Water as a Human Right

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), UN-Habitat, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) jointly organize several activities at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on 20-22 June 2011. In that context, different information materials on the human right to water and sanitation have been produced. These include: a short glossary which defines frequently used terms, a media brief presenting the current situation on water rights, and a reader that provides basic references and most relevant UN publications on the topic.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/water-and-human-rights/activities-on-water-as-a-human-right/

Water governance; an empty signifier?

Our blog is now live for about six months, and we have had several posts on water governance. Although there are multiple perspectives on ‘water governance’, we even dared to post a page on “What is water governance”, indicating and implying that we know how to define the concept. Well, this may not be true when we shed light on the concept of governance based on Claus Offe’s essay (2009). Offe, who is very skeptical about the concept, makes an interesting argument that the term ‘governance’ is an “empy signifier”.
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/science-and-policy/water-governance-an-empty-signifier/

Tomorrow: Virtual conference on the future of water

Join 60 leading thinkers as they explore the rich, complex, and critical topic of water’s future. Beginning with a big-picture perspective, and uncovering both key “megatrends” and personal stories from the frontlines, The Future of Water will examine how different fields, sectors, and stakeholders can meet the challenge of supplying a growing global population with clean and sustainable water.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/conference-2/tomorrow-virtual-conference-on-the-future-of-water/

Going Dutch in implementing the Water Framework Directive: Feasibility and Affordability overrule Sustainability?

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) institutionalizes the (integrated) river basin management concept for a sustainable development of Europe’s surface water and groundwater resources. The Directive introduces a set of collective rules (both substantive and organizational) for a harmonized management by the Member States. Under the label of subsidiarity, regional and local room for manoeuvre and tailor-made solutions are offered. Unfortunately, the WFD does not provide for a definition of sustainability. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/science-and-policy/going-dutch-in-implementing-the-water-framework-directive-feasibility-and-affordability-overrule-sustainability/

Navigating Venice through the climate change rapids

The “safeguarding of Venice and its lagoon” has been systematically addressed by the Italian government since the 1970s. At that time a Special Law was issued that put in charge national, regional, local authorities to achieve three goals: physical protection from flooding and sea storms; prevention of environmental, nature and urban degradation; socio-economic development of the Venice area. In nearly thirty years the Italian government invested over 10 billion Euros for the development of studies and plans and for building protective infrastructure.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/science-and-policy/navigating-venice-through-the-climate-change-rapids/

The technocracy/democracy dilemma in the water sector

In recent decades, changing social and political circumstances have put the traditional technical-engineering approach to water management under pressure. As a result, water management authorities are now caught on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, they need their renowned expert status to fulfil their public responsibilities, such as the protection against floods. On the other hand, they also need to distance themselves from this expert status to be able to meet the increasing social and political imperative of developing into more responsive and efficient public organisations. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/science-and-policy/the-technocracydemocracy-dilemma-in-the-water-sector/

Conference ‘Linking research to policy in the water sector’ in Europe

On June 9, 2011, a workshop will take place on the theme ‘Linking research to policy in the water sector: Connecting people for a sustainable coastal water management’ at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. The focus of the workshop, according to the organizers, is on improving the science-policy interface in the water sector, and exploring the role that civil society can play in this venture. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/science-and-policy/conference-linking-research-to-policy-in-the-water-sector-in-europe/

Periurban water security in South Asia

The South Asian Consortium for inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies is currently engaged in  three year action research project studying periruban water security. The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre and project is carried out in four  South Asian locations; namely Hyderabad and Gurgaon (India), Khulna (Bangladesh) and Kathmandu (Nepal). The project seeks to examine how urbanization and climate change shape the water security of periurban residents. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/south-asia/periurban-water-security-in-south-asia/

Amu Darya Network: East-West Exchange for Central Asian Waters

The launch of a new Amu Darya River Basin Network implies an advance in the West-East exchange of expertise and experience in water management. At stake is an improvement of the water resource situation in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The network is an ambitious attempt to bring together virtually all visible scholars and key policy actors in the area of water resources of Central Asia and Afghanistan, and the network intends to create a platform for exchange of ideas, knowledge and building ties for possible future cooperation. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/water-organizations-and-networks/amudarya-network-east-west-exchange-for-central-asian-waters/

Recent advances in research on the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework

The Policy Studies Journal has published a special feature on the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, which was developed by Elinor Ostrom. After the publication of the classic book ‘Governing the Commons’ in 1990, the IAD-framework was further developed at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. A core feature of the framework is a set of rule types which guide actors behavior and choices, such as boundary roles, scope rules and aggregation rules. One of the papers in the special issue, ‘The role of cross-scale institutional linkages in CPR management: assessing interstate river compacts’, by Heikkila, Schlager and Davis,  illustrates perfectly how these rule types can be used to analyze and evaluate institutions for water governance.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.watergovernance.eu/book-review/recent-advances-in-research-on-the-institutional-analysis-and-development-framework/