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Article

Governing Water Resource Allocation: Water User Association Characteristics and the Role of the State

1
Department of Agricultural Economics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8320000, Chile
2
Center for the Socioeconomic Impact of Environmental Policies (CESIEP—Núcleo Milenio), Santiago 8320000, Chile
3
Water Law and Management Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8320000, Chile
4
Department of Agricultural Economics, Universidad de Talca, Talca 3460000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas M. Missimer
Water 2021, 13(17), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172436
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 27 August 2021 / Accepted: 28 August 2021 / Published: 4 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
Water, as a common pool resource, is threatened by the possibility of overextraction generating a negative economic impact, conflicts among users, and greater income inequality. Scholars have discussed different governance approaches to deal with this threat, including centralized governance and self-governance, and lately, special attention has been paid to the interactions between formal institutions (the state) and local water user associations and how this promotes self-governance. The aim of this paper was to examine the adoption of Ostrom’s design principles present in the legal norms dictated in the Chilean Water Code by water user associations and to analyze the roles of their size, community homogeneity, and perceived water stress on adopting legal norms. The results showed that water communities generally follow the rules established in the Water Code, but the voting system, distribution of water, and fee payment are adjusted in small and homogenous water user associations. We can also conclude that a cornerstone in the system is implementing graduated sanctions, as water users see the tools provided by the Water Code as ineffective. View Full-Text
Keywords: water resources; governance system; water user communities water resources; governance system; water user communities
MDPI and ACS Style

Engler, A.; Melo, O.; Rodríguez, F.; Peñafiel, B.; Jara-Rojas, R. Governing Water Resource Allocation: Water User Association Characteristics and the Role of the State. Water 2021, 13, 2436. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172436

AMA Style

Engler A, Melo O, Rodríguez F, Peñafiel B, Jara-Rojas R. Governing Water Resource Allocation: Water User Association Characteristics and the Role of the State. Water. 2021; 13(17):2436. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172436

Chicago/Turabian Style

Engler, Alejandra, Oscar Melo, Francisca Rodríguez, Bárbara Peñafiel, and Roberto Jara-Rojas. 2021. "Governing Water Resource Allocation: Water User Association Characteristics and the Role of the State" Water 13, no. 17: 2436. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172436

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