Crafting Collaborative Governance: Water Resources, California's Delta Plan, and Audited Self-Management in New Zealand
14 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2015 Last revised: 10 Apr 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2014
Since the 1980s, water governance has increasingly been linked to institutions and laws that engage local actors and closely relate to local ecosystems and catchments. These approaches, referred to as collaborative water governance, encompass new coalitions among governments, their agencies, and institutions of civil society, and are typically held together via guidelines, plans, and nonbinding agreements. This article offers an empirical look at two examples, Audited Self-Management in New Zealand and California’s Delta Plan, asking whether these initiatives promote genuine, effective stakeholder collaboration and how they blend their collaborative elements with traditional legal systems. The article provides recommendations for policy and theory regarding the conditions under which successful collaboration is likely to be achieved in practice. These lessons are grouped under three principal themes: (1) regulatory and other incentives that motivate parties to both come to the table and implement actions; (2) the use of appeals; and (3) building trust. The article also evaluates and provides insights on two hypothesised relationships (ie. the default hybridity relationship and the complementarity relationship) between conventional legal regulation and collaborative governance.
Keywords: Collaborative Governance, Legal Regulation, Water Law, Water Governance, Default Hybridity, Complementarity
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