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Challenges of optimal implementation of formal water rights systems for irrigation in the Great Ruaha River Catchment in Tanzania

Author:
Kossa R.M. Rajabu   Henry F. Mahoo  


Journal:
Agricultural Water Management


Issue Date:
2008


Abstract(summary):

In many countries around the world, increasing attention is being directed to the need to improve water rights systems. This paper is based on a recent study undertaken to investigate challenges facing optimal implementation of formal water rights systems for irrigation purposes in the Great Ruaha River Catchment in Tanzania. The study integrated social survey, hydrologic, water abstraction and water use data, and Geographical Information System techniques. The results showed that all the canals studied, except one, abstracted water throughout the year, provided there was water in the rivers irrespective of the conditions spelt out in their formal water rights. The formal water rights were also found to be problematic as the quantities to be abstracted were much higher compared to the actual water requirements and the actual river flows. This resulted in over-abstraction of water and increased water shortages for downstream users. The study concludes that although formal water rights are meant to control and regulate the use of water, they are also subject to abuse if not managed and monitored closely. The basin authorities in Tanzania therefore need to be equipped adequately and collaborate more closely with local water users in order to attain high levels of supervision and monitoring essential for optimal implementation of formal water rights systems. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Page:
0-1078


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