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Open AccessArticle

Opportunities and Barriers for Water Co-Governance—A Critical Analysis of Seven Cases of Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in Europe, Australia and North America

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Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Alle 20, 8830-DK Tjele, Denmark
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Centre for Climate and Safety, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad 651 88, Sweden
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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, SOAS University of London, London WC1H 0XG, UK
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SEGES, Landbrug & Fødevarer F.M.B.A., Agro Food Park 15, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), 1350 Copenhagen C, Denmark
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Department of Infrastructure Engineering, the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia
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Ecologic Institute, 10717 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
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Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, Falcon Heights, MN 55108, USA
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International Plant Nutrition Institute, Stillwater, MN 55082, USA
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Royal Haskoning DHV, P.O. Box 8064, NL-9702 KB Groningen, The Netherlands
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Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Groningen University, Landleven 1, 9747 AD Groningen, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051634
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA) and its governance has received increased attention as a policy concern across the globe. Mitigation of DWPA is a complex problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and a multi-agency, broad societal response. In this paper, opportunities and barriers for developing co-governance, defined as collaborative societal involvement in the functions of government, and its suitability for mitigation of DWPA are reviewed using seven case studies in Europe (Poland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK), Australia (Murray-Darling Basin) and North America (State of Minnesota). An analytical framework for assessing opportunities and barriers of co-governance was developed and applied in this review. Results indicated that five key issues constitute both opportunities and barriers, and include: (i) pressure for change; (ii) connected governance structures and allocation of resources and funding; (iii) leadership and establishment of partnerships through capacity building; (iv) use and co-production of knowledge; and (v) time commitment to develop water co-governance. View Full-Text
Keywords: collaborative governance; decentralized decision-making; non-point source pollution; nutrient management; water governance collaborative governance; decentralized decision-making; non-point source pollution; nutrient management; water governance
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Graversgaard, M.; Hedelin, B.; Smith, L.; Gertz, F.; Højberg, A.L.; Langford, J.; Martinez, G.; Mostert, E.; Ptak, E.; Peterson, H.; Stelljes, N.; Van den Brink, C.; Refsgaard, J.C. Opportunities and Barriers for Water Co-Governance—A Critical Analysis of Seven Cases of Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in Europe, Australia and North America. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1634.

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