Water quality and nonpoint pollution: Comparative global analysis
ABSTRACT: The improvement of the management of water resources quantity and quality in countries around the world requires better information and biophysical knowledge, both on water resources and on their associated ecosystems. The lack of basic information and knowledge makes very difficult the whole process of designing, implementing and enforcing water policies, and additionally promotes detrimental strategic behavior by stakeholders, regions and economic sectors. Soundwater policies entail also the cooperation of stakeholders leading to collective action, because of the public good dimension of water. Therefore, besides information and knowledge, another essential feature is the right institutional setting. One component of this institutional setting is to have strong basin authorities, and the other component equally important is the involvement of stakeholders in basin authorities, so that all decisions are taken by them. Economic instruments advanced by some policy makers and water experts, can not substitute for collective action based on strong water institutions. Without the attainment of collective action, water policies are quite likely to fail.