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Project Description

Factors influencing the functioning of water users associations in the Region of Khorezm, Uzbekistan

The purpose of the scientific work is to investigate existing Water Users Associations in the region on their performance (functioning) and to determine factors, which are influencing their success. The essence of the research lies particularly in the role of social norms in irrigation management. A special accent is set on how farmers identify themselves with Water Users Association.

Since the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1990, irrigation sector is - like all other economic sectors - in a changing process. A first step of reforming was the merging of the Ministry of Agriculture with the Ministry of Water Resources. Within the framework of institutional change all former kolkhozes and sovkhozes were reorganized in shirkats (collective farms). Shirkats consist of brigades (many peasants, who are merged) as well as farmers. Shirkats have a status of primary water users. Not all shirkats were able to be profitable. After the collapse of non-profitable shirkats arose a vacuum in the irrigation management, because the government had to interact instead of one large water users (like shirkat) with many hundreds of single water users. Unprofitable shirkats were reorganized into Water Users Associations. This principle of the establishment of Water Users Associations is called administrative.

In 2003 by means of a new reforming surge were established Water Users Associations by hydrographical principle. Thus leads to the fact, that all water users are connected up to the same irrigation system. This principle allows to lighten the management of the irrigations systems and to reduce the intensity of conflicts.

In this study the functioning of four different Water Users Associations and corresponding case studies will be investigated with the help of qualitative methods. A questionnaire on attitudes allows a deep analysis on the identification degree of water users with Water Users Association. The data basis is coded. As a help tool for the statistical analysis Software SPSS will be used.

Start Date: 10/2002 End Date: 10/2005
Duration: 36 months Status: execution
Superviser: Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller
Cooperations: State University of Urgench, Uzbekistan
Funding: Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)
Contact Person: Darya Zavgorodnyaya


Zavgorodnyaya, D., & K. Holm-Mueller, (2003) Conflict-resolution mechanisms in Uzbek Water Users' Associations: one of the important institutional criteria, 20th European Conference of ICID, Montpellier, 17.-19. September 2003.

Zavgorodnyaya, D., Holm-Müller, K. & P. Wehrheim (2002): Organisational efficiency of Water Users' Organisation in Uzbekistan, Deutscher Tropentag 2002, Conference of International agricultural Research, University Kassel Witzenhausen, 9.-11.10.02.

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 01, 2017