Jean-Philippe Venot's research while affiliated with Université de Montpellier and other places

Publications (95)

Article
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CONTEXT Worldwide farmer managed irrigation systems have provided crops for food, feed and the market for centuries. From high mountain environments to river valleys and deltas, in all continents people have organized to construct, use, maintain, transform and sustain irrigated agro-ecosystems. In this context it is important to better understand h...
Technical Report
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The document synthesizes a study conducted in Myanmar and Cambodia to better understand the land tenure issues revolving around irrigation development.
Article
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This brief contains the data needed to calculate and assess the robustness of a water level - flood link (WAFL) in the Cambodian Mekong Delta, which was used to analyse changes in the long-term behaviour of Monsoon inundations in the region. The data comprises the WAFL raster (.tif) files for two zones in the delta. Zone A is located on the right b...
Article
The data included in this brief consists of the data needed to calculate and assess the robustness of a water level - flood link (WAFL) in the Cambodian Mekong delta, which was used to analyse changes in the long-term behaviour of Monsoon inundations in the region. The dataset provided comprises the WAFL raster (.tif) files for two zones in the del...
Article
This paper uses a series of serious games – a form of participatory modelling designed and played in Kandal, Cambodia - as an entry point for reexamining relations between development projects, participatory formats, landscape transformations, and sustainable futures. Critics of development and participation have shown that participatory formats si...
Article
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The increased open-access availability of radar and optical satellite imagery has engendered numerous land use and land cover (LULC) analyses combining these data sources. In parallel, cloud computing platforms have enabled a wider community to perform LULC classifications over long periods and large areas. However, an assessment of how the perform...
Article
In Khmer, the word prek designates a connection between things. In Kandal province in Cambodia, preks crisscross the landscape, connecting rivers with floodplains, supporting rich ecologies and a variety of livelihoods. Drawing on science and technology studies (STS) and critical water research, this paper explores prek(s) as a multiplicity. Rather...
Article
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In Myanmar, since the transition to a quasi-civilian government in 2011, resolving land disputes has been high on the political agenda. Grounded in Political Ecology and inspired by Science and Technology Studies, this article investigates the critical geography of the strategies through which alluvial (is)lands in the Ayeyarwady Delta are made int...
Conference Paper
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This study aimed to make an investigation of the environmental state with regards to pesticides during the dry season after 10 years of intensive use in Koh Thum. Water from irrigation canal (Prek) and crop field and groundwater from mango farm were sampled and pesticides were detected by semi-quantitative analysis using gas chromatography coupled...
Article
Emerging narratives call for recognising and engaging constructively with small-scale farmers who have a leading role in shaping the current irrigation dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper explores whether new irrigation data can usefully inform these narratives. It argues that, for a variety of reasons, official irrigation data in sub-Sahara...
Article
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An effective placement of irrigation efficiency in water management will contribute towards meeting the pre-eminent global water challenges of our time such as addressing water scarcity, boosting crop water productivity and reconciling competing water needs between sectors. However, although irrigation efficiency may appear to be a simple measure o...
Article
This paper presents an analytical framework to identify and understand grassroots water governance practices, which we call ‘rooted water collectives’ (RWC). RWCs can be multi-scalar organizations that engage in common property resources management or multi-scalar social movements that advocate for common property resources governance. The framewor...
Article
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Since 2011 and the transition to civilian government, Myanmar and the Ayeyarwady Delta in particular are witnessing swift and dramatic changes in the modalities of access and use of natural resources. Drawing from political ecology, and on the basis of ethnographic work conducted in Yeinek village tract in the Nyaungdone Township of the Ayeyarwady...
Article
Similar to many southern and southeast Asian regions, the mobilisation of arsenic (As) from sediments has driven a widespread contamination problem for groundwater resources in the Cambodian Mekong Delta. For the first time, the seasonal changes in As concentrations and potential links to groundwater pumping for irrigation in shallow aquifers of th...
Article
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Studying the spatial and temporal distribution of surface water resources is critical, especially in highly populated areas and in regions under climate change pressure. There is an increasing number of satellite Earth observations that can provide information to monitor surface water at global scale. However, mapping surface waters at local and re...
Article
Seen as hotspots of vulnerability in the face of external pressures such as sea level rise, upstream water development, and extreme weather events but also of in situ dynamics such as increasing water use by local residents and demographic growth, deltas are high on the international science and development agenda. What emerges in the literature is...
