Decentralization of River Basin Management: A Global Analysis

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3637

91 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2005

See all articles by Ariel Dinar

Ariel Dinar

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department

Karin Kemper

World Bank

William A. Blomquist

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Michele Diez

World Bank

Gisele Sine

International Office for Water

William Fru

Independent

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

Decentralization and increased stakeholder involvement have been major elements of water sector reform as ways to promote sustainable and integrated resource management particularly of river basins. Based on an analytical framework for relating decentralization and stakeholder involvement to improved river basin management, this paper infers several hypotheses about factors associated with greater or lesser likelihood of success of the decentralization process using data from 83 river basins worldwide. The results suggest that physical, political, economic, financial, and institutional characteristics of the basin do affect the process and the level of performance of the decentralization. In particular, the presence of water scarcity may be a stimulus to reform, uniting the stakeholders in the basin and leading to better performance; organized user groups push for the initiation of decentralization reforms but may be associated with costs to the process and difficulty of achieving decentralization; the existence of dispute resolution mechanisms supports stakeholder involvement and improves decentralization performance; where stakeholders accepted greater financial responsibility, complying with tariffs and contributing to the budget for basin management, the decentralization process and performance measures increased; basins with higher percentages of their budgets from external governmental sources benefited from better stability and support and it shows in the performance of the decentralization process.

Suggested Citation

Dinar, Ariel and Kemper, Karin and Blomquist, William A. and Diez, Michele and Sine, Gisele and Fru, William, Decentralization of River Basin Management: A Global Analysis (June 2005). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3637. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=757227 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.757227

Ariel Dinar (Contact Author)

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-0434 (Phone)

Karin Kemper

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

William A. Blomquist

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) ( email )

Department of Political Science
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317-274-7547 (Phone)
317-278-3280 (Fax)

Michele Diez

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Gisele Sine

International Office for Water ( email )

21 rue de Madrid
75008 Paris
France

William Fru

Independent

No Address Available

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