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Can better government alone solve water resources related problems?
Published: 02 November 2011 by MDPI in The 1st World Sustainability Forum session Governance & Sustainability
Abstract: Since early 1990\'s the water management problems has been identified as outcome of the inappropriate governance rather than lack of the technological or technical solutions. Therefore, solutions has been shaped by this believe and concept. IWRM have emerged as a mainstream concept to solve the water management problems of the planet earth. Although, supported by many international organizations specially crafted to support the IWRM its implementation and results has been hesitantly limited. Both, at national and local levels of the water resources management dissemination of the new concept brought acceptance of the terms such as stakeholder participation, public role, transparency of decision making, etc. The water users participation concepts in the water sector has been a cornerstone of the IWRM implementation in most of the countries around the world. Genuine efforts of the national water agencies, strongly supported by international agencies have been helpless in many cases to address simple needs of the population- an equal access to the acceptable quality water resources. Why so? There are quite few reasons of the limited performance of the governance reforms in water sector: (i) governance reforms alone cannot solve water management problems, (ii) governance forms are different in different socio-political contexts of the different countries, ignorance of these differences has been one central reason of low performance, (iii) governance could become important aspect only if awareness is built among both water managers and water users, (iv) governance cannot be imported or "blue print" approach is not successful. The critical assessment of the IWRM implementation in different countries has been quite a comprehensive and varies on their findings on reasons of the failures. However, mostly underlining reasons has been identified as lack of ownership, participation, supportive environment, etc. However, without technological solutions and technical infrastructure, tools and equipment have also an important role on how IWRM will be implemented. Implementation of the good governance, water user\'s participation and better decision making are merely possible in the poor, inadequate infrastructure with outdated water distribution systems. Therefore, one cannot ignore the role of the techno-technical situation in the water resources management and these indictors will shape state of the water governance in the water management. Different players (water managers, water users, state organizations, private business, etc.,) will apply different \'water control\' mechanisms under different techno-technological situation. In this paper authors will try to present other important reason for the failure of the IWRM implementation in developing countries- technical and technological state of the water infrastructure.
Keywords: goverenance, IWRM, water management, technical-technological solutions