What is water governance?

Water governance can be seen as a question ‘about water distributions and their organization and coordination: distributions of water (and of water related rights, risks, responsibilities, benefits and incomes), as well as distributions of (scientific or political) voice, power and authority. Importantly, questions include those about the linkages between these different distributions”.

This is how Margreet Zwarteveen introduces the concept of water governance and the way we think about it at the UNESCO-IHE Water Governance group.

For more thoughts on how to think about ans study water governance here is Margreet’s inaugural lecture at the University of Amsterdam (February 2015) Regulating water, ordering society. Practices and politics of water governance. “Some argue that because of their urgency, solving water problems requires new water wizards and heroes: new courageous visionaries who speak and act on behalf of both nature and society”. Or perhaps we do need more equity and justice in water governance and in the distributions of water and voice?

Is something missing or overlooked in this definition of water governance?

We are looking forward to hear your opinion!


Emanuele Fantini

Emanuele (@emanufanti) is Senior Researcher at the Water Governance Chair group of UNESCO-IHE, where he works on water, politics and development in Ethiopia; media, science and water conflicts in the Nile basin; visual research methods.
https://www.un-ihe.org/emanuele-fantini

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