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Property Rights Or Property Wrong: Do Property Rights Matter In Household Access To Irrigation Water? Evidence From Mid-hills, Nepal

Pariyar, Bishnu (2010) Property Rights Or Property Wrong: Do Property Rights Matter In Household Access To Irrigation Water? Evidence From Mid-hills, Nepal. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Whilst the development of irrigation infrastructure has been proposed as a vehicle for poverty reduction in many developing countries, the distributional aspects of irrigation interventions, particularly households’ level of access to irrigation water have rarely been explored. Furthermore, previous empirical studies on irrigation performance have been overtly objective and technical with little regard to farmers’ needs and concerns. The premise of this is that ‘objectivity’ is a necessary but insufficient measure of access to irrigation water. In addition to this, whilst irrigation interventions have had some success in ensuring access to water for crop cultivation, the impact of such interventions have been varied amongst irrigation governed by different property right regimes. In response to these concerns, this multidisciplinary study uses mixed methodologies of data collection and analysis to explore a subjective measure of households’ access to water from irrigation systems managed by different property right regimes. Using a case study approach, an in-depth institutional analysis of the three irrigation systems has been carried out to identify institutional factors which contributed to unequal level of access to irrigation water. The findings demonstrate that households’ level of access to water is influenced by socio-economic status, the physical nature of the canal systems and institutional characteristics of the management regimes. The results from the quantitative analysis reveal a clear pattern of differentiated access to water in irrigation systems under different property right regimes. The results indicate that the tail-enders, female-headed households, dalits and small farmers appear to have weak access to water from the canals. However, farmers along these heterogeneities have different levels of access to water in irrigation systems governed by different property right regimes with farmers in the farmers managed irrigation system performing significantly better than the agency managed and jointly managed irrigation systems. The thesis concludes that institutional dimensions should be taken into consideration by policymakers in order to ensure better access to water in irrigation interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Property rights, heterogeneity, access, irrigation, poverty, Nepal
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Bishnu Pariyar
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 10:22
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1261

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