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The Politics of River Basin Organisations

Coalitions, Institutional Design Choices and Consequences Edited by Dave Huitema, Professor of Environmental Policy, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam and the Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, The Open University of the Netherlands and Sander Meijerink, Assistant Professor of Water Governance, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Can River Basin Organisations (RBOs) actually improve water governance? RBOs are frequently layered on top of existing governmental organisations, which are often reluctant to share their power. This, in turn, can affect their performance. The Politics of River Basin Organisations addresses this issue by exploring the subject on a global level.
Extent: 432 pp
Hardback Price: £95.00 Web: £85.50
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78254 921 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Environment
  • Environmental Governance and Regulation
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • Management Natural Resources
  • Water
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
Can River Basin Organisations (RBOs) actually improve water governance? RBOs are frequently layered on top of existing governmental organisations, which are often reluctant to share their power. This, in turn, can affect their performance. The Politics of River Basin Organisations addresses this issue by exploring the subject on a global level.

With the use of case studies from such diverse countries as Mongolia, Afghanistan and South Africa, the expert contributors to The Politics of River Basin Organisations provide a comprehensive assessment of the performance of eleven RBOs around the world. They develop a typology that works to characterise the institutional design of these organisations whilst distinguishing between them.

This unique book will appeal to those involved in environmental and water policy and governance. It will also be of interest to practitioners of water management looking to improve their approach to the field.
‘A long overdue volume which comes to grips with the diversity of physical, political and administrative realities behind the seemingly uniform and appealing institution of the River Basin Organization. This book squarely engages with the politics of RBO formation and will provide clues and inspiration to those interested in further exploring the complexities of human institutions in their attempt to manage water resources for the greater good.’
– François Molle, IRD and International Water Management Institute (IWMI), France

‘A critical challenge for humanity is to design institutions for stewardship of water and ecosystem services in a globalized world faced with climate change. Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink take on this challenge in this impressive volume. Through case studies from a diverse set of countries, all using a joint typology as a framework for the analyses, a deeper understanding of the political dimension of river basin stewardship is provided – exciting. Enjoy!’
– Carl Folke, Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden

‘There is no better book on river basin organisations for practitioners and researchers. It imposes tough criteria to evaluate the performance of eleven such hydrologic based governance forms. Findings are surprising and cautionary for water resources reformers. The authors suggest that the demands of complex interaction and interplay in layered organisational environments, the power of inertia to thwart change, and inability to command resources can overwhelm the aspirations of river basin organisations for coordination, accountability, legitimacy and environmental effectiveness. This book belongs in the library of everyone seriously interested in water management.’
– Helen Ingram, University of California at Irvine and University of Arizona, US
Contributors: D. Benson, C. Bernhardt, A. Guerreiro de Brito, D. Calvert, D. Connell, H. Cook, I. Dombrowsky, N. Funke, S. Ganjanapan, J. Gupta, N. Hagemann, L. Horlemann, A. Houdret, F. Hüesker, D. Huitema, F. Jaspers, A. Inman, D. Lach, L. Lebel, M. Leidel, R. de Loë, S. Meijerink, R. Meissner, M. Morris, A. Ross, A. Thiel, V. Thomas, J. Warner




Contents:

1. The Politics of River Basin Organisations. Institutional Design Choices, Coalitions and Consequences
Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink

2. Global Water Governance and River Basin Organisations
Frank Jaspers and Joyeeta Gupta

3. Cooperative Transboundary Water Governance in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin: Status and Prospects
Rob de Loë and Michelle Morris

4. Designing an Agency to Manage a Wicked Water Problem: The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Denise Lach and Dan Calvert

5. Partnering for Success in England: The Westcountry Rivers Trust
Hadrian Cook, David Benson and Alex Inman

6. State-Founded Water Boards in Industrialized Western Germany
Frank Hüesker and Christoph Bernhardt

7. Emergence, Performance and Transformation of Portuguese Water Institutions in the Age of River Basin Organisations
Andreas Thiel and António Guerreiro de Brito

8. The Politics of Establishing Catchment Management Agencies in South Africa: The Case of the Breede-Overberg Catchment Management Agency
Richard Meissner and Nikki Funke

9. Introducing River Basin Management in a Transitional Context – A Case Study about Ukraine
Nina Hagemann and Marco Leidel

10. River Basin Organisations in Northern Afghanistan: The Holy Trinity of Contemporary Water Management in Practice
Jeroen Warner and Vincent Thomas

11. Evolving River Basin Management in Mongolia?
Ines Dombrowsky, Annabelle Houdret and Lena Horlemann

12. Interplay Between New Basin Organisations, Pre-existing Institutions and Emerging Environmental Networks in the Mae Kuang Watershed, Northern Thailand
Santita Ganjanapan and Louis Lebel

13. The Evolution of River Basin Management in the Murray-Darling Basin
Andrew Ross and Daniel Connell

14. Institutional Design, Politics and Performance of River Basin Organisations
Sander Meijerink and Dave Huitema

Index