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Article

Understanding the Complexity of Water Supply System Governance: A Proposal for a Methodological Framework

1
Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas 29290, Mexico
2
Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad (C3 UNAM), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
3
Cátedra CONACYT-CIIDIR Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Unidad Oaxaca, Oaxaca 71230, Mexico
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Cátedra CONACYT-El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Campeche, Campeche 24500, Mexico
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Departamento de Ciencias de la Sustentabilidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Tabasco, Tabasco 86280, Mexico
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Departamento de Ciencias de la Sustentabilidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Campeche, Campeche 24500, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Athanasios Loukas and Luis Garrote
Water 2021, 13(20), 2870; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202870
Received: 10 September 2021 / Revised: 9 October 2021 / Accepted: 11 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
The question of how the complexity of water governance may be understood beyond a heuristic concept remains unanswered. In this paper, we propose a Water Governance Complexity Framework to address the complexity of water governance. Through a literature review, rapid surveys, and 79 semi-structured interviews, we propose how this framework may be operationalized using different proxies and by applying it to the case of the water supply system for domestic use in Oaxaca, Mexico. In places such as the rural communities of Oaxaca, where the state plays a partially absent role in the water supply, we found legal pluralism and diverse formal and informal stakeholders in a multi-level structure. At the local level, four modes of governance were identified, resulting from seven institutional change trajectories. These trajectories result from linear (alignment) and non-linear (resistance and adaptation) interactions between local, state, and national institutions over different periods. We provide a pragmatic framework to understand complexity through the organization and historical configurations of water governance that may be applied globally, providing a necessary starting point and solid foundation for the creation of new water policies and law reforms or transitions to the polycentric governance model to ensure the human right to water and sanitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: institutional change; nestedness; governance mode; legal pluralism institutional change; nestedness; governance mode; legal pluralism
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5499022
    Description: Table S1. Structure of the survey used in this study. We employed four questions and their possible answers. In the answers, the “others” option was left not to limit the eventual appearance of different stakeholders at the local level. Table S2. Matrix used to note the answers obtained from interviewing stakeholders regarding cross-level and internal interactions in the communities to carry out ten activities of the first and second governance orders. Table S3. Matrix of binomial presence (1) / absence (0) data resulted from the collapse of the results obtained from all the interviewees and the ten activities of each community. Table S4. Results of the binomial presence/absence matrix of the communities that are municipal seats responsible for the water supply system for domestic use. This matrix was used to carry out the nesting analysis with the NODF (Nestedness metric based on the overlap and decreasing fill) metric in NeD software. Table S5. Results of the binomial presence/absence matrix of the communities that are municipal agencies or that have a water committee responsible for the water supply system for domestic use. This matrix was used to carry out the nesting analysis with the NODF (Nestedness metric based on the overlap and decreasing fill) metric in NeD software. Table S6. Open-ended questions of the semi-structured interviews were applied to elders and experts to identify possible institutional changes related to water for domestic use in rural communities.
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 2
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5499022
    Description: Table S1. Structure of the survey used in this study. We employed four questions and their possible answers. In the answers, the “others” option was left not to limit the eventual appearance of different stakeholders at the local level. Table S2. Matrix used to note the answers obtained from interviewing stakeholders regarding cross-level and internal interactions in the communities to carry out ten activities of the first and second governance orders. Table S3. Matrix of binomial presence (1) / absence (0) data resulted from the collapse of the results obtained from all the interviewees and the ten activities of each community. Table S4. Results of the binomial presence/absence matrix of the communities that are municipal seats responsible for the water supply system for domestic use. This matrix was used to carry out the nesting analysis with the NODF (Nestedness metric based on the overlap and decreasing fill) metric in NeD software. Table S5. Results of the binomial presence/absence matrix of the communities that are municipal agencies or that have a water committee responsible for the water supply system for domestic use. This matrix was used to carry out the nesting analysis with the NODF (Nestedness metric based on the overlap and decreasing fill) metric in NeD software. Table S6. Open-ended questions of the semi-structured interviews were applied to elders and experts to identify possible institutional changes related to water for domestic use in rural communities.
MDPI and ACS Style

Gumeta-Gómez, F.; Sáenz-Arroyo, A.; Hinojosa-Arango, G.; Monzón-Alvarado, C.; Mesa-Jurado, M.A.; Molina-Rosales, D. Understanding the Complexity of Water Supply System Governance: A Proposal for a Methodological Framework. Water 2021, 13, 2870. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202870

AMA Style

Gumeta-Gómez F, Sáenz-Arroyo A, Hinojosa-Arango G, Monzón-Alvarado C, Mesa-Jurado MA, Molina-Rosales D. Understanding the Complexity of Water Supply System Governance: A Proposal for a Methodological Framework. Water. 2021; 13(20):2870. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202870

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gumeta-Gómez, Fernando, Andrea Sáenz-Arroyo, Gustavo Hinojosa-Arango, Claudia Monzón-Alvarado, Maria A. Mesa-Jurado, and Dolores Molina-Rosales. 2021. "Understanding the Complexity of Water Supply System Governance: A Proposal for a Methodological Framework" Water 13, no. 20: 2870. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202870

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