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The term participatory irrigation management (PIM) refers to the participation of irrigation users, i.e., farmers, in the management of irrigation systems not merely at the tertiary level of management but spanning the entire system. Participation should not be construed as consultation alone. The concept of PIM refers to management by irrigation users at all levels of the system and in all aspects of management. This is the simplicity and flexibility of PIM. There can be different forms of participation at different levels in the system with varying degrees of accountability and responsibility. Management by irrigation users, rather than by a government agency, is often the best solution. Contrary to the traditional concept that irrigation management requires a strong public-sector role, the PIM approach starts with the assumption that the irrigation users themselves are best suited to manage their own water.