Operational problems in organising catchment authorities
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The paper discusses a number of key issues in the implementation of (sub)- catchment water user organisations, based on experiences in Nyanyadzi river catchment, Chimanimani district. In Nyanyadzi catchment many indigenous farmer initiated irrigation furrows can be found, some with and some without legal water rights. During times of water scarcity (like in drought years in the late eighties and early nineties) a struggle ensued between downstream irrigators in the government-run Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme and the various groups of upstream irrigators in Shinja resettlement scheme and Mutambara and Muusha communal areas (see Bolding et a!.. 1996). From 1983 onwards Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme plot holders, in conjunction with Agritex have organised upstream raids along Nyanyadzi river to destroy 'informal' irrigation furrows and thus bring the water to their intake. The setting up of a stakeholder platform to regulate water distribution could be very opportune. However, a number of conceptual, legal and practical problems relegate the idea of a water user platform to the category 'easier said, than done.'