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Abstract

This report reviews the recurring costs situation for irrigation in Asia. These are the costs associated with project operation and maintenance (O&M). As is well documented in the literature many developing countries have neglected project O&M which has resulted in a rapid depreciation of past irrigation investments (Carruthers, 1981). Irrigation systems fail to irrigate their planned or projected command areas and after a few years parts of the systems no longer function (Wade, 1975). The problem is that there are too few farmer or government agency incentives which foster investment of capital and human resources in O&M and assure that irrigation projects operate at a high level of performance over a long period of time. For example, there is lack of accountability for O&M because of the weak linkage between those providing O&M and those benefiting from O&M.

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