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Special Issue "Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sharon B. Megdal

Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona 350 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 520 792-8518
Interests: water management; water policy; ecosystem restoration; groundwater recharge; water supplies for growing regions; water transactions; trans-border water assessments and management
Guest Editor
Dr. Susanna Eden

Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona 350 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water resources policy and management; negotiated decision making; the role of science in policy and decisions; groundwater recharge and recovery; sustainability and growth; climate change
Guest Editor
Dr. Eylon Shamir

Hydrologic Research Center, 12555 High Bluff Drive, #255, San Diego, CA 92130, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrologic modeling; flood forecasting; application of remotely-sensed data in flow forecasting; effect of climate variability on the hydrologic cycle and stochastic hydrology; risk assessment of water resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Water will focus on the relationship of water governance practices and stakeholder engagement approaches to the development, evaluation, and adoption of solutions to water management challenges. It is well recognized that the human dimensions of considering alternative water management scenarios and policy options are as least as important as their engineering, hydrological, and financial aspects. Identifying good governance practices and successful stakeholder engagement approaches can assist decision makers and water managers as they grapple with meeting the multiple environmental, economic, and societal objectives associated with sustainable water management. Papers are solicited that connect governance and/or stakeholder engagement approaches to the identification, characterization, and/or adoption of sustainable water management strategies, including conservation focused, flood risk reduction and technological solutions. The Guest Editors will consider papers addressing water governance and stakeholder engagement at all geographic scales, including transboundary. Papers addressing surface water, groundwater, and/or integrated water resources management are of interest, as are papers that examine indicators for governance and stakeholder engagement practices.

Prof. Dr. Sharon B. Megdal
Dr. Susanna Eden
Dr. Eylon Shamir
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water governance
  • stakeholder engagement
  • sustainable water management
  • surface water
  • groundwater
  • water solutions

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management
Water 2017, 9(3), 190; doi:10.3390/w9030190
Received: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Water governance and stakeholder engagement are receiving research attention for their role in formulating and implementing solutions to the world’s critical water challenges. The inspiration for this Special Issue came from our desire to provide a platform for sharing results and informing the
[...] Read more.
Water governance and stakeholder engagement are receiving research attention for their role in formulating and implementing solutions to the world’s critical water challenges. The inspiration for this Special Issue came from our desire to provide a platform for sharing results and informing the global water governance community about the wealth of excellent interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and projects being carried out around the world. The 20 peer-reviewed papers collected in this Special Issue have been grouped into three categories: stakeholder engagement, tools for building water management and governance capacity, and perspectives on water management and governance. Following a brief summary of the papers, concluding remarks that reflect on what the papers, taken as a whole, contribute to our understanding are provided. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Re-Linking Governance of Energy with Livelihoods and Irrigation in Uttarakhand, India
Water 2016, 8(10), 437; doi:10.3390/w8100437
Received: 1 May 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 8 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydropower is often termed “green energy” and proffered as an alternative to polluting coal-generated electricity for burgeoning cities and energy-insecure rural areas. India is the third largest coal producer in the world; it is projected to be the largest coal consumer by 2050.
