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The Evolving Sphere of Food Security$
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Rosamond L. Naylor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199354054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354054.001.0001

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Water Institutions and Agriculture

Water Institutions and Agriculture

(p.286) 11 Water Institutions and Agriculture
The Evolving Sphere of Food Security

Barton H. Thompson, Jr

Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on nations that suffer from a “difficult” hydrology, involving combinations of inter-annual and intra-annual variability in surface flows, as well as geographic variability within their borders. These are the nations where irrigation matters the most. Some of these nations remain in a “low-level equilibrium trap,” in which poor water endowments prevent the country from making investments needed to escape water insecurity and poverty. Other nations, however, adapt at least in part to their poor water conditions through storage and inter-basin transfers of surface water, groundwater extraction, or both. Effective water institutions have been crucial to the success of such adaptations. This chapter examines broad trends in water institutions over time, and the relationship of those institutions to agriculture to reveal lessons that are particularly important for developing nations still in the early stages of the evolution of their water institutions.

Keywords:   hydrology, irrigation, tubewells, groundwater overdrafting, water markets, customary law, Indus Basin

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