Theme 2: Strengthening water governance for sustainability
The water crisis is primarily one of governance, due to the fragmented nature of water management. Institutions lack the capacity to overcome conflicting approaches in the use and allocation of water from within one basin or aquifer system – both at the national and transboundary level. This lack of integration, sectoral approaches and institutional resistance all contribute to the fragmented management of freshwater resources. Yet water-related systems are interdependent and have to be managed in an integrated manner.
Many solutions to water problems lie in better governance, with “sharing water” as one of the key challenges to be addressed. Raising awareness, providing education and developing capacity with regard to water issues are all important steps towards better water governance.
The work at a glance
Water management needs to be integrated into the economic development of the concerned area and needs to adopt adequate financing and pricing systems – if water management is to be effective. It should be capable of dealing with problems related to climate variability, sustainable land use and landscape change, including rapidly growing urban areas. Moreover, local, regional and international governance mechanisms should take into account the historical and cultural legacies of a region. It is also important to provide information to stakeholders and the public at large, and to take their concerns into account.
- Cultural, societal and scientific responses to the crises in water governance
- Capacity development for improved governance; enhanced legislation for wise stewardship of water resources
- Governance strategies that enhance affordability and assure financing Managing water as a shared responsibility across geographical and social boundaries
- Addressing the water-energy nexus in basin-wide water resources