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Hydropower is often termed “green energy” and proffered as an alternative to polluting coal-generated electricity for burgeoning cities and energy-insecure rural areas. India is the third largest coal producer in the world; it is projected to be the largest coal consumer by 2050. In the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, India, over 450 hydroelectric power schemes are proposed or are under development. Hydropower projects ranging from micro hydro (run-of-the-river systems with generating capacity up to 100 kW) to large reservoirs (storage systems up to 2000 MW) such as the Tehri Dam are in various stages of planning, construction or implementation. Run-of-the-river hydropower projects are being developed in Uttarakhand in order to avoid some of the costs to local communities created by large dams. Stakeholders in this rapid hydropower expansion include multiple actors with often diverging sets of interests. The resulting governance challenges are centered on tradeoffs between local electricity and revenue from the sale of hydropower, on the one hand, and the impacts on small-scale irrigation systems, riparian-corridor ecosystem services, and other natural resource-based livelihoods, on the other. We focus on the Bhilangana river basin, where water dependent livelihoods differentiated by gender include farming, fishing, livestock rearing and fodder collection. We examine the contradictions inherent in hydropower governance based on the interests of local residents and other stakeholders including hydropower developers, urban and other regional electricity users, and state-level policymakers. We use a social justice approach applied to hydropower projects to examine some of the negative impacts, especially by location and gender, of these projects on local communities and then identify strategies that can safeguard or enhance livelihoods of women, youth, and men in areas with hydropower projects, while also maintaining critical ecosystem services. By assessing the Bhilangana basin case, we also offer hydropower–livelihoods–irrigation nexus lessons for headwater regions across the Himalayas and globally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Engaging Southwestern Tribes in Sustainable Water Resources Topics and Management
Water 2016, 8(8), 350; doi:10.3390/w8080350
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indigenous peoples in North America have a long history of understanding their societies as having an intimate relationship with their physical environments. Their cultures, traditions, and identities are based on the ecosystems and sacred places that shape their world. Their respect for their
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Indigenous peoples in North America have a long history of understanding their societies as having an intimate relationship with their physical environments. Their cultures, traditions, and identities are based on the ecosystems and sacred places that shape their world. Their respect for their ancestors and ‘Mother Earth’ speaks of unique value and knowledge systems different than the value and knowledge systems of the dominant United States settler society. The value and knowledge systems of each indigenous and non-indigenous community are different but collide when water resources are endangered. One of the challenges that face indigenous people regarding the management of water relates to their opposition to the commodification of water for availability to select individuals. External researchers seeking to work with indigenous peoples on water research or management must learn how to design research or water management projects that respect indigenous cultural contexts, histories of interactions with settler governments and researchers, and the current socio-economic and political situations in which indigenous peoples are embedded. They should pay particular attention to the process of collaborating on water resource topics and management with and among indigenous communities while integrating Western and indigenous sciences in ways that are beneficial to both knowledge systems. The objectives of this paper are to (1) to provide an overview of the context of current indigenous water management issues, especially for the U.S. federally recognized tribes in the Southwestern United States; (2) to synthesize approaches to engage indigenous persons, communities, and governments on water resources topics and management; and (3) to compare the successes of engaging Southwestern tribes in five examples to highlight some significant activities for collaborating with tribes on water resources research and management. In discussing the engagement approaches of these five selected cases, we considered the four “simple rules” of tribal research, which are to ask about ethics, do more listening, follow tribal research protocols, and give back to the community. For the five select cases of collaboration involving Southwestern tribes, the success of external researchers with the tribes involved comprehensive engagement of diverse tribal audience from grassroots level to central tribal government, tribal oversight, on-going dialogue, transparency of data, and reporting back. There is a strong recognition of the importance of engaging tribal participants in water management discussions particularly with pressing impacts of drought, climate change, and mining and defining water rights. Full article
Open AccessArticle Groundwater Governance: The Role of Legal Frameworks at the Local and National Level—Established Practice and Emerging Trends
Water 2016, 8(8), 347; doi:10.3390/w8080347
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 24 July 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Legal frameworks play a crucial role for effective groundwater governance. They flank and support water policy and provide users and the administration with rights and obligations to use, manage, and protect vital resources in order to achieve the overall goal of equitable and
