A farmer-centered analysis of irrigation management transfer in Mexico

Sergio Mario Arredondo Salas, Paul N. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


With the rewritten Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution and the National Water Law of 1992, Mexico embarked on an ambitious program of transferring the management of many irrigation systems to local user groups, primarily farmers. By 1996, 372 water user associations had been formed to control water delivery to 2.92 million hectares. During this time water prices increased by 45-180% and government O and M subsidies were eliminated. Limited economic analysis of stakeholder impact has been conducted of the irrigation management transfer (IMT) program. This research effort pilots a partial budget analytical framework for analyzing the social benefits and costs of IMT. Two irrigation modules near Culiacan, Sinaloa were selected as case studies. Results reveal that even with significantly higher water prices, water users have invested more in their systems than during the pre-IMT period and consider their overall irrigation costs to be lower. Lower transaction costs in the post-IMT period explain the majority of these cost savings. Efforts to quantify incremental benefits and costs associated with IMT at the module and district levels proved difficult given the unavailability of reliable, time series information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalIrrigation and Drainage Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Economics of water management
  • Evaluation of privatization
  • Irrigation management transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'A farmer-centered analysis of irrigation management transfer in Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this