“Floods are not always a hazard. They may also sustain aquatic life and riverine biodiversity, recharge aquifers, enrich soilds and in some of the world’s poorest areas they are the main source of irrigation.” — Global Water Partnership (2000) ‘Toward water security: a framework for action.
Spate irrigation is the art and science of managing floods for irrigation. It is unique to arid and semi-arid environments, found in the Middle East, North Africa, West Asia, East Africa and parts of Latin America.
Unpredictability is inherent to spate irrigation, yet water distribution rules regulate the distribution of the unpredictable water supplies. They impose a pattern and reduce uncertainty and potential conflict by regulating the relations between the landowners that have access to flood water. Particularly where flood water users depend on one another in maintaining flood channels and reconstructing diversion structures, agreement on how water is distributed is a precondition for cooperation between different parties in this respect.
More info: http://www.spate-irrigation.org/library/spate-notes
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