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Legal frameworks play a crucial role for effective groundwater governance. They flank and support water policy and provide users and the administration with rights and obligations to use, manage, and protect vital resources in order to achieve the overall goal of equitable and sustainable water use. This paper discusses key challenges that have to be addressed in water law to manage and protect groundwater effectively. It will provide an overview of established practice in groundwater legislation and discuss recent trends and developments in light of current challenges. It focuses on permit-based systems of administrative water rights but will to a limited extent also deal with customary, community-based, and informal arrangements. It will show that increasingly domestic groundwater legislation is strengthened and ranked on a par with surface water regimes, ideally by dealing with all water resources in an integrated manner. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Fall and Rise of the Kishon River
Water 2016, 8(7), 283; doi:10.3390/w8070283
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper recounts the environmental history of a main waterway in Northern Israel—the Kishon, and deploys this history to examine the evolution of Israel water policy as it struggled to bridge the growing gap between its ambitions of development and the realities of
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This paper recounts the environmental history of a main waterway in Northern Israel—the Kishon, and deploys this history to examine the evolution of Israel water policy as it struggled to bridge the growing gap between its ambitions of development and the realities of its limited water supply. The first part of the paper describes the decay of the Kishon since the early 1950s, and the multiple scientific, political and legal attempts to alleviate its misfortunes, and discusses the reasons for their failings. Some of these reasons were administrative by nature, but the paper suggests a deeper reason, rooted in the ideological core of the infant state that was overwhelmingly concerned with the development of its infrastructure, and invited the pioneering Israeli society to consider the demise of the Kishon as a necessary sacrifice for progress. The second part of the paper describes the late-20th century developments that allowed for the recovery of the ailing river. Changing social mores, the growing importance of environmental politics, the advance of Israel’s water technologies, and an environmental scandal that endowed the rehabilitation of the Kishon with a new political and moral meaning, have all contributed to the rehabilitation of the river. Once a testament for the sacrifices involved in a struggle to create a viable state, the Kishon has become a theater for a confident society that has triumphed in its struggle against nature. Full article
Open AccessArticle Conflict Management in Participatory Approaches to Water Management: A Case Study of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River Regulation
Water 2016, 8(7), 280; doi:10.3390/w8070280
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has been involved in a 14-year effort to formulate a new water regulation plan for the Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River (“LOSLR”) area that balances the interests of a diverse group of stakeholders including shipping and navigation, hydropower,
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The International Joint Commission (IJC) has been involved in a 14-year effort to formulate a new water regulation plan for the Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River (“LOSLR”) area that balances the interests of a diverse group of stakeholders including shipping and navigation, hydropower, environment, recreational boating, municipal and domestic water supply, First Nations, and shoreline property owners. It has embraced the principles of collaborative and participatory management and, applying a Shared Visioning Planning (SVP) approach, has worked closely with stakeholders throughout all stages of this process; however, conflicts between competing stakeholders have delayed and complicated this effort. The overarching aim of this paper is to consider the extent to which the SVP approach employed by the IJC was effective in managing conflict in the LOSLR context. Audio recordings and transcriptions of public and technical hearings held by the IJC in 2013 have been systematically analysed using stakeholder mapping and content analysis methods, to gain insight into the stakeholder universe interacting with the IJC on Plan 2014. The principal conclusions of this paper are that (a) the Shared Vision Planning approach employed by the IJC had some significant successes in terms of conflict management—particularly notable is the success that has been achieved with regards to integration of First Nation concerns; (b) there is a distinct group of shoreline property owners, based in New York State, who remain opposed to Plan 2014—the IJC’s public outreach and participation efforts have not been successful in reconciling their position with that of other stakeholders due to the fact that this stakeholder group perceive that they can only lose out from any regulation change and are therefore unlikely to be motivated to engage productively in any planning dialogue; and (c) a solution would require that the problem be reframed so that this stakeholder can see that they do in fact have something to gain from a successful resolution, which may necessitate bringing the prospect of compensation to the table. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using a Participatory Stakeholder Process to Plan Water Development in Koraro, Ethiopia
Water 2016, 8(7), 275; doi:10.3390/w8070275
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reports the results of a one-day participatory workshop in Koraro, Ethiopia conducted prior to major development interventions in the region. The methodology of the workshop, structured to generate data useful for understanding the physical and social systems integral to water resources
