Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 424182
Title The pivotal role of canal operators in irrigation schemes: The case of the Canalero
Author(s) Zaag, P. van der; Rap, E.R.
Source Irrigation and drainage 61 (2012)4. - ISSN 1531-0353 - p. 436 - 448.
Department(s) Irrigation and Water Engineering
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) system - mexico
Abstract This paper presents empirical material of the role of canal operators, canaleros, in one irrigation scheme in Mexico over a period of two decades. The open canal infrastructures are fitted with manually operated adjustable gates and intakes. During the period of observation, both management set-up and the canal infrastructure changed. The case of the canalero shows how low-ranked field personnel play an important role in scheduling and implementing water distribution. The canalero emerges as a key actor who makes the system work. Canaleros have created their own semi-autonomous field of action; an area of competence from which they derive a certain degree of authority. The case study findings are compared with relevant published sources complemented with electronic interviews with experts. In large- and medium-scale open canal irrigation systems with flexible and manually operated irrigation devices, positions similar to those of the canalero exist. Canal operators seem to play similar key roles yet no systematic review or comparative analysis of their position exists. This paper makes a first contribution to explain why such field level staff can perform such significant roles and continue to do so.
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