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2013-01-02 | project

Economic valuation (pricing), institutions, and water use efficiency in smallholder irrigation systems in Ethiopia

Overall, the study aims to enhance environmental sustainability, agriculture/food security and poverty reduction, through suggesting mechanism for irrigation water pricing and informed policy/ decision making.

Successful irrigation has been identified as the cornerstone of country’s agricultural development that could potentially lift up to 6 million households out of food insecurity. In this regards, the country has been investing on irrigation infrastructures over the last two decades. However, in general, there seem to be much worry, in the policy arena, of inefficient water use practices and overall lack of incentives to water conservation in the country. Among the main reasons for this problem is also the absence of irrigation water changes (pricing). That is, agricultural water pricing plays a major role in enhancing water use efficiency and cost recovery. Moreover, institutions in irrigation water management are also expected to play an important role particularly in enhancing and ensuring equity, efficiency and sustainability of irrigation systems. Research in this regard has been very rare for providing solid basis for policy making.

The objectives of this study are: (i) to elicit or assess farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for irrigation water and suggest mechanisms for water pricing and cost recovery; (ii) to assess and characterize institutions in irrigation water management in Ethiopia; and (iii) analyze water use efficiency in irrigation systems in Ethiopia.

The study intends to use both stated and revealed preference approaches to valuing irrigation water. Specifically, the study will employ CVM and CEM for eliciting the value of water. Especially CEM is important for eliciting of range of prices or values of irrigation water differentiated by attributes. Besides eliciting the value or price for irrigation water, the study will also shed light on questions as ‘what institutions are in place to govern or manage irrigation water’? What are the mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement of rules? How are issues of provision and appropriation handled? How are conflicts between head-enders and tail-enders and between upstream and downstream resolved? Besides addressing all these important policy relevant questions the study also envisages to extend existing environmental valuation methods to include production-function based techniques, especially in the context of developing countries.