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This article reports the results of a one-day participatory workshop in Koraro, Ethiopia conducted prior to major development interventions in the region. The methodology of the workshop, structured to generate data useful for understanding the physical and social systems integral to water resources planning, provides a framework for future water need explorations in similar settings in Ethiopia and elsewhere. The use of only improved water sources as a metric for access to water under-represents the situation in Koraro, as many rely on streambeds for water due to the perceived cleanliness and low salinity of this unimproved water source. The reliance on metrics common in the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, such as a minimum distance to a water source and the categorization of potable water based on type of water source, using varying figures (from as many as 30 to as few as four) can lead to assessments regarding the amount of additional sources necessary to allow access to specific locales, that are not consistent with actual need. Since the workshop, the Millennium Village Project has constructed over 30 wells in the region, following the most commonly used distance and source type metrics with less than desirable results. The water access evaluations alone do not address the needs of Koraro residents. Full article
Open AccessArticle Public Participation in Water Planning in the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Tucson Basin (U.S., Arizona): Impact on Water Policy and Adaptive Capacity Building
Water 2016, 8(7), 273; doi:10.3390/w8070273
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The benefits of public participation in water management are recognized by governments, scholars, and stakeholders. These benefits, however, do not result from all engagement endeavors. This leads to the question: What are the determinants for effective public participation? Given a list of criteria
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The benefits of public participation in water management are recognized by governments, scholars, and stakeholders. These benefits, however, do not result from all engagement endeavors. This leads to the question: What are the determinants for effective public participation? Given a list of criteria for achieving the transformational capacity of participation, we analyze the benefits (including the influence on public policies) gained through public participation and the determinant factors for obtaining these benefits in the Ebro River Basin in Spain and in the Tucson Basin in Arizona (U.S.). Furthermore, and considering that droughts and floods are major water management challenges in both case studies, we focus on the potential of participation to build adaptive capacity. Our analysis of these case studies concludes that influence on public policies is determined more by the context of the participatory process, i.e., legal framework, political leadership, and social awareness, whereas influence on adaptive capacity building depends more on the characteristics of the participatory process, particularly the existence of active on-site consultation and deliberation. Full article
Open AccessArticle International Severe Weather and Flash Flood Hazard Early Warning Systems—Leveraging Coordination, Cooperation, and Partnerships through a Hydrometeorological Project in Southern Africa
Water 2016, 8(6), 258; doi:10.3390/w8060258
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Climate, weather and water hazards do not recognize national boundaries. Transboundary/regional programs and cooperation are essential to reduce the loss of lives and damage to livelihoods when facing these hazards. The development and implementation of systems to provide early warnings for severe weather
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Climate, weather and water hazards do not recognize national boundaries. Transboundary/regional programs and cooperation are essential to reduce the loss of lives and damage to livelihoods when facing these hazards. The development and implementation of systems to provide early warnings for severe weather events such as cyclones and flash floods requires data and information sharing in real time, and coordination among the government agencies at all levels. Within a country, this includes local, municipal, provincial-to-national levels as well as regional and international entities involved in hydrometeorological services and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Of key importance are the National Meteorological and Hydrologic Services (NMHSs). The NMHS is generally the authority solely responsible for issuing warnings for these hazards. However, in many regions of the world, the linkages and interfaces between the NMHS and other agencies are weak or non-existent. Therefore, there is a critical need to assess, strengthen, and formalize collaborations when addressing the concept of reducing risk and impacts from severe weather and floods. The U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance; the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO); the WMO Southern Africa Regional Specialized Meteorological Center, hosted by the South African Weather Service; the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service and the Hydrologic Research Center (a non-profit corporation) are currently implementing a project working with Southern Africa NMHSs on addressing this gap. The project aims to strengthen coordination and collaboration mechanisms from national to local levels. The project partners are working with the NMHSs to apply and implement appropriate tools and infrastructure to enhance currently operational severe weather and flash flood early warning systems in each country in support of delivery and communication of warnings for the DRR entities at the regional, national and local levels in order to reduce the loss of life and property. Full article
Open AccessArticle Staying the Course: Collaborative Modeling to Support Adaptive and Resilient Water Resource Governance in the Inland Northwest
Water 2016, 8(6), 232; doi:10.3390/w8060232
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water resource governance, much like the systems it endeavors to manage, must be resilient and adaptive. Effective, resilient and adaptive water resource governance requires continuing stakeholder engagement to address the complex nature of human and natural systems. Engagement is an adaptive and iterative
[...] Read more.
