Farmer participation is presently more often a potential than a reality. In agency-managed systems, the users' role is usually restricted to activities "below the outlet," discussed in Chapter 4. Even in user-managed systems, the amount and effectiveness of participation can be less than desirable, for example, if decision-making is dominated by rural elites, or if water distribution does not reach all tail-end farmers. It is important to be clear about the goals of irrigation management, to have some criteria by which to judge when more or less participation may be desirable, and also how much and what kinds? Furthermore, the benefits and costs need to be considered, preferably in relation to one another, though there sire few analyses which permit such comparison.