Problems of Water Management in Hambantota District

  • John Harriss
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series (CAMCOM)


The results of our survey of adoption of HYVs (pp. 57–73 and 117–18) point to the importance of adequate and reliable water supplies, and provide further support for the argument that water is more critically constraining than land in the improvement of agricultural production. Yet massive new irrigation projects are expensive, and the experience both of India and Sri Lanka suggests that all the benefits expected to accrue from them are generally not realised. According to Carruthers, ‘The greatest potential source of large increases in the present levels of food supply in South Asia will come, in the next decade, from increasing efficiency of existing irrigation systems [my italics] and exploitation of known groundwater resources.’ (Carruthers, 1974, p. 1) and keidinger (1974), having shown the intertia of a system and style of irrigation management developed when irrigation water was expected to serve a function different from that now required of it, went on to suggest ways in which one large canal system in North India might be operated more efficiently without any changes in existing engineering structres. It seems likely that study of the management of water in irrigation systems —i. e. of the institutions and personnel concerned with making and implementing decisions regarding the allocation of water between farmers and its distribution to the fields — may lead to substatntial benefits (cf. Chambers, 1974).


Irrigation System Green Revolution Water Issue Paddy Land Irrigation Department 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Harriss

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