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Competing for water- Conceptual and methodological framework for understanding conflict and cooperation in local water governance

International Water Resources Association
Publication Date
  • Agricultural Science


Microsoft Word - ravnborg et al_192_paper_for_poster.doc 1 Competing for water – conceptual and methodological framework for understanding conflict and cooperation in local water governance Paper to be presented at the XIIIth World Water Congress entitled Global changes and water resources: confronting the expanding and diversifying pressures, September 1-4, 2008, Montpellier, France by Helle Munk Ravnborg (corresponding author – [email protected]), Rocio Bustamante, Abdoulaye Cissé, Signe M. Cold-Ravnkilde, Vladimir Cossio, Moussa Djiré, Mikkel Funder, Ligia I. Gómez, Julie Koch, Phuong Le, Chimwang’wa Maseka, Carol Mweemba, Imasiku Nyambe, Tania Paz, Roberto Rivas, Jens Sjørslev, Thomas Skielboe, Barbara Van Koppen and Nguyen T.B. Yen April 2008 1. Introduction Competition for water is intensifying. Depending on the context, this is due to (i) the advent of new users (tourist enterprises, growers of bio-fuel crops or vegetables for exports, etc.); (ii) changing use patterns (changing diets, improved housing standards, etc.; (iii) more users; and (iv) climate change affecting the availability of water. Much of this competition plays out at the local level in the numerous districts and villages around the world, even when caused by global drivers as when rural dwellers in want of water for drinking, washing and bathing challenge the use of water for irrigation of tobacco for export. Competition for water may lead to conflict as well as cooperation as when rural dwellers publicly protest against pump irrigation in the dry season or when agreements are made in a village to share a scarce water resource. Water governance is essentially about addressing such competitive or potentially competitive situations of two or more parties seeking access to the same water resource. Such competitive situations can be addressed by (i) regulating access to and management of water resources and by (ii) developing new water resources. Water governance

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