Webinar: Engaging with the Politics of Water Governance
This webinar is part of the webinar series: ‘IHE Delft Online Seminars for Alumni and Partners’. IHE Delft organizes the series in cooperation with TheWaterChannel. They are open to everyone.
Date: December 5, 2017
In the last decades the term water governance has increasingly appeared in academic publications, from basically zero in 1980 to more than forty-five thousand articles published on water governance by the year 2016. Since the start of this millennium, water governance also has gained momentum within global policy networks and the narrative of understanding the global water crisis as mainly ‘a crisis of governance’ has become predominant. Water governance seems to have replaced the 1980s-1990s paradigm of integrated water resources management, with ‘good’ water governance’ embraced as a panacea to solve the world’s water shortages and conflicts. This proliferation and popularity of the concept water governance has led to numerous initiatives and even sparked new organizations into being. The Water Governance Chair Group at IHE Delft, which was established in 2012, is one of them.
The widespread use of the term water governance suggests that there is agreement on its definition. This is erroneous: there exist many different interpretations on what the concept entails, depending on the perspective and context in which it is used. Its predominant use to date, however, has been to normatively prescribe or help design particular institutional, organizational and financial arrangements for making water decisions and regulating water. The scientific foundations for such prescriptive governance recipes often come from ideologically informed speculations about what society or development should be, rather than from in-depth empirical understandings of how water governance actually occurs. Margreet Zwarteveen as Professor of the Water Governance Chair Group is delineating and articulating this research
About the speaker
Margreet Zwarteveen is an irrigation engineer and social scientist, who joined IHE Delft in 2014 to become its professor of Water Governance, within the Integrated Water Systems and Water Governance Department. Her professorial affiliation is with the Governance and Inclusive Development Group at the UvA, see http://www.uva.nl/en/news-events/news/uva-news/content/professor-appointments/2014/03/margreet-zwarteveen-professor-by-special-appointment-of-water-governance.html
More information on water governance