Governing change: experiences from two water sectors in a transition country

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Water governance refers to the manner in which water resources are allocated and regulated. It includes both the delivery of water services to society and the management of water as a natural resource. These activities generally involve a wide variety of mutually dependent actors at various levels and scales, each having their own perspectives and objectives, instruments and strategies, and responsibilities and resources. Effective water governance requires that there is a meaningful connection between these elements, i.e. coherence or connective capacity. This contribution concentrates on how connective capacity changes over time as a result of changing circumstances. For this, we use our experiences from Romania, a post-communistic country that became member of the European Union in 2007. Our analysis concentrates on major policy interventions in two sectors: the regionalization of the water services sector and the implementation of a strategy in the flood risk management sector. In both cases, the governance structures that emerged after communism were lacking coherence and negatively affected the status and use of water resources. The resulting problem pressures and Romania’s EU accession formed the major triggers to change the existing governance structures. Particularly relevant for improving the connective capacity was: (1) the establishment of new structures for cooperation; (2) redefinition of roles and responsibilities; and (3) capacity building. We expect that these changes will contribute to improved water services and reduction of flood risks. However, it is still too early to observe the actual contributions of these changes to improved delivery of water services and/or improved water resources management.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2010
EventAnnual NIG Work Conference 2010 - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Nov 201026 Nov 2010
Conference number: 7


ConferenceAnnual NIG Work Conference 2010


  • METIS-279322
  • IR-77992


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