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General remarks

The first part of the text is to familiarize the reader with the main types of existing irrigation organizations. Their pros and cons have been briefly analysed and some general principles are given for their establishment and management.

The second part is more specific in the sense that it provides some guidelines for the organization of each of the units of a water management organization in the scheme. Therefore, this part is divided into the four main services or units that are generally needed in an irrigation scheme, i.e.

- Operation Service
- Maintenance Service
- Irrigation Assistance Service
- Administrative Service

The fact that the text has been divided according to these four Services is mostly a question of clarity of presentation and does not preclude that the Services be grouped in one, two, three or four independent units, according to the needs and characteristics of the water management organization.

For each of the Services, the main functions are described, followed by a discussion of how to undertake the functions for the most generalized situations. The equipment and manpower needed to staff the units is discussed as well as the most usual organizational structure of the unit.

The framework of this part refers mostly to large surface irrigation schemes (more than 2000 ha) and it is assumed that the management of the scheme strives for high standards of performance. Although effort has been made to obtain information from several regions of the world, the biggest input comes from the Latin American and Mediterranean regions and this is likely to be reflected in some of the standards presented in the text.

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