Written by Mekong Institute
Since the large-scale physical extent of irrigation schemes tends to be a major obstacle to their effective and efficient management and development, two Farmer Water User Communities (FWUCs), the Krouch Saeuch and Anlong Svay FWUCs, were established in 2010 to manage the secondary and tertiary schemes of the Damnak Ampil irrigation system. This research study aims to assess the performance of these two FWUCs, and to uncover what challenges were encountered during the five years of their operation.
This study also recommends any necessary interventions for the improvement of the performance. The performance was assessed based on five criteria: organizational management, the level of participation of water users, operations and maintenance, financial management, and organizational linkages. For the challenges, the internal and external factors were examined. The results showed that the level of the performance of the Krouch Saeuch FWUC was average, while that of the Anlong Svay FWUC was poor.
The overall challenges are the inefficiency of the physical irrigation systems, weak governance and management, lack of participation by water users, low level of outcomes from the irrigation schemes, lack of incentives for the FWUCs leaders, little external support for the financial and technical aspects, and the threat of natural disasters, such as drought and flooding. Interventions by relevant actors are required to improve the quality of the irrigation systems, and thereby, improve the performance of the FWUCs in ensuring the adequate and timely supply of water.