The role of collective groundwater institutions in the implementation of direct groundwater regulation measures in Minqin County, China
Aarnoudse, E. ; Bluemling, B. ; Wester, P. ; Qu, W. - \ 2012
Hydrogeology Journal 20 (2012)7. - ISSN 1431-2174 - p. 1213 - 1221.
user associations - management - governance - policies - basin
Direct groundwater regulation (e.g. registration of abstraction points, permits and concessions) has been much advocated world-wide; however, few successful cases have been reported. The development of groundwater use in Minqin County, Gansu Province, China, is described, with analyses of the situation before and after the implementation of direct groundwater regulation measures in 2007. Based on a survey carried out in 2010, it is argued that the regulation measures, which were part of a broader water-policy reform, were successfully implemented due to their integration with pre-existing collective groundwater institutions. In addition to the regulation measures-the closure of wells and per capita water use restriction-all villages had to form water users' associations (WUAs) which were assigned to implement the new regulations. These WUAs were found to have the same structure as the existing collective groundwater institutions. Through the water-policy reform, the function of the pre-existing groundwater institutions was transformed from managing "water exploitation" to managing "water conservation".
Assessment of the development of aquifer management councils (COTAS) for sustainable groundwater management in Guanajuato, Mexico
Wester, P. ; Sandoval Minero, R. ; Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. - \ 2011
Hydrogeology Journal 19 (2011)4. - ISSN 1431-2174 - p. 889 - 899.
user associations - governance - challenges - issues - institutions - countries - policies - states - india
Collective groundwater management by water users—self-regulation—is increasingly advocated as a complement to state regulation. This article analyzes the attempts by the Guanajuato State Water Commission (CEAG) in central Mexico to promote user self-regulation through the establishment and development of 14 Consejos Técnicos de Aguas (COTAS; Technical Water Councils). Based on a joint assessment by a former senior CEAG policy-maker and two researchers, Guanajuato’s groundwater-management policy is reviewed to understand why user self-regulation was less successful than expected. It concludes that increasing awareness and improving the knowledge base on groundwater is not enough to trigger self-regulation by groundwater users. A wider delegation of responsibilities to the COTAS is necessary, combined with: (1) functioning mechanisms for enforcing groundwater legislation, especially concerning well permits and pumped volumes, and (2) mechanisms that ensure the legitimacy and accountability of users’ representatives to both users and state agencies