Sananeri Tank irrigation system, India

Resource System
Watershed and associated topography
Resource Units

The resource appropriated from Sananeri Tank is water for irrigation. The resource discussed in this study includes a tank and the channels that divert water to the field. The author shows that nonformal local cultivators associations make an important contribution to the overall performance of the irrigation system, even where government agencies are formally responsible for irrigation. Such organizations mobilize local resources in various tasks, including inspection and repair of physical structures, acquisition and distribution of tank water, and interaction with government bureaucracies on tank-related issues. Leaders of the organization are accountable directly to the cultivators, and are neither created nor controlled by a government agency.

An update analysis of the Sananeri Tank case was made in 2013 by Chai Ying, visiting scholar at Arizona State University. From the standpoint of social-ecological systems analysis, this case was originally a success in terms of water user association ability to deal with a potential commons dilemma. Formal follow-up research about this case absent, so there is no way to address any further information on the commons dilemma.  

This case study is part of the original Common-Pool Resource (CPR) database. A summary of the original CPR coding conducted in the 1980s by Edella Schlager and Shui Yan Tang at Indiana University may be found under the CPR tab in the Institutional Analysis section below.