constraints. Irrigation projects are costly to construct and require funds for operation, management and maintenance to achieve the goals and maximize agricultural benefits from irrigation.

Irrigation Development

There are two main agencies responsible for irrigation investments the DSI and the General Directorate of Rural Services (GDRS)). The responsibilities of this Directorate have been transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and to governors where DSI is responsible for water resources with discharges larger than 500l/s. GDRS is responsible for discharges of less than 500l/s. DSI is in charge of the development of soil and water resources and putting these resources into use and for public benefit. DSI plans, designs, and constructs irrigation systems, and also defines general principles and policies for irrigation management. DSI either takes direct responsibility for irrigation management units or transfers the responsibility to other organizations. GDRS deals with land reform, on farm development projects such as drinking water and roads and transfers its irrigation system responsibilities to cooperatives. The irrigation area developed by the two agencies until 2003 is presented in table 1. As it is seen from the table, the biggest portion of irrigated area, 2,340,197 ha, has been developed by DSI where GDRS has developed 1,002,238 ha of land.

TABLE 1 Irrigation Development (01.01.2003), DSİ 2003


2 340 197


1 002 238

Farmers and others


Total irrigated area

4 342 435

Administrative Structure of Water Use Associations (WUAs)

Since WUAs manage the biggest portion of irrigation areas (91% of the area developed by DSI is managed by WUAs), it is important to understand their organizational structure in relation to other organizations. WUA consists of several villages. DSI identifies WUA boundaries and prompts village administrators to apply by preparing the WUA statute in a standard DSI format and submitting it to the General Directorate of Local Administrations of the Ministry of Interior. WUA can make amendments in the statute by taking decision to the council. The Council (Figure 1), typically with 30 to 50 members, consists of mayors and village administrators (Muhtar) as ‘natural members’ and a number of ‘selected members’ depending on the service area. The Board committee typically has seven members. The General Secretary and Accountant are Board members, and the remainder are elected as Council members for a year. The Chairman is elected for one to four years term. DSI is an observer member during the election of chairmen.

The key actor is the General Secretary, as he is responsible for technical implementation and management of WUAs’ projects. He is the second person in terms of ranking positions. He is expected to communicate with other institutions and organizations. One of the most important problems is the weak link among extension services, decision makers, and the final users in

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