Article
This paper engages with the coupled social and environmental dynamics of irrigation development in sub-Saharan Africa through the case study of Bagré in Burkina Faso. A mix of traditional social science research and participatory methods meant at strengthening the role of local farmers in decision making over irrigation development allows identifyi...
Article
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This introduction is a reflexive piece on the notion of farmer-led irrigation development and its politics. It highlights the way the varied contributions to the Special Issue support a shared perspective on farmerled irrigation development as a process whereby farmers drive the establishment, improvement, and/or expansion of irrigated agriculture,...
Article
Depuis plus de trois décennies, le modèle de gestion participative de l'irrigation promu par gouvernements et bailleurs de fond rencontre de nombreuses difficultés. Partant du constat que la gestion de l'irrigation présente des dimensions tant techniques que sociales, nous mobilisons les champs de la political ecology et des études des sciences et...
Article
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This paper is a reflexive analysis of a three-year participatory water research project conducted in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana, whose explicit objective was to initiate a multi-level dialogue to support the national Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policy framework. The transdisciplinary team adopted the Companion Modeling ap...
Article
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Since the 2008 global food crisis there has been renewed interest in irrigation infrastructural development, which has sometimes been taken up by the same agencies that developed large-scale surface irrigation in the 20th century. This article presents a case study of the recent '1000 small dams in 1000 days' programme in Turkey to analyse the cont...
Chapter
The introduction to this book sets out to question why the belief that drip irrigation is a promising technology to save water, modernise agriculture and help the poor remains powerfully intact, despite growing evidence of more contrasted field situations. It pleads for going beyond these narratives to understand the multiple realities of drip irri...
Chapter
Through a case study in Burkina Faso, this paper interrogates the persistence of development projects that promote low cost drip irrigation even though the prophesized widespread adoption of this technology by smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa has remained elusive until now. The enduring image of “drip kits” as effective tools to alleviate poverty...
Book
Initially associated with hi-tech irrigated agriculture, drip irrigation is now being used by a much wider range of farmers in emerging and developing countries. This book documents the enthusiasm, spread and use of drip irrigation systems by smallholders in the global South to explore and explain under which conditions it works, for whom and with...
Chapter
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The movement of agricultural technologies is conventionally understood as a ‘transfer’ of modern technology from more advanced sites (such as laboratories, field stations and progressive farms) to less advanced ones, which are upgraded. In this perspective, technologies are conceived implicitly as discrete, self-sufficient units that can move seaml...
Article
Participation in natural resources management is widely promoted in sub-Saharan Africa and faces mounting critics from social science scholars who rarely engage with it practically. We use the notion of room for manoeuvre to reflect on a multi-level participatory approach designed to support the Burkinabè Integrated Water Resources Management polic...
Article
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Au cours d'un atelier, qui a eu lieu à Montpellier en décembre 2015, destiné à partager des expériences de recherche sur un objet hydroagricole, le petit barrage, une vingtaine de chercheurs d'horizons disciplinaires variés ont interrogé leurs pratiques et conceptions de l'interdisciplinarité entre sciences de la nature et sciences de la société. C...
Book
In this chapter, we examine how farming technologies move between places and how they are unpacked and 'grounded' in particular spaces and contexts. We argue that a better understanding of how this process occurs helps to shed light on a source of contestation within agronomy. We discuss two farming technologies that have been at the centre of cont...
Article
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The past decade has witnessed an intensifying focus on the development of irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa. It follows a 20-year hiatus in the wake of disappointing irrigation performance during the 1970s and 1980s. Persistent low productivity in African agriculture and vulnerability of African food supplies to increasing instability in internation...
Article
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The roles, place and influence that researchers and practitioners may have in the way participatory approaches unfold has long been documented. Such analysis notably stress that researchers’ stances towards the issue of power may vary significantly. This article documents how the positioning of two “engaged researchers” coordinating a research for...
Article
This paper explains the processes behind the framing of drip irrigation as a promising technology to address current poverty and environmental challenges in the developing world. I draw from critical development and science and technology studies and highlight that this imagery has been actively performed. Insiders elaborated a compelling narrative...
Article
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Development agencies enthusiastically promote micro-drip irrigation as an affordable water and labor-saving device, yet most farmers stop using it as soon as development projects end. This article analyzes why farmers engage in projects promoting drip irrigation kits, even though they appear not to be interested in their water and labor-saving attr...
