Although the spate irrigation system is an ancient practice, it is only in the past very few decades the system has undergone little modernization interventions. However, these interventions were mostly in the aspects of heavy investment in the sophisticated head works for improving flood water diversion efficiency. In many cases, the modernization interventions were not successful due to various problems such as heavy sedimentation, high flood, disturbed local water distribution rules, or the new designs were not coherent with home-grown practices. On the other hand, successful improvements incorporate less labor intensive and relatively permanent structures with the advantages of conventional systems without considerably altering the approach of the spate irrigation practice. Thus, in this chapter, the techniques of improving traditional spate irrigation systems were reviewed. Farmer-implemented improved traditional spate irrigation systems: flow diversions; canals and control structures; management of sediment, field water, and soil moisture and agronomic practices; reactive water rights and distribution rules were assessed. Therefore, this chapter helps as a reference material for teaching, training and research activities, and it plays a great role in the efforts of sustainable spate irrigation systems development, rehabilitation and management programs.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture