Following the Ethiopian Water Resources Management Policy

Title: An Institutional Assessment of Irrigation Systems: A Case Study in the Lake Tana
Basin, Ethiopia
Surname, Name: Idil, Ires
Following the Ethiopian Water Resources Management Policy (WRMP) issued in 1998, the
government focused on decentralization and increasing the user community participation in
the rural-centralized water resources planning, development and management. Under this
strategy Water Users Associations (WUAs) are established to create a well-functioning
decentralized, participatory system, as well as to be in charge of fee collection, operation and
maintenance of the irrigation systems.
Koga Irrigation System in the Lake Tana Basin is a pilot large scale project implemented
under these aims. The significance of this project is underlined by government because the
construction of several similar systems are dependent on it’s success, while the success of the
project is dependent on the compliance of the farmers with the new established rules and
participation in the WUAs.
Different sets of rules affect the decisions and behaviors of users differently. One way to
overcome CPR problems and achieve a robust and sustainable resource management is to
attain the seven Design Principles (Ostrom 1990; Ostrom et. al. 1994; Ostrom and Benjamin
1993). These principles can be reflected by rules-in-use and the related seven clusters of
variables in the action situation of Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework
(Ostrom 1990; Ostrom et al. 1994; Ostrom and Polski 1999), where the interactions of
different community attributes, rules-in-use, biophysical conditions and actors lead to
different variables of outcomes, and therefore have different impacts on performance. The
study compares the new sets of rules with the old ones and aims to find out the restrictions
and limitations of the new rules, which do not comply with the resource characteristics and
create obstacles in the resource management. The IAD Framework is methodologically used
to bring the aspects together, evaluate the interactions and to anticipate the alternatives or
combined institutions that would result with better outcomes.
Keywords: Water Use Associations, rules, performance, compliance, irrigation systems