Water: Water and Governance
The aim of this chapter is to present a coherent discussion of governance related to water management and development.1 There are numerous definitions of governance, a word that is difficult to translate into many languages. Essentially, it relates to the broad political and administrative systems by which authority is exercised. Similarly, ‘water governance’ is a recent term that may not be well understood. The Global Water Partnership (GWP) defines it as follows:
Given the complexities of water use within society, developing, allocating and managing it equitably and efficiently and ensuring environmental sustainability requires that disparate voices are heard and respected in decisions over water. Water policy and the process for its formulation must have as its goal the sustainable development of water resources, and to make its implementation effective, the key actors/stakeholders must be involved in the process. Governance aspects overlap with technical and economic aspects of water; but governance points us to the political and administrative elements of solving a problem or exploiting an opportunity. Governance of water forms part of the creation of a nation’s physical and institutional infrastructure and social cooperation within and between nations.