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A shift from development to integrated management of water resources will be more supportive to the long-term goals for optimizing benefits of water use. Experiences of two Bangladeshi irrigation projects - Meghna-Dhanagoda and Pabna - were used to compare the practice of cost recovery from irrigation farmers, with the derived economic cost of water per unit volume. The pricing framework is based on two major scenarios: (i) pricing for those who use critical volume of water under a production regime; (ii) pricing for those who waste water under the same production regime. It allowed shifts in social preferences of water use and changed volume of water under different agro-ecological situations. Prices could be adjusted to the circumstances where waste of water is discouraged and incentives offered to relatively poor farmers for more efficient use of water. Three sets of alternative uses were used: (1) winter rice, (2) fish cultivation and (3) industry and domestic. The exercise was aimed at introducing water pricing under a uniform and socially acceptable framework. The concept of water market in this paper implies rationalization of the use of this scarce resource and possible reallocation of water both within agriculture sector, and from agricultural use to non-agricultural ones. Even within agricultural sector, an additional unit of water to those who can afford to produce crops with higher value added (other than traditional paddy or wheat) would be a welcome venture (e.g. for farmers growing fruit and vegetables).
irrigated farming, irrigation systems, market prices, rice,trading, wastage, water allocation, water costs, water management, waterpolicy, water supply, water use, water use efficiency, Bangladesh,Oryza, Oryza sativa, Poaceae, Cyperales, monocotyledons, angiosperms,Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, Oryza, South Asia, Asia, LeastDeveloped Countries, Developing Countries, Commonwealth of Nations,paddy, pricing, water productivity, water resource management, watersupplies, Water Resources (PP200), Soil Water Management (Irrigation andDrainage) (JJ800) (Revised June 2002) [formerly Soil Water Management],Plant Water Relations (FF062), Field Crops (FF005) (New March 2000),Natural Resource Economics (EE115) (New March 2000)