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Part II: Current systems of farmland irrigation organizations

Council of Agriculture is the central government supervising office for Irrigation Associations. Under Council of Agriculture, the Department of Irrigation and Engineering is in charge of farmland Irrigation Associations. In provincial and special municipality government level, the respective government is in charge of local Irrigation Associations. Irrigation Association has the position of  "public juridical person" and responsible to implement government's advocacy on farmland irrigation affairs. Irrigation Association's development has always been paid attention by government and concerned bodies. In order to build a healthy Irrigation Association to promote farmland irrigation and protect the rights of its members, Government has amended the bill of  "General Regulation on Organization of Irrigation Associations" on February 3rd, 1993, and has transferred the supervising office to Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan. Under the bill, the "members representative system" was cancelled, the "members representative meeting" was amended to "affairs committee members meeting", and the chairman's voting system was also changed to assigned by respective local governments. Affairs committee members also were assigned by local governments. This is to cut down the social cost on election and negative effect that came with it. This is the so-called "revised bill". All 15 provincial Irrigation Associations plus two from Taipei City have implemented this system since October 1996.

There are total of 17 Irrigation Associations in Taiwan, among them the irrigation area of Liu-Kong, Chi-Hsing and Kao-Hsiung Irrigation Associations cross over the province and the special municipality. Council of Agriculture has assigned Taipei City government and provincial government to be the supervising office respectively. Pei-Chi, Tao-Yuan, Shih-Mon, Hsin-Chu, Miao-Li, Tai-Chung, Nan-Tou, Chang-Hua, Yun-Lin, and Chia-Nan Irrigation Associations cross over two counties (city), therefore, the supervising office is the provincial government. On the other hand, I-Lan, Ping-Yung, Tai-Tung, and Hwa-Lien Irrigation Associations have only one county covered, therefore, respective local government is the supervising office for each of them. Beside, in order to promote the collaboration between these associations, there is a Joint Association for Irrigation Associations in Taiwan.

After the central government relocated in Taiwan, the preparation and promotion of irrigation policy and strategy, irrigation technical research, and irrigation engineering construction are set up and promoted by Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction, Council of Agricultural Development (both were the former central agriculture unit), and Council of Agriculture. It made the farmland irrigation matched the need of agricultural development. Since Irrigation Associations are vital links in agriculture, and in order to unify the power of Irrigation Associations and agriculture, a bill was passed in 1986, to transfer the central government's jurisdiction on farmland Irrigation Association to Council of Agriculture. Meanwhile, it also passed the amendment bill of  "General Regulations on Organization of Irrigation Associations" on February, 1993. It officially inaugurates "Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan" as the central government's supervising office to Irrigation Associations. This action completely reunited irrigation and agriculture as one unit, and can best utilize the agricultural resources. It can also guarantee the production of food and benefit to the nature ecology, which combines the functions of production, ecology and living of farmland irrigation into one body.

To cope with the provincial organization adjustment, Irrigation Associations had passed amendment bills to cancel provincial supervising. The Provincial Water Conservancy Bureau, which was the original supervisor of Irrigation Associations, had transferred to Ministry of Economic Affairs in July 1st, 1999 as the "Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Economic Affairs". However, it will continue to carry over the original farmland irrigation operations till December 21, 2000. In order to continue to promote farmland irrigation smoothly, negotiation between Council of Agriculture and the Department will be made. During this period, those operations from provincial Irrigation Association that used to be implemented by Provincial Water Conservancy Bureau is now assisted by the Department. Relevant authorization bills are also amended as needed. Those Irrigation Associations, originally managed by provincial government, is now be in charged by central government.


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