A Historical Perspective on the Mirab System: A Case Study of the Jangharoq Canal, Baghlan
The Afghan government and others working in the water and irrigation sector have highlighted the importance of the so-called traditional mirab (water master) system to collective water management in the country. In the relevant policy documents, however, the definitions of “traditional rules,” “mirab system” and “mirab culture” remain unclear. This in-depth case study provides a historical perspective on how collective water management practices and the environment in which they occur have evolved. It argues that the mirab system is far from being an institution that is solely community-based nor is it divorced from the events and forces swirling around it.