International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

Cooperation between irrigators´ associations in the watershed of Altiplano-Valles in Bolivia

The irrigation project of Tiraque-Punata (which covers 8000 Has and serves 5000 families) is located in the mountain area of Cochabamba in Bolivia. It is a project designed to be self-managed by the users. The basin of the Tiraque-Punata is an example of the importance of traditional uses and habits of the common use of water sources mediated by reciprocal relations among local communities and irrigation committees, dispute and negotiation practices in water management, the joint search of solutions for the improvement of infrastructures and the permanent search of agreement among organizations for its management. The changes in the relationships and its implications for the State and water-related institutions are of great interest for the training and learning of all actors.

The main lessons from this case relate to 1) the agreements and disagreements for water distribution in the river basin and the changing dynamics; and 2) the inter-culturality and differences in visions among farmers and technical experts. The case highlights the role played by the user associations.