In this paper the performance of two community-managed irrigation schemes in Ethiopia were evaluated with comparative (external) indicators. Three groups of comparative performance indicators, that is, water supply, agricultural output and physical indicators were used to assess Golgota Scheme (command area = 600 ha) and Wedecha Scheme with two sub-systems with command areas of 300 ha (Godino) and 60 ha (Gohaworki). The results obtained show that while annual irrigation supply at Godino sub-system matched well to demand, at Golgota Scheme and Gohaworki Sub-system, excessive irrigation water was supplied with annual relative irrigation supply (ARIS) values of 3.20 and 1.90, respectively. Whilst Golgota Scheme had better land productivity in the region due to more intensive irrigation and better investment, it had poor water productivity due to uncontrolled water diversion and absence of irrigation water fee. Godino sub-system could be benchmarked in the region for water productivity; while land productivity at Golgota could be taken as a promising indicator. Irrigated areas at Wedecha (both sub-systems) were found to be contracting while it was expanding at Golgota due to more generous irrigation water supply for free.
Key words: Community-managed, comparative, performance indicators, irrigation water, productivity, sustainability.
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