Article
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Smallholder drip irrigation is widely held as a promising technology for water saving, poverty reduction and food security, despite a dearth of evidence of benefits to farmers, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In this article, we document three development programmes promoting drip irrigation in Burkina Faso. Using actor network theory and insight...
Article
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Over the last 15years, smallholder drip irrigation has gained almost unanimous popularity as an effective tool to achieve the combined goals of sustainable water use, food security and poverty alleviation in the developing world. Based on a study in Sub-Saharan Africa, this article shows that this popularity does not stem from what the technology d...
Article
Since the early 2000s, governance has been at the core of the international water agenda. This has elicited calls for reforms in the irrigation sector, including efforts to address the problem of corruption. Nevertheless, the history of policy reform in the irrigation sector is one of repeated institutional refinements, which have hardly materializ...
Conference Paper
People in the watershed of the Bougouriba 7 are facing multiple issues to ensure their access to water for drinking and irrigation purpose, livestock watering and fishery activities, but also in terms of quality as artisanal mining activities or bad fishing practices led to water pollution. In 2010, a local water management committee, the CLE, has...
Conference Paper
The aim of our communication is to show the inequalities still faced by women in the uses and the decisions related to water management despite their recognition as central to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Since almost 20 years, IWRM is at the core of the water policy framework of more and more countries, specially in Africa. One of...
Article
Drip irrigation has long been promoted as a promising way to meet today's world water, food and poverty challenges. In most scientific and policy documents, drip irrigation is framed as a technological innovation with definitive intrinsic characteristics-that of efficiency, productivity and modernity. Based on evidence from North and West Africa as...
Article
Over the last 20 years, Burkina Faso has engaged in reforms promoting integrated water resources management that are in line with dominant water discourses. The strong institutional drive outlines a spatialisation of water management, based on the watershed's hydrographic boundaries. The approach however remains top-down and does not acknowledge lo...
Article
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Since the 1990s, Indian farmers, supported by the government, have partially shifted from surface-water to groundwater irrigation in response to the uncertainty in surface-water availability. Water-management authorities only slowly began to consider sustainable use of groundwater resources as a prime concern. Now, a reliable integration of groundw...
Article
This article draws from the fields of anthropology of development and sociology of science to bring new light on the discourses and dynamics of agricultural water management in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, it investigates the persistence of a long-standing and apparently contradictory narrative that posits small reservoirs as a solution to the...
Article
Ownership of development processes has been high on the international agenda since the Paris Declaration of 2005. There is, however, much discussion about whether highly aid-dependent governments can really 'own' policy reforms in their countries. In this paper, we argue that the ownership of policy reforms is the outcome of an interaction between...
Article
This paper explores a fruitful convergence between the distributive and procedural dimensions of environmental justice theory and current debates in the field of development studies over capitals and capabilities, institutions, and discourse formation to shed new light on natural resource management projects in the developing world. Specifically, w...
Chapter
Water and land for expanding human settlements frame differential processes of “development” across the regions considered in this volume. Aridity, relative scarcity of both water and land, urban growth pressures on existing water uses, and expanding water reuse are shared challenges in Arizona, Israel, and Palestine. The Southwest United States, c...
Article
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Thousands of small reservoirs dot the rural landscape of sub-Saharan Africa. They have long attracted development and academic interest on the grounds that they make vulnerable and generally little-developed regions 'drought-proof' and allow for smallscale community-based irrigation. On the other hand, concerns have long been raised over the high c...
Article
Agricultural (water) development is once again at the fore of the development agenda of sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, corruption is seen as a major obstacle to the sustainability of future investments in the sector but there is still little empirical evidence on the ways corruption pervades development projects. This paper documents the planning and imp...
Article
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As demand and competition for water resources increase, the river basin has become the primary unit for water management and planning. While appealing in principle, practical implementation of river basin management and allocation has often been problematic. This paper examines the case of the Krishna basin in South India. It highlights that confli...
Article
Small reservoirs are a reality of rural sub-Saharan Africa. They trigger technical and institutional innovations, appear to be in high demand among local communities, and remain popular on the agendas of national policy-makers and international development partners in spite of recurrent analyses highlighting that these systems function well below t...
Article
Continuous upstream water development in the South Indian Krishna Basin has resulted in declining water availability downstream. Upstream water use is not adjusted to reflect rainfall fluctuations, and downstream farmers of the Nagarjuna Sagar irrigation project in the state of Andhra Pradesh are increasingly vulnerable to water supply shocks. Unde...