Water resource governance, much like the systems it endeavors to manage, must be resilient and adaptive. Effective, resilient and adaptive water resource governance requires continuing stakeholder engagement to address the complex nature of human and natural systems. Engagement is an adaptive and iterative process of education and empowerment, building relationships and trust, and facilitating collaboration. Collaborative modeling is a methodology that integrates diverse stakeholder perspectives, fosters discussions, and creates space for problem identification and consensus-based strategies and solutions to current water resource challenges. We define collaborative modeling broadly, such that it includes a wide range of systems thinking exercises, as well as dynamic models. By focusing on the relationships and interconnections in the system, collaborative modeling facilitates clarification of mental models and the communication of science. We will describe our work in two interstate basins and how it has evolved over time as these basins strive to develop collaborative governance, and find solutions for their water resource challenges. Full article
Open AccessArticle Opening the Black Box: Using a Hydrological Model to Link Stakeholder Engagement with Groundwater Management
Water 2016, 8(5), 216; doi:10.3390/w8050216
Received: 7 March 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 23 May 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stakeholder participation is a foundation of good water governance. Good groundwater governance typically involves the co-production of knowledge about the groundwater system. Models provide a vehicle for producing this knowledge, as well as a “boundary object” around which scientists and stakeholders can convene
[...] Read more.
Stakeholder participation is a foundation of good water governance. Good groundwater governance typically involves the co-production of knowledge about the groundwater system. Models provide a vehicle for producing this knowledge, as well as a “boundary object” around which scientists and stakeholders can convene the co-production process. Through co-production, stakeholders and scientific experts can engage in exchanges that create system knowledge not otherwise achievable. The process involves one-way transfer of information, active two-way conversations, and integration of multiple kinds of knowledge into shared understanding. In the Upper Santa Cruz River basin in Arizona, USA, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) convened a project aimed at providing scientific underpinnings for groundwater planning and management. This project, entitled Groundwater, Climate, and Stakeholder Engagement, serves as a case study employing the first two stages of knowledge co-production using a hydrological model. Through an iterative process that included two-way communication, stakeholders provided critical input to hydrologic modeling analyses. Acting as a bridging organization, the WRRC facilitated a co-production process, involving location-specific and transferability workshops, which resulted in new knowledge and capacity for applying the model to novel problems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Governance Decentralisation and River Basin Management Reforms in Hierarchical Systems: Do They Work for Water Treatment Policy in Mexico’s Tlaxcala Atoyac Sub-Basin?
Water 2016, 8(5), 210; doi:10.3390/w8050210
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decades, policy reforms, new instruments development, and economic resources investment have taken place in water sanitation in Mexico; however, the intended goals have not been accomplished. The percentage of treated wastewater as intended in the last two federal water plans
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In the last decades, policy reforms, new instruments development, and economic resources investment have taken place in water sanitation in Mexico; however, the intended goals have not been accomplished. The percentage of treated wastewater as intended in the last two federal water plans has not been achieved. The creation of River Basin Commissions and the decentralisation process have also faced challenges. In the case of Tlaxcala, the River Basin Commission exists only on paper and the municipalities do not have the resources to fulfil the water treatment responsibilities transferred to them. This lack of results poses the question whether the context was sufficiently considered when the reforms were enacted. In this research, we will study the Tlaxcala Atoyac sub-basin, where water treatment policy reforms have taken place recently with a more context sensitive approach. We will apply the Governance Assessment Tool in order to find out whether the last reforms are indeed apt for the context. The Governance Assessment Tool includes four qualities, namely extent, coherence, flexibility, and intensity. The assessment allows deeper understanding of the governance context. Data collection involved semi-structured in-depth interviews with stakeholders. The research concludes that the observed combination of qualities creates a governance context that partially supports the implementation of the policy. This has helped to increase the percentage of wastewater treated, but the water quality goals set by the River Classification have not been achieved. With the last reforms, in this hierarchical context, decreasing the participation of municipal government levels has been shown to be instrumental for improving water treatment plants implementation policy, although many challenges remain to be addressed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance: “Practicing What We Preach” with the OECD Water Governance Initiative
Water 2016, 8(5), 204; doi:10.3390/w8050204
Received: 7 March 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cursory glance at the literature on water governance reveals that stakeholder engagement has long been considered an integral part of sound governance processes. However, a closer look at the literature reveals that, beyond this general assertion, there is a lack of evidence-based
[...] Read more.
