Water Governance

Wetlands - Great Lakes NSW, AustraliaGovernance is a key to water sustainability. Good governance is required to meet water-related objectives articulated in development and political goals such as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals. It is also worthwhile to recognise and capture those goals emerging from additional layers designed to ensure long-term sustainability.

Water Future has identified that there are linkages missing between knowledge generation and policy-framing and also between knowledge generation and rule-making. These linkages need to be addressed to reflect the next phase of global change research. It is imperative to look beyond the simplistic panaceas for governance reform,  with necessity demanding due diligence to ascertain the conditions for success together with the risks for potential failure within water governance arrangements.

Assessing governance performance based on sound principles which incorporate the elements of transparency, accountability, equality and efficiency and effectiveness, represents a reality check for knowledge generation and the logistics surrounding governance arrangements.

To strengthen such scholarship and the development of a global community of water governance scholars Water Future implements a cross-cutting theme on water governance. This cross-cutting activity continues and further expands the successful work of GWSP in the water governance domain.

River in Austria with housing and swan in forefrontThe objectives are to:

  • Conduct basic research on water governance theories and practice addressing key water governance challenges;
  • Synthesise insights related to water governance from the various working groups;
  • Develop evidence-based governance indicators and pathways following a global comparative, synthesising, integrative approach to identify gaps in water governance (particularly develop governance indicators, assess and compare policies  towards SDGs implementation);
  • Nurture a global community of water governance scholars including early career researchers; and
  • Develop a global educational course on water governance for different stakeholders.

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