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Canals and Communities: Small-Scale Irrigation Systems

Canals and Communities: Small-Scale Irrigation Systems (Hardback)

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From the mountains of South America to the deserts of northern Africa to the islands of south Asia, people have devised myriad ways of moving water to sustain their communities and nourish their crops. Many of these irrigation methods have been used over long periods of time and continue to function in diverse ecological and sociopolitical contexts. This book presents case studies and comparative essays about local institutions for managing water resources. Drawn from around the globe, the cases clearly demonstrate that "indigenous" irrigation is often more sustainable, cost-effective, and flexible than has been generally believed. The contributors discuss a wide range of environments, cultural traditions, and historical contexts in which such systems operate, maintaining a common focus on incentives for cooperation, operational rules, collective-choice arrangements, principles of allocation, and conflict-resolution mechanisms.

Canals and Communities can serve as a sourcebook for social scientists and development planners investigating the cultural ecology of irrigated agriculture, the ethnology of cooperative social formations, the politics of collective-resource institutions, and the sociology of rural development. The book also provides examples and generalizations about the cross-cultural characteristics of sustainable water resource management and intensive agriculture. Aside from its theoretical contributions to human ecology and anthropology, the book is of practical importance to development studies. The cases it presents make a convincing argument for perpetuating small-scale irrigation systems as part of the world's repertoire of irrigation knowledge and resources. CONTENTSIntroductionThe Ethnology of Irrigation: Cross-Cultural Characteristics of Local Water Management, Jonathan B. MabryPatterns of Cooperation and Conflict in Local Irrigation1. La Gente es Muy Perra: Conflict and Cooperation over Irrigation Water in Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico, Thomas E. Sheridan2. Dhasheeg Agriculture in the Jubba Valley of Somalia, Catherine Besteman3.

The Dry and the Drier: Cooperation and Conflict in Moroccan Irrigation, John R. Welch4. The Political Ecology of Irrigation in an Andean Peasant Community, Paul H. GellesMethods and Models for Analyzing Local Irrigation5. Rapid Rural Appraisal of Arid Land Irrigation: A Moroccan Example, John R. Welch, Jonathan B. Mabry, and Hsain Ilahiane6. Simulation Modelling of Balinese Irrigation, J. Stephen Lansing7. Institutional Innovation in Small-Scale Irrigation Networks: A Cape Verdean Case, Mark W. Langworthy and Timothy J. FinanDevelopment Lessons from Local Irrigation8. Qanats and Rural Societies: Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Cultures in Contemporary Iran, Michael E. Bonine9. The Utility of Tradition in Sri Lankan Bureaucratic Irrigation: The Case of the Kirindi Oya Project, Pamela Stanbury10. The Relevance of Indigenous Irrigation: A Comparative Analysis of Sustainability, Jonathan B. Mabry and David A. ClevelandConclusionThe Hydraulics of History: Evolutionary Trajectories of Local and Centralized Irrigation, Jonathan B. Mabry

Jonathan B. Mabry is a research archaeologist and project director at the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, Arizona. He has served as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development and is a coauthor of Rapid Rural Appraisal of Moroccan Irrigation Systems: Methodological Lessons from the Pre-Sahara.

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