A cursory glance at the literature on water governance reveals that stakeholder engagement has long been considered an integral part of sound governance processes. However, a closer look at the literature reveals that, beyond this general assertion, there is a lack of evidence-based assessment on how engagement processes contribute to water governance objectives. This article addresses this research gap by presenting key findings and policy guidance from a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on “Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance”. This study employed comprehensive methods, including a survey administered to 215 stakeholder groups worldwide and separately, 69 case studies of specific stakeholder engagement initiatives on water management. This article also shares the experiences and lessons that have emerged from engaging stakeholders in the OECD Water Governance Initiative—an international multi-stakeholder policy forum created in 2013 to share policy and practical experiences on water governance at different levels. We hope this research will be used to stimulate and enrich discussions about the necessary conditions for results-oriented stakeholder engagement, and to guide decision makers accordingly. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Potential Impact of Serious Games on Social Learning and Stakeholder Collaborations for Transboundary Watershed Management of the St. Lawrence River Basin
Water 2016, 8(5), 175; doi:10.3390/w8050175
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The meaningful participation of stakeholders in decision-making is now widely recognized as a crucial element of effective water resource management, particularly with regards to adapting to climate and environmental change. Social learning is increasingly being cited as an important component of engagement if
[...] Read more.
The meaningful participation of stakeholders in decision-making is now widely recognized as a crucial element of effective water resource management, particularly with regards to adapting to climate and environmental change. Social learning is increasingly being cited as an important component of engagement if meaningful participation is to be achieved. The exact definition of social learning is still a matter under debate, but is taken to be a process in which individuals experience a change in understanding that is brought about by social interaction. Social learning has been identified as particularly important in transboundary contexts, where it is necessary to reframe problems from a local to a basin-wide perspective. In this study, social learning is explored in the context of transboundary water resource management in the St. Lawrence River Basin. The overarching goal of this paper is to explore the potential role of serious games to improve social learning in the St. Lawrence River. To achieve this end, a two-pronged approach is followed: (1) Assessing whether social learning is currently occurring and identifying what the barriers to social learning are through interviews with the region’s water resource managers; (2) Undertaking a literature review to understand the mechanisms through which serious games enhance social learning to understand which barriers serious games can break down. Interview questions were designed to explore the relevance of social learning in the St. Lawrence River basin context, and to identify the practices currently employed that impact on social learning. While examples of social learning that is occurring have been identified, preliminary results suggest that these examples are exceptions rather than the rule, and that on the whole, social learning is not occurring to its full potential. The literature review of serious games offers an assessment of such collaborative mechanisms in terms of design principles, modes of play, and their potential impact on social learning for transboundary watershed management. Serious game simulations provide new opportunities for multidirectional collaborative processes by bringing diverse stakeholders to the table, providing more equal access to a virtual negotiation or learning space to develop and share knowledge, integrating different knowledge domains, and providing opportunities to test and analyze the outcomes of novel management solutions. This paper concludes with a discussion of how serious games can address specific barriers and weaknesses to social learning in the transboundary watershed context of the St. Lawrence River Basin. Full article
Open AccessArticle Community Perspective on Consultation on Urban Stormwater Management: Lessons from Brownhill Creek, South Australia
Water 2016, 8(5), 170; doi:10.3390/w8050170
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 25 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are salutary lessons from contrasting community consultation efforts in 2011 and 2015 to develop and gain support for an urban stormwater management plan for the Brownhill Creek catchment in Adelaide, South Australia. The 2011 process was a failure in the human dimension,
[...] Read more.
