Polycentric Transformation in Kenyan Water Governance?

Auklet flock, Shumagins 1986 (D. Dibenski, 2006). From: images.fws.gov

In recent decades attention to the notion of polycentric governance has rapidly grown (see for a count here). This development occured in large part due to the attention that Nobel Prize Laureate Elinor Ostrom paid to this topic. In a fascinating article in the Policy Studies Journal from 2016, four authors (Paul McCord, Jampel Dell’Angelo, Elizabeth Baldwin and Tom Evans) reflect on the meaning of this concept for current water governance debates, notably in Kenya. They write “Unlike many previous polycentricity studies, the present research focuses primarily on the outcomes of the polycentric shift and determines if these correspond to predictions from polycentricity theory. We utilize survey data collected in 2013 from water managers, as well as archival research to interrogate congruence with principles of polycentricity”. They argue that the change in the Kenyan water regime in 2002 was “a top‐down imposed polycentric reform” and offers a good opportunity to assess “whether these polycentric reforms have produced benefits predicted by polycentricity theorists, such as experimentation by local water users, increased collective action, and improved coordination between levels of management”. Curious? Please check the article here (please note that this is not open access content).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/uncategorized/polycentric-transformation-in-kenyan-water-governance/

New book out on river basin organisations

782549215[1]Can River Basin Organisations (RBOs) actually improve water governance? RBOs are frequently layered on topof existing governmental organisations, which are often reluctant to share their power. This, in turn, can affect their performance. The Politics of River Basin Organisations addresses this issue by exploring the subject on a lobal level.

With the use of case studies from such diverse countries as Mongolia, Afghanistan and South Africa, the expert contributors to The Politics of River Basin Organisations provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of eleven RBOs around the world. They develop a typology that works to characterise the institutional design of these organisations whilst distinguishing between them.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/water-conservation/the-politics-of-river-basin-organisations/

Going Dutch in flood management?

by Sander Meijerink and Dave HuitemaThis winter, the UK has suffered from severe weather conditions, storm surges and river floods. Many were affected and the economic damage is enormous. As in other cases of flooding around the world, Dutch water managers offered assistance, and talk emerged of the ‘Dutch approach’ to flooding as a solution. But what is it exactly that British water managers could learn from their Dutch colleagues, if anything?

Flood plain occupancy It is possible that the recent floods in the UK can be interpreted as indicators of climate change. But even if that is the case, changes in climatic conditions, rainfall intensities and flood frequencies likely offer only part of the explanation for the increased flood impacts. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/water-organizations-and-networks/going-dutch-in-flood-management/

Novel Urban Disasters: Insights from the Colorado 100-Year Flood

In September, 2013, the state of Colorado experienced what has been called a “1,000 year flood” that resulted in four deaths and billions of dollars of damage to property and roadways. I was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time, working as a postdoc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and it was indeed a dramatic time. The house and neighborhood I lived in were flooded, people were stranded (or had been evacuated) in various parts of the city, and we could see the National Guard coming in and out of town at regular intervals. And it continued to rain…
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/urban-water/living-through-disaster-insights-from-the-colorado-100-year-flood/

Climate Change Adaptation Leadership: An Art, a Craft or a Technique?

Contribution by Brad May – In her research on leadership in organizations, Patricia Pitcher speaks of the drama of leadership, its dreams realities and illusions [1].  In the unfolding of this drama, she identified three actor archetypes essential for success in any organization or team – the Artist, the Craftsman and the Technocrat.  At the annual general conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) the topic of leadership for climate change adaptation was the focus of a panel discussion chaired by Carina Keskitalo and Sander Meijerink. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/conference-2/climate-change-adaptation-leadership-an-art-a-craft-or-a-technique/

Action groups EIP Water selected

The Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership Water has selected nine out of 64 proposals as Action Groups. These Action Groups will be actively supported by the EIP Water secretariat, the  European Commission and Steering Group members to increase their impacts and drive concrete outcomes. According to DG environment “European Innovation Partnerships aim to speed up innovations that contribute to solving societal challenges, enhance Europe’s competitiveness and contribute to job creation and economic growth. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/europe/action-groups-eip-water-selected/

What are international river basin organizations?

babelContribution by Andrea Gerlak, Susanne Schmeier and Sabine Schulze – In recent years international River Basin Organizations (RBOs) have increasingly been promoted by policy makers, international organizations and NGOs. Most of them accord RBOs a key role in the governance of internationally shared rivers and lakes and emphasize their contributions to sustainable water resources governance in shared river and lake basins. At the same time, academics have also become more interested in RBOs – equally interested in the conflict mitigation potential of these organizations in transboundary river basins and lakes. Despite the seemingly heightened attention paid to RBOs in both academic broader international water communities, the term “international River Basin Organization” is often used with little attention to its definitional or conceptual nature. It is common for researchers for example, to subsume RBOs under the broader umbrella of water institutions. Hence, it often remains unclear what we actually mean, when we talk about RBOs. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/international-comparison/what-are-international-river-basin-organizations/

Scholarships for the Master of Integrated Water Management Programme (Australia)

IWC logoThe International WaterCentre’s Masters Scholarships are now open to study the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management in Australia in 2014. Using problem-based and experiential learning, IWC students create and implement integrated solutions to real-world water and climate change challenges. The degree is co-badged and co-delivered by four leading Australian universities.

Here some details:
Scholarships open to Australian and international students. Value: full-tuition (AU$46,200) and overseas Student Health Cover for international students.
• Program starts in February 2013 and lasts 18 months when done on a full time basis.
• Apply before 1 August 2013. Before applying for the scholarship, you must also apply for the MIWM program at either The University of Queensland or the University of Western Australia.



Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/water-and-leadership/scholarships-for-the-master-of-integrated-water-management-programme-australia/

What kind of leadership do we need for climate change adaptation?

Sander Meijerink and Sabina Stiller just published a paper in Environment and Planning C which addresses the question what kind of leadership we need for climate adaptation. The paper explores the relevance of various leadership concepts for climate change adaptation. After defining four main leadership challenges which are derived from the key characteristics of climate adaptation issues, a review of modern leadership theories addressing these challenges is presented. Based on this review, they develop an integrative framework for analyzing leadership for climate change adaptation. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/articles/what-kind-of-leadership-do-we-need-for-climate-change-adaptation/

Why are some international River Basin Organizations more successful in sustainably governing shared watercourses than others?

buildingbridgesContribution by Susanne Schmeier – All over the world, international River Basin Organizations (RBOs) have been established by riparian states with the aim to more effectively and more sustainably govern and develop their shared water resources. However, as cursory evidence from around the world shows, their achievements in ensuring sustainability in the use of water resources in their respective basins varies considerably: In the Aral Sea, various attempts of institutionalized cooperation have so far not fully managed to restore the ecosystem’s health and fairly allocate water resources among riparians. Similarly, unilateral water resources development claims persist in the Nile River Basin in spite of an increasing institutionalization of water resources governance through the Nile Basin Initiative. In the Rhine River Basin, on the other hand, existing as well as newly emerging water-related challenges are most often addressed successfully and cooperatively by riparian states under the framework of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine. Likewise, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization has done quite well in not only studying the state of fisheries but also in developing policy guidance to riparian countries to manage fish resources sustainably. This leaves us with a puzzle: why are some international watercourses governed successfully by RBOs ensuring the sustainable development of water resources while others face severe environmental and socioeconomic threats? That is, why do some RBOs seem to have been more successful in solving water-specific collective action problems and sustainability challenges than others? Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/publications/why-are-some-international-river-basin-organizations-successful-in-sustainably-governing-shared-watercourses-and-others-are-not/