In recent years, water management in irrigation systems has become increasingly complex. The main factors contributing to this situation are: (1) higher crop yields in existing schemes are possible only with precise water-management methods that are in tune with the prevailing agricultural practices and social customs; (2) increased competition for water and the seriousness of the side effects of irrigation (soil degradation, waterlogging, salinity etc) have made it necessary to manage water supplies more carefully and to give more attention to drainage; (3) greater cooperation among farmers and improved irrigation scheme management have become prerequisites for scheme operation and maintenance.
Operational research into the management of irrigation systems now supports performance monitoring systems. To husband water supplies more carefully, there are computer models for enhancing irrigation design and operation at field and system level. In addition, better methods and approaches are bing developed to increase farmers' participation and train scheme staff.
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