Saturday, May 30, 2009
The cussedness of the petty bourgeoisie is hard to fathom at the lowest level
It is worth noting that some time ago, the actual distribution of water was the responsibility of the irrigation engineers who were able to gauge the total held in the reservoirs and how much was able to be distributed, along with the managing of the individual distribution channels, as well as the placing and throughput of the pipes through which water was distributed to individual participant farmers in the respective scheme, taking into account the land extend requiring paddy cultivation and other crops.
As an electioneering ploy, where farmers complained about the fairness of the distribution, and the fact that the engineers did not know farmer requirements, farmer societies were set up and this society governed the distribution of water to the members. The result of this was that this practice was open to corruption, where the members of the committee fiddled around with the water pipes, sometimes digging them deeper, so more water could go into their fields, and to cut a long story short, meant that only the powerful in the society, and those who have leverage were able to steamroller through objections. The typical way was if you are unhappy with the way things are done, then overthrow the existing hierarchy and put your own. It is easier said than done.
The upshot of this environment is that my complaints have failed to get my allotment of water due me at the best of times, and now that this has been curtailed due to prevailing shortage of water, there is less likelihood of me getting even a drop, let alone the 65% of normal allocation I am entitled to. Despite my saying that if they are unable to supply me with water, I will resolve to pump my requirements from a river, not a channel that too has been prevented. I have no option but to continue to pump, as otherwise my crops will completely fail. I have sunk costs I wish to recover and so will suffer the consequences.
One issue that requires mention is that there is gross misuse of water by farmers, far more than they require for their particular crop. This is one main reason for some not getting enough when others get too much. In normal years, even though I get little, and I pump water from the river, my neighbors up the channel, allow excess water to go into the river, when they should just close their pipe, which will enable me to get the water. I therefore, due to their entitlement for something they do not pay nor need, have to pump some of this same water that is allowed to flow into the river further upstream.
Water is essential for agriculture. It is not appreciated when it is free. From my experience those farmers who pump water from agricultural wells and rivers, are the more efficient users of water only taking what is necessary as it costs them money. All water is used more than once in farming as in the case of a rivers, where excess water flows into them, and down stream other farmers either pump the water or by the use of anicuts divert water to their fields, and this process goes on until the final excess flows into the sea. Using the canard that farmers downstream use water so I cannot pump is a facetious argument, as all excess water through seepage eventually goes to the lowest point, which is usually the nearest river, unless of course agricultural wells suck up some of these sources too. Increasingly this will be a bigger issue in the future, and my solution is to ask farmers to pay a price on usage, so the value of water will be appreciated