There are salutary lessons from contrasting community consultation efforts in 2011 and 2015 to develop and gain support for an urban stormwater management plan for the Brownhill Creek catchment in Adelaide, South Australia. The 2011 process was a failure in the human dimension, precipitating loss of community confidence, unnecessarily entrained thousands of hours of time of residents who initiated a community action group for environmental conservation and caused a three-year delay to decision making. By contrast, the 2015 process was vastly improved, resulted in a landslide level of support for an obvious option not previously offered, achieved the required level of flood protection, saved Aus$5 million (14%) on the previously proposed option and protected a highly valued natural environment from an unnecessary dam. This paper presents a rarely heard perspective on these community consultation processes from a participating community environmental and heritage conservation action group (the Brownhill Creek Association) that was deeply engaged in reforming the Draft Brown Hill Keswick Creek Stormwater Management Plan. This reveals that the community needs to see that all options are considered and to have access to accurate information with which to assess them. It is also necessary that the proposed plan is consistent with existing agreed plans and policies developed through public consultation. Community concerns need to be heard, acknowledged and acted upon or responded to, and the consultation process needs to be transparently fair and democratic to win community support. A major contributor to success in the second consultation was that all community action groups were invited to meetings to discuss the purpose of the consultation and the methods to be used. Feedback was subsequently received before the process commenced to show what had changed and why any suggestions concerning the consultation process were not being adopted. This openness helped to mend the distrust of the first consultation process and is recommended as an essential early step in any public consultation process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Undermining Demand Management with Supply Management: Moral Hazard in Israeli Water Policies
Water 2016, 8(4), 159; doi:10.3390/w8040159
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 12 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (898 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most water managers use a mixture of both supply-side and demand-side policies, seeking to capitalize on the relative advantages of each. However, supply augmentation undertaken to avoid overdrafts can reduce the effectiveness of demand management policies if the two strategies are not carefully
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Most water managers use a mixture of both supply-side and demand-side policies, seeking to capitalize on the relative advantages of each. However, supply augmentation undertaken to avoid overdrafts can reduce the effectiveness of demand management policies if the two strategies are not carefully integrated. Such a result can stem from a type of moral hazard phenomenon by which consumers, aware of the increases in potential supply, discount the importance of conservation. This is illustrated by the case of Israel. Initial national-scale water-supply projects were followed by over-extraction, which, in turn, compelled implementation of wide-spread demand management measures to reduce consumption. With the recent advent of large-scale desalination in Israel, public perception regarding the importance of conservation has diminished and consumption has increased—this, despite periodic drought conditions and critically low levels of water reserves. Full article
Open AccessArticle Explore, Synthesize, and Repeat: Unraveling Complex Water Management Issues through the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel
Water 2016, 8(4), 118; doi:10.3390/w8040118
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Effective stakeholder engagement is fundamental to water management, yet there are as many approaches to consultation as there are efforts. This paper provides an evaluation of, and lessons learned from three water management engagement processes, and uses this assessment to offer a framework
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Effective stakeholder engagement is fundamental to water management, yet there are as many approaches to consultation as there are efforts. This paper provides an evaluation of, and lessons learned from three water management engagement processes, and uses this assessment to offer a framework for stakeholder engagement. The Stakeholder Engagement Wheel framework is centered on a bridging organization that ensures that the process continues to move forward, and a steering committee that guides and changes activities according to stakeholder interests and concerns. Around the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel are four steps designed to examine iteratively the water management issue driving the engagement process and expand the sphere of interests involved. Many engagement processes have limited effectiveness because of: (1) paucity of time; (2) complexity of water resources management; (3) difficulty of engaging diverse stakeholders; and (4) lack of methods for engagement that are centered on empowerment, equity, trust, and learning. In this study, we have encountered all four of these issues and have addressed all but the first through a deliberate, iterative, and flexible approach. By cycling through activities and actions as proposed in the Stakeholder Engagement Wheel, we can build a community of practitioners with the nuanced and shared understanding needed for cohesive action and robust decisions in the face our considerable challenges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adaptive Governance of Water Resources Shared with Indigenous Peoples: The Role of Law
Water 2016, 8(3), 97; doi:10.3390/w8030097
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 11 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptive governance is an emergent phenomenon resulting from the interaction of locally driven collaborative efforts with a hierarchy of governmental regulation and management and is thought to be capable of navigating social−ecological change as society responds to the effects of climate change. The
