efficiency of PIM in different settings.
The background in the photo is the main channel operated by the Hujjan Distributary Farmer Organisation in Punjab. The body represents 21 000 irrigators with an average farm size of three acres.