Submitted to: Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Analyzing the performance of the water delivery service and factors that determine the level of performance is a critical step in improving the management of large water delivery organizations. Ultimately, improved water service is expected to enhance the ability of farmers to manage water on the farm. This paper discusses the quality of the water delivery service provided by an irrigation district in central Arizona. The assessment was conducted as part of a broader investigation that examined the performance of the entire irrigated agricultural system, including the district, farms, and other stakeholders. The Diagnostic Analysis methodology was used for the assessment. The analysis examined the implications of the service on water users, the impact of the economic and institutional environment under which the district operates, and internal organizational factors affecting delivery system performance. Study findings were later used as a foundation for planning change in the study area, and ultimately resulted in positive changes in the management of the water delivery service. The Diagnostic Analysis approach proved to be a valuable tool for understanding the complexities of water resource management in irrigated agricultural systems and should be useful to governmental organizations and consultants interested in identifying opportunities for improving the management of water and other natural resources.
Technical Abstract: A Diagnostic Analysis was conducted in the service area of the Maricopa- Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District in Arizona, USA. The study was an initial step in a managed change process, named Management Improvement Program (MIP), aimed at improving the performance of the area's irrigated agricultural system. Part of the Diagnostic Analysis study focused on the performance of the irrigation district's water delivery service. The stud identified areas of high and low water delivery performance, factors contributing to the observed levels of performance, and implications to on- farm water management. These findings prompted changes in the delivery system's management. Results from a post-MIP intervention study indicate that the district's water delivery performance has improved as a result of those changes, and thus, that the Diagnostic Analysis and MIP methodologies are effective tools for promoting positive change in a water delivery organization.