‘Glocal’ Water Governance: a Multi-Level Challenge in the Anthropocene

Gupta, Joyeeta, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, and Ruben Zondervan. 2013. ‘Glocal’ Water Governance: a Multi-Level Challenge in the Anthropocene. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5 (6): 573–580.

  • Water governance is a cross-sectoral, multi-level challenge.
  • Definitional/boundary issues are critical for effective governance.
  • Governance must take existing ownership and access issues into account.
  • Different water paradigms have competing implications.
  • Tool boxes need to be used in a context-relevant manner.

The water crisis is a crisis of governance. A literature review reveals that this crisis concerns definitional issues, issues of ownership and access, boundary issues, the multiple uses of water, and the levels at which water should be managed. Paradigms for managing water have evolved from integrated water resource management through more experimental and learning based adaptive governance to understanding that water is not a sector but a cross-cutting issue and should perhaps be dealt with through the ‘nexus’ approach. The literature reveals a toolbox of policy instruments, infrastructures and institutions for managing water but concludes that solutions need to be crafted in a context relevant manner taking the relevant drivers of water use and misuse into account.

#Anthropocene#Natural Resources#Water