This chapter outlines the general conclusions of the research and the book based on the analysis of the four case study areas in Egypt. It also provides the basis for thoughts about a more realistic and critical consideration of social capital theories into the mainstream of community-based natural resource management in general, and irrigation management transfer in particular. The research undertaken for this book show that it was worthwhile to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework for the analysis of social capital to use in place of Putnam's theory and approach, which romanticize traditional village organizations and cannot satisfactorily explain the complexity observed in the case study areas. The findings also provided key lessons to keep in mind when establishing and supporting water users' associations (WUA) at the level of tertiary and branch canals. Among these are the impact of improvements to irrigation infrastructure on farmers' behavior and the functioning of WUAs on the tertiary canal, namely that reducing face-to-face interactions reduces the creation of social capital, social control, and collective action; and that cooperation is not only dependent on the availability of water but is also affected by the autonomy of the irrigation water management field and the assignment of water rights.
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