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Adaptive governance is an emergent phenomenon resulting from the interaction of locally driven collaborative efforts with a hierarchy of governmental regulation and management and is thought to be capable of navigating social−ecological change as society responds to the effects of climate change. The assertion of Native American water rights on highly developed water systems in North America has triggered governance innovations that resemble certain aspects of adaptive governance, and have emerged to accommodate the need for Indigenous water development and restoration of cultural and ecological resources. Similar innovations are observed in the assertion of Indigenous voices in Australia. This presents an opportunity to analyze the emergence of adaptive processes within complex legal systems. We explore the role of law in locally driven innovation in this context, concluding that any system of governance that requires greater flexibility will only be viewed as legitimate, and thus succeed, if attention is given not only to adaptive capacity, but also to aspects of good governance. Through examples of the assertion of Indigenous rights, we illustrate critical links between adaptive capacity in water management, good governance, and law. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water and Agriculture in a Mediterranean Region: The Search for a Sustainable Water Policy Strategy
Water 2016, 8(2), 66; doi:10.3390/w8020066
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes two of the main challenges facing agriculture in Europe: technological changes and the application of the principle of cost recovery to water services. Our study takes into account the economic, social, and ecological consequences associated with these measures. Specifically, we
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This paper analyzes two of the main challenges facing agriculture in Europe: technological changes and the application of the principle of cost recovery to water services. Our study takes into account the economic, social, and ecological consequences associated with these measures. Specifically, we consider the effects of these two situations not only on water consumption, but also on environmental, social, and economic indicators. Our study also includes two institutional scenarios involving the possibility or impossibility of performing transactions in formal water markets. By using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for the economy of Catalonia, a region located in Northeastern Spain, our results suggest that institutions related with water markets matter in terms of the effects that agricultural policies cause on water resources. They also suggest that greater economic efficiency is not necessarily optimal if we consider social or environmental criteria. Full article

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Open AccessReview Modes and Approaches of Groundwater Governance: A Survey of Lessons Learned from Selected Cases across the Globe
Water 2016, 8(10), 417; doi:10.3390/w8100417
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 18 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The crucial role of groundwater and the centrality of water governance in accommodating growing water demands sustainably are becoming well recognized. We review 10 case studies of groundwater governance—representing diverse global regions and local contexts—from the perspective of four well-established elements: (1) institutional
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The crucial role of groundwater and the centrality of water governance in accommodating growing water demands sustainably are becoming well recognized. We review 10 case studies of groundwater governance—representing diverse global regions and local contexts—from the perspective of four well-established elements: (1) institutional setting; (2) availability and access to information and science; (3) robustness of civil society; and (4) economic and regulatory frameworks. For institutional setting, we find that governing is often a thankless task that paradoxically requires popularity; legislation does not always translate to implementation; conflict resolution is central to governance; and funding is critical for governance. In terms of information access, we see: a need for research for natural systems, social systems, and institutions; trust as an essential element in research; and that urbanized landscapes are critical components of groundwater governance. Looking at civil society robustness, we observe that equity is an essential element for governance; community-based governance requires intention; and leaders can play a powerful role in uniting stakeholders. As for frameworks, the cases suggest that economic incentives sometimes yield unintended results; “indirect” management should be used cautiously; and economic incentives’ effectiveness depends on the system employed. Collectively, the lessons speak to the need for shared governance capacities on the part of governments at multiple levels and civil society actors. Full article
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Open AccessReview Enhancing Groundwater Governance by Making the Linkage with Multiple Uses of the Subsurface Space and Other Subsurface Resources
Water 2016, 8(6), 222; doi:10.3390/w8060222
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 14 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the aspects highlighted in the Framework for Action and other key documents produced by the Groundwater Governance Project (funded by GEF and implemented by UNESCO, FAO, World Bank and IAH) is the interdependence between groundwater and human activities related to other
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One of the aspects highlighted in the Framework for Action and other key documents produced by the Groundwater Governance Project (funded by GEF and implemented by UNESCO, FAO, World Bank and IAH) is the interdependence between groundwater and human activities related to other physical components of the real world. Consequently, it is important in groundwater governance to make essential linkages with other components of the water cycle (IWRM), with sanitation and wastewater management, with land use and land use practices, with energy and with the uses of subsurface space and other subsurface resources. This paper presents an overall description of the multiple uses of the subsurface space and of the exploitation and management of subsurface resources. It attempts to give an impression of intensities and trends in use and exploitation, of the possible interactions and of current and potential efforts to control negative impacts of such interactions. It concludes by briefly summarizing in three simple steps how to improve groundwater governance by making appropriate linkages with uses of the subsurface space and subsurface resources. Full article

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