Further, the community decided to reinforce the stepped sluice gate using modern techniques. Obviously, the maintenance plan was a bottom-up plan; the community leaders made decisions regarding size, budget, criteria, and time frame. Before starting construction, the community leaders worked with the builder to determine the project plans and criteria.
In principle, maintenance is generally concerned with improving the existing facility rather than building a new structure. For example, work to strengthen the stepped sluice gate involved improvements to the existing structure instead of changing its length, width, and height. The project plans had to be changed when they were found to be incompatible with local needs.
Subsequently, with the full participation of community leaders, the construction met local needs. The efforts of the community leaders achieved this high-quality level of maintenance. Changes were also made to the water distribution rule. It also regulates the volume of water that needs to be drained from the pond before the May and June storms.
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Because its water control is effective, the WHPIS has been operating safely without any major disasters. For example, when a severe storm occurred on 20 May, , the flood-water drained out through the spillway and the WHPIS continued to operate as usual. The changes to the abovementioned rules demonstrate the process of adaptive governance.
These revised rules are intended to meet changes in condition 2 via the following five measures see the right-hand side of Figure 4 in green.
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Measure 1: reinforcing the stepped sluice gate and undertaking appropriate maintenance via the revised investment and maintenance rules. Because flooding resulting from a climate anomaly can potentially destroy the stepped sluice gate, the first task was to strengthen this structure. The strengthening work was conducted using special concrete that was stronger than the concrete that is traditionally used.
This work required a moderate amount of capital, which the community was able to provide. The modernized stepped sluice gate solved the seepage problem and can now drain water rapidly, even in a severe storm. The risk of dam collapse has been mitigated, the water level can be controlled, and the adaptive resilience of the system has been improved.
The updated sluice gate can now be used for water discharge and ensures that the three water appropriation rules remain workable. Furthermore, through frequent interaction with the community, the local government has obtained greater local knowledge and has been able to create a more effective policy.
Measure 2: resolving conflicts in relation to water distribution. The amended water distribution rule states that the protection of lives now has priority over the economic benefits of irrigation and aquaculture.
Charlotte de Fraiture PhD
Because life security is one of the important criteria for evaluating the performance of the village cadre, a disaster caused by an unsafe pond will threaten their political careers. Draining some of the pond water before a severe storm will ensure pond security. Although discharging water in advance may result in some losses in relation to aquaculture, it can reduce the overall losses, because all of the fish will be lost if the dam collapses. Recently, the fish farmer has been participating in water discharge prior to the rainy season by liaising with community leaders regarding the amount of water drainage.
In this way, pond security is ensured and fish farming losses are minimized. Measure 3: complying with newly changed rules. Family ties and events provide strong social capital for participants to work together on the rules to ensure that they are accepted and followed. The revised rules relating to investment, maintenance, and water distribution are all enforced, and the embedded social capital can reduce rule-violating behavior.
If any rule-violating behavior e. These potential losses provide a strong deterrent, discouraging the patroller from engaging in any inappropriate behavior. Measure 4: providing information about changes to water resources and infrastructure. First, the patroller rule clearly states that pond security should be the top priority. It strongly emphasizes the potential damage that can be caused by a severe storm and the importance of security for both the farmlands and villagers.
Second, the patroller rule provides information about the changes in infrastructure and the water level.
Charlotte de Fraiture PhD
This information is important in enabling the community to make appropriate decisions in relation to water distribution to reduce disagreements between those pursuing either irrigation or aquaculture. Finally, the patroller is a key link between the community and the local government.
Measure 5: developing and adapting to new institutions. The community had to transform its various institutions to adapt to the emergent changes caused by the climate anomaly.
Professor of Hydraulic Engineering for Land and Water Development
Obviously, the process of institutional change occurred from the bottom-up. What is more important is that the institutional change was incremental. Only some of the rules were changed while the remaining rule, the water appropriation rule, remained unchanged. The evaluation of adaptive governance in the second stage is based on the perceptions of both water users and community leaders.
Two additional evaluation criteria -flooding discharge and water-related disaster in the second stage-are added to the first-stage criteria. Water users provided positive evaluations, stating that they received sufficient water under the new governance measures and that this was similar to the amount received in the first stage. There were no instances of disasters in severe storm situations because of the implementation of timely and effective measures.
In May and June, farmers were alerted on several occasions to open the water intakes into their fields to discharge surplus water. Crop production was not reduced and the usual level of output was maintained. In addition, the new water distribution rule has ensured that any potential aquaculture loss in a severe storm can been minimized and that the fish farmer continues to pay a pond contract fee. Obviously, the climate anomaly has not had a significant impact on water users because the WHPIS has continued to meet their water demands.
