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This paper investigates the impacts of farm ponds in a context of declining supplies in a major canal command within the Zhanghe Irrigation System (ZIS), in Central China. As dam supplies have been diverted to higher-valued uses (hydropower, cities and industry), farmers have responded by constructing small storages within their fields. These farm ponds have given them sufficient flexibility in water supply to practice varying forms of alternate wetting and drying irrigation for rice without compromising yields and incomes.
Issues of scale in water productivity in the Zhanghe irrigation system.
The Zhanghe Irrigation System (ZIS), in Central China, has drawn attention internationally because it managed to sustain its rice production in the face of a dramatic reallocation of water to cities, industries and hydropower uses. Ponds, the small reservoirs ubiquitous in the area, are hypothesized to have been instrumental in this. Ponds are recharged by a combination of return flows from irrigation and runoff from catchment areas within the irrigated perimeter.
The Zhanghe irrigation system (ZIS) is located in the Yangtze River Basin approximately 200 km west of Wuhan in Hubei Province. The reservoir was designed for multiple uses—irrigation, flood control, domestic water supply, industrial use, aquaculture, and hydropower. Over a period of more than 30 years a steadily increasing amount of water has been transferred from irrigation to other uses. Activities on the part of government, irrigation system managers, and farmers made this transfer possible with only modest decline in rice production.
An assessment of collective action for pond management in Zhanghe Irrigation System (ZIS), China Mushtaq, Shahbaz; Dawe, David; Lin, Hong; Moya, Piedad Ponds are common property resources that allow users to obtain water on-demand because of their capacity to store rainwater and other surplus water close to users. Effective management of these ponds is crucial, especially with increasing water scarcity and decreasing water deliveries for agriculture that are taking place in many irrigation systems, including the Zhanghe Irrigation System (ZIS) in China.
As expected, the relationship between the water delivery service at the most downstream point in the system operated by a paid employee and water delivery service provided to the individual ownership units is quite good. However, in most cases quality of water delivery service at the farm or individual ownership unit level is better than the quality of water delivery service at the most downstream point in the system operated by a paid employee as most of the values lie above the red line, which demonstrates a situation where service delivered at both the levels is the same. Improvements in quality of water delivery service at the individual ownership units are mainly observed in the irrigation systems where quality of water delivery service at the most downstream point in the system operated by a paid employee is poor (<2 on="" a="" rating="" scale="" of="" 0="" to="" 4). ="" highest="" levels="" of="" improvements="" in="" quality="" of="" water="" delivery="" service="" to="" the="" individual="" ownership="" units="" are="" found="" in="" lodoyo,="" indonesia="" followed="" by="" kouping="" pouy="" cambodia. ="" largest="" gap="" is="" observed="" in="" zhanghe="" irrigation="" system.