In Water Users Associations (WUA) of Calabria (Southern Italy) considerable geodetic heads and water flows are available in collective irrigation networks. Therefore it is possible to produce electrical energy by hydro- turbines out of the irrigation season, preferably by small hydro power (SHP) plants. Applying at the regional scale a previously developed model to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of SHP plants in existing irrigation systems, this paper estimates the theoretical energy production and the economic performances of SHP plants installed in the WUAs operating in Calabria. In the 120 water systems surveyed, a total electrical power output of 15.5 MW could theoretically be produced, preferably by plants with nominal power output in the range 5 - 100 kW. The planned SHP plants would provide a total annual profit of about 11.5 M€, which would triple the annual WUA income. The annual sustainability of SHP maintenance, operation and management costs is also demonstrated.