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From Sharing the Burden of Scarcity to Markets: Ill-Fitting Water Property Rights and the Pressure of Economic Transition in South Asia

1
School of Commerce, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, Australia
2
School of Agricultural Resource and Economics, University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061294
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
In this paper, we consider the process of transition from an equitable distribution of water to support semi-subsistence outcomes to market-oriented agriculture. We examine the stresses placed on water institutions as farmers adjust production to become more market-oriented and consider the relationship between farmers and irrigation officials under different scenarios. The paper is used to highlight some of the challenges pertaining to property rights but also considers the dangers of simply transposing solutions from full-market agriculture in developed economies to developing nations and countries in transition. In this context the role of Participatory Irrigation Management is scrutinized. We argue that this approach can potentially accommodate greater flexibility and market orientation in agriculture but ultimately the beneficiary-benefactor relationship between irrigation officials and farmers in parts of South Asia needs to be seriously challenged. View Full-Text
Keywords: property rights; participatory irrigation management; South Asia property rights; participatory irrigation management; South Asia
MDPI and ACS Style

Crase, L.; Cooper, B.; Burton, M. From Sharing the Burden of Scarcity to Markets: Ill-Fitting Water Property Rights and the Pressure of Economic Transition in South Asia. Water 2019, 11, 1294.

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