Utilizing primary survey data, we investigate the performance of Water Communities (WCs), a form of self-managing organisation for irrigation, in the Bregalnica region of the Republic of Macedonia. While their introduction improved cost recovery, only modest changes occurred in the cost of irrigation water and many farmers remain indifferent to the WCs. Econometric analysis focuses on the decision of farmers to join a WC, determinants of farmers’ satisfaction with WCs and factors associated with changes in payment behaviour. Key determinants identified include transparency and trust regarding the conduct of WCs, cost recovery rates, farm size and irrigation costs. Membership satisfaction is an important determinant of payment behaviour.