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TitleWater rights reform : lessons for institutional design
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBruns, B.R., Ringler, C., Meinzen-Dick, R.
Paginationxxi, 336 p. : 2 boxes, 14 fig., 16 tab.
Date Published2005-01-01
PublisherInternational Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
ISSN NumberISBN 0896297497
Keywordsaustralia, bolivia, case studies, chile, china, ecuador, indonesia, institutional aspects, legislation, mexico, peru, policies, reform, sdipol, south africa, spain, usa, water rights
Abstract

Inadequate institutions for water governance contribute to social inequity, economic inefficiency, and environmental degradation.

The importance of water rights is increasingly acknowledged, but too little is known about how water rights systems can be improved in practice, and how to avoid the risk that reforms may backfire, worsening insecurity, confusion, and injustice regarding access to water.

During the 2003 IFPRI conference for researchers and practitioners focusing on water rights, practical lessons from experience in water rights reform were investigated, demonstrating how changes in policies, laws, regulations, agency procedures, and other social practices that arrange rights to water can help resolve conflicts, secure access, and enhance benefits from this most vital of natural resources.

Policy reforms can help improve the lives of the poor. Improved water rights and allocation practices can raise water productivity, enhance livelihoods, and increase benefits from existing and new investments in the sector.

Secure water rights for the poor, and governance structures to ensure that their rights are protected, are needed for both equitable and sustainable water use.

Strategies and instruments available to safeguard existing water users and customary rights in the context of supporting equitable and efficient water allocation are presented.

Leading researchers and practitioners provide new insights into the options that various stakeholders may consider in developing water allocation institutions.

They draw on practical experiences with water rights reforms, including eight detailed case studies on six continents, together with broader comparison and synthesis of international experience.

NotesIncludes index. - 32 ref.
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