Article
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In closing river basins where nearly all available water is committed to existing uses, downstream irrigation projects are expected to experience water shortages more frequently. Understanding the scope for resilience and adaptation of large surface irrigation systems is vital to the development of management strategies designed to mitigate the imp...
Chapter
Rapid urban development and industrial growth puts direct and indirect pressure on freshwater resources in many water-scarce basins. Direct pressure derives from domestic and industrial demands, while indirect pressure relates to an increasing urban food demand. In fully allocated basins, both demands can often only be met by reallocation of water...
Article
In densely populated coastal wetlands with rich biodiversity, multiple, but generally competing, economic activities are common. This paper adopts a polycentric perspective to the study of wetlands management in India to assess the scope for sustainable and equitable use of these remarkable and threatened ecosystems. The analytical framework proves...
Article
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Although farmers are often seen as wasting water and getting a disproportionate share of water, irrigation is losing out in the competition for water with other sectors. In cases of drought, water restrictions are overwhelmingly imposed on irrigation while other activities and domestic supply are only affected in cases of very severe shortage. All...
Article
This book contains 11 papers which cover a range of vital topics in the areas of water, agriculture, food security and ecosystems - the entire spectrum of developing and managing water in agriculture, from fully irrigated to fully rainfed lands. They are about people and society, why they decide to adopt certain practices and not others and, in par...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book contains 11 papers which cover a range of vital topics in the areas of water, agriculture, food security and ecosystems - the entire spectrum of developing and managing water in agriculture, from fully irrigated to fully rainfed lands. They are about people and society, why they decide to adopt certain practices and not others and, in par...
Article
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Indian wetlands have witnessed dramatic socio-environmental transformations whose drivers unfold at multiple scales. Changes in the structure of governance of natural resources are needed. Past and current approaches are based on the assumption that a commonly defined level at which management would be optimal do exist be it the local, the regional...
Article
The Krishna basin in South India is a fast closing basin. Consumptive water use, mainly for agriculture, accounted for 90.5% of the basin net inflow. The adjoining Godavari basin is comparatively water rich and it is planned to transfer 5325 million m3 of Godavari waters to Krishna through P-V Link. Such a transfer should make the groundwater-irrig...
Article
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Agricultural and water development in the Krishna basin in south India has led to a progressive over-commitment of water resources. Based on a historical water accounting (1955–2004), this paper shows that upstream water development is the main cause for declining water availability in the lower Krishna basin (Andhra Pradesh state). But Andhra Pr...
Article
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Jordan is one of the countries with the scarcest water resources in the world. The aquifers of the Lower Jordan River Basin, a region of prime importance for the country, are exploited well beyond their sustainable rate. In 1997, Jordan’s officials designed a new water strategy, with emphasis on demand-management instruments. Water pricing policies...
Article
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Changes in both land cover and the atmosphere have impacted the heat fluxes of south Asia in ways that may have altered the timing and magnitude of the monsoon. Century-long budgets of water and energy in the Krishna Basin (258,948 km2) in southern India demonstrate that irrigation impacted the sensible heat flux of the land surface (H) as much as...
Article
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Since India gained Independence, the Krishna basin has seen an increasing mobilization of its water resources. Warnings of basin closure (minimal flow to the ocean) emerge during dry periods. Basin water development and local rural dynamics have led to a degradation of downstream ecosystems manifesting itself by salinizing soil and groundwater, inc...
Article
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"During the last 50 years, the Lower Jordan river basin experienced a rapid and comprehensive process of development of its rare water resources. This led to its progressive closure: almost no water is left to be mobilized and used while demand, notably in urban areas, keeps increasing. Despite the need to give priority to demand management options...
Article
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Water is very scarce in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The development of both public irrigation in the Jordan Valley and private groundwater schemes in the highlands has diverted a large share of the country's water resources to agriculture. Many policy instruments have been used in the last 10 years to reallocate water to nonagricultural uses a...
Article
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"Basin water development and rural dynamics in the Krishna Basin have led to a degradation of downstream ecosystems manifesting itself by salinizing soil and groundwater, increasing pollution, disappearing mangroves and desiccating wetlands. Reversing this evolution requires the formal recognition of the environment as a water user in its own right...
Article
The depletion of the waters of the Krishna river is changing the ecosysteiri of its basin, How can equity, sustainability and efficient use of the scarce water resources be ensured?