In addition, the water appropriation rule has not changed, and is still in use. The community leaders were very satisfied with these measures. First, the effort needed to lobby the local government for funds has been reduced under the new investment rule. The new rule institutionalizes funds for irrigation maintenance, and these funds are now provided as a regular subsidy rather than as occasional assistance.
These routine funds encourage the community to maintain the WHPIS through appropriate and regular upkeep. In addition, the community considered that the local government acted appropriately in that they provided designated funds to ensure the continuous safety of the WHPIS. The village urgently required the funds necessary to hire a professional patroller. This problem has been fully resolved by the allocation of funds from the local government. In general, based on the abovementioned effects of governing the WHPIS, the system has achieved a new level of stability.
Furthermore, the multiple participants including the village, the irrigation community, and the local government are enjoying a new balance in their relationships and social capital has been strengthened as a result of kinship and family events. The community has learned a lot from the process of adaptive governance and has increased its capability in terms of self-governance.
This study describes two stages of WHPIS governance; one is sustainable long-term governance, and the other is adaptive governance under a climate anomaly. Based on this case study, the issues raised in the Introduction section are discussed. The two stages of WHPIS governance illustrate the long-lasting nature of the relevant institutions and their incremental change. More importantly, the critical function of social capital is revealed. Social capital, in the form of reputation, reciprocity, and priority, encourages communities to meet the five conditions proposed by Dietz et al.
This viewpoint is consistent with the statement by Meinzen-Dick that social capital matters in irrigation management. Social capital provides principles for designing, monitoring, and implementing rules and deters rule violators at a low cost. Family events provide an arena for the irrigation community, the village cadre, and government officials to interact, enabling social capital to be maintained and strengthened.
In line with a statement by Ostrom , the establishment of trust in these three entities enables participants to develop rules and to resolve the dilemmas of irrigation governance. This case demonstrates an example of agricultural water use and social capital maintenance at the community level in southern China.
Although the rural regions in Guangdong are suffering from the problem of labor emigration caused by rapid industrialization and urbanization, the level of social capital has not been significantly affected because labor emigration in the region is characterized by migrant farmers going out to work in cities within Guangdong rather than other provinces. Hence, with convenient transport available, these migrants often return to their home community to attend family activities.
In this way, a high level of social capital both within the community and in partnership with the local government has been maintained by the farmers. The stage of adaptive governance provides insight into the process of institutional change in response to climate disturbance. The occurrence of a climate anomaly resulted in a change to condition 2 that could not have been managed under the old institutional arrangements.
This process, as Dietz et al. Based on social capital, the community revised three rules and designed a new rule to meet the requirements of condition 2. In particular, with the support of the local government in the form of a subsidy, the community adapted the WHPIS to a climate anomaly via self-governance. This solution is consistent with the viewpoint presented by Janssen et al.
However, the result contradicts with the findings of robustness studies Anderies ; Nelson et al. In this case study, the government subsidy reinforced the local coordination system formed by the community rather than destroying it. The local government officials maintain connection with the community via family events. This interaction reinforces the link between the infrastructure provider and users noted by Anderies et al.
This is similar to the function of Balinese temple priests, the infrastructure provider, and the family members of water users, as proposed by Lansing This dual identity supports close interactions between infrastructure providers and resource users, ensures that infrastructure provision matches local requirements, and increases system robustness through adaptive self-governance. The institutional changes outlined here have not resulted in maladaptation of the WHPIS or any loss to the community. A synergetic process has emerged instead of a trade-off.
Institutional change has occurred largely via the revision of three rules and the addition of one new rule.
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Consistent with the finding of Araral b that physical geography determines institutional choices, the geographical feature of the WHPIS has framed a broader water governance regime, which in turn has defined the changing scope of effective rules. In line with this logic, adaptive governance in response to a climate anomaly demands nuanced institutional change rather than a major transformation. Additionally, of the rules that have been changed or introduced, it is only the patroller rule that has involved an extra cost.
In summary, the incremental change in the institutions is highly efficient. This finding concurs with the proposals by Dietz et al. The course of adjustment demonstrates capacity building and learning about how to deal with unexpected events, and supports the establishment of flexible institutions instead of traditional management.
As this case study shows, the community increased its capability in terms of lobbying the local government to invest in infrastructure and its capability in terms of autonomy through internalizing the local government intervention. By moving one step forward, this study shows how a community-based irrigation system actively sought support from the local government to deal with climate disturbance.
Related Institutional Change and Irrigation Managemente in Burkina Faso
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