Large Canal Irrigation》Taiwan
Hydraulic Organization Developments
Dynasty: Autonomous approach in the Private Sector; Passive approach in
Before the Japanese Colonial Period, most hydraulic facilities had been
constructed and managed by the private groups. The local government
failed to take an active role in managing the hydraulic facilities. Most
officials took a more passive approach. Generally speaking, the
government merely played the role of issuing permits (canal licenses,
admonitions, and seals) or acted as the judge and law enforcer when
there was a dispute.
During earlier periods, most Chia-Nan Canal hydraulic facilities were
co-setup by villagers. In order to manage these equipments, they would
either recommend or invite a reservoir supervisor to inspect, repair the
canal, distribute water, and water thieves. The people that channeled
water would pay the water supervisor with grains of rice. When there was
canal damage, they were required to fix it.
Colonial Period: Setup laws and exercise public water rights.
During early Japanese rule, The Office of the Taiwan Governor General
continued the operation mode like that of the Qing Dynasty. In July
1901, The Office of the Taiwan Governor General promulgated “Taiwan
Public Reservoir/Canal Code” and began active management. All hydraulic
facilities of public reservoir canals were ordered to be under direct
local government supervision, and data was to be recorded. (Water
source, path, and manager etc.) In 1913, The Office of the Taiwan
Governor General amended the rules that interested parties of reservoirs
and canals (Those who had used water sources and those who had been
affiliated with the water source users) were entitled to setup corporate
reservoirs/canals. This grouping was bound by laws, and the labor
division inside organizations was clarified. Moreover, these corporate
reservoirs/canals were entitled to borrow money from the bank.
In 1908, The Office of the Taiwan Governor General promulgated
“Government Reservoir/Canal Code”. The government was directly involved
in the management of larger hydraulic facilities. The government
reservoir/canal assemblies were often managed by Public Works Department
Civil Engineering Section Head or authorities. Landowners, tenants or
other water source users were all members of the group. As compared to
the public reservoir/canal Assembly, the public reservoir/canal assembly
was much stricter in its management.
After 1920, government reservoir/canal was reformed into a public
reservoir/canal in which the management right was given to the local
government. In 1921, The Office of the Taiwan Governor General
promulgated “Taiwan Irrigation assembly Regulation” in which the public
reservoir/canal assemblies gradually combined into one and changed into
irrigation assemblies one by one. They were directly appointed by the
governor or local authorities. Inside the group, half of its members are
appointed by the government although there was an election team.
Resolutions had to be first agreed on by The Office of the Taiwan
Governor General before executions were allowed.
Period of the Republic of China: Autonomous private groups are public
agencies in form
In 1946, the R.O.C. government renamed irrigation Group and Public
Reservoir/canal Assembly as Farmland Irrigation Association. The
association chairman was elected by the election committee members. This
is rather different than that of the Japanese Colonial Period when group
leaders were directly appointed by local officials. Both had the same
organization structure, however. The following year, Taiwan Province
Department of Construction, Water Resources Bureau, and regional
farmland irrigation associations were monitored and supervised. In 1948,
the government regrouped Irrigation Association into Irrigation
Committee in which the members were elected directly by its members. The
list also includes the local authorities (Permanent Secretaries) and
Irrigation experts (expert commissioners). After the committee selected
the chief commissioner and the vice chief commissioner, the names were
passed to the Water Resources Bureau for appointment.
After the regrouping, the government had more control over the
irrigation committee but in the absence of law enforcement, the
irrigation committee was like a government agency in form but was still
generally viewed as a private group. It was neither a public nor a
private organization. Difficulties were encountered as a result. In
1956, the government promulgated “Taiwan Province Irrigation Association
Organization code”. The 40 irrigation committees in the nation were
combined into 26. These irrigation associations were entitled to
corporate rights, were allowed to exercise governing rights but did not
fall under the jurisdiction of government agencies.
Later on, finance and personnel related problems were frequent
occurrences due to corruptions. The government was forced to propose a
comprehensive plan intended for irrigation associations in 1975. Member
elections were terminated temporarily. The chairman was directly
appointed by the provincial government and the irrigation associations
were combined into 14 in number. It was not till 1982 was the autonomy
of public juridical persons restored. 2 to 3 people were nominated by
the government but it was the committee that selected the chairman.
After the election system was restored, local factions manipulated the
system and tampered with election results. In 1993, The Legislative Yuan
passed the amended “The General Guidelines for Irrigation Association
Organizations”. As stated in the general guidelines, the chairman and
committee members are to be selected by the government. The “committee
representative system” was changed into the foundation system”. The
following year, irrigation associations in the nation under Ministry of
Economic Affairs were relisted as under Agriculture Committee. The
chairman was directly appointed by the government to minimize
interventions from local factions. The government hoped to change all
irrigation associations into public agencies. However, after 2002, the
chairman was again elected by committee members. Strictly speaking,
irrigation associations were only ostensibly called public agencies.
Summary of Irrigation
Association Organization Developments
※Privately built, managed, and free traded
※There was no irrigation establishment among local
Japanese Colonial Period
※In 1901, “Taiwan Public Reservoir/canal Code” was
promulgated and managed actively.
※In 1908, “Government Reservoir/canal Code” was promulgated
and managed by government reservoir/canal assembly.
※In 1921, “Taiwan Irrigation Assembly Regulation” was
promulgated and the reservoir/canal Assembly was renamed
Period of the R.O.C.
※In 1946, Irrigation Assembly and Public Reservoir/canal
assembly were regrouped as Farmland Irrigation Association.
※In 1948, Irrigation Association was regrouped Irrigation
※In 1956, 40 irrigation committees were combined into 26
※In 1975, the chairman was appointed by the government and
the irrigation associations were reduced to 14 in number.
※In 2002, the chairman was elected by members.
Irrigation Association Distribution
Dept. of Irrigation
You can 》》UP