Effective water governance
Normative approach that aims towards transparent, coherent and sustainable water management and development.
The act, process or power of governing. It involves four aspects: social, political, economic and legal.
Established organization within society, normally of a public nature, with a specific mandate, and of significant importance for a given sector.
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
Paradigm for sustainable management of water resources, which also considers related and connected resources.
The regime that orders human activities and relations in accordance to a given policy.
General principles that guide a government in its management of public affairs.
The process of change, amendment and modification of policies, laws and institutions, but also the instruments and vehicles to promote that change.
Water management paradigm that centres inalienable rights of individuals in the core of the development and management scheme.
The process of managing and developing water resources by engaging and interacting social, political, economic and legal institutions.
Water governance capacity
Level of competence of a society to implement effective water arrangements, by means of transparent, coherent and cost-efficient institutional settings that enhance water governance.
Principle by which managers and decision makers in the government, the private sector and organized civil society are responsible towards the public for the actions they do or take within their positions.
Common law jurisdictions
Common law as opposed to civil law. Common law jurisdictions (most of which descend from the English legal system) place great weight on common law decisions which take great account of precedents, as opposed to ‘civil law’ or ‘code’ jurisdictions (many of which descend from the Napoleonic code) in which the weight accorded to judicial precedent is much less.
Long-established practices commonly accepted as correct rules of action at local, national and international levels.
Principle by which individuals and institutions must use the best processes available to produce better results, meeting the goals traced while using the least amount of resources needed.
Act of officially publishing a law leading to compliance and enforcement.
Principle under which all individuals that are in the same situation must abide by the same laws, without any type of distinction or discrimination.
New Public Management
Economic policy movement which argues for cost reduction in public policy and its implementation. It is seen as a paradigm for modernizing public administration.
Participatory decision making
Political process which allows (and advises) that individuals have a voice in the decisions that affect their interests, either directly or indirectly.
Pattern of behaviour
A way of working that is consistent with an overarching plan. It emerges over time and can be influenced through incentives.
Evaluation or consideration of a specific topic.
Strategy to attain outcomes consistent with broader policy objectives.
Implemented outcome of a specific set of ideas and concepts materializing a discourse into a framed practice.
Point of view adopted in a particular topic.
Development approach that focuses on economic growth parallel to environmental protection, preserving it for future generations.
Administrative decision adopted within an organization or corporation for its internal governance.
A legal obligation, the breach of which may give rise to liability or possibility of sanction by the law.
The loss of property or right as a result of a violation of the law.
Generally speaking this means the geographical area over which authority or control may be exerted. A specifically legal interpretation refers to the authority of a court to hear and rule on a particular matter within a specific territory, or within a specific subject matter.
The study of law or legal questions, commonly referred to with respect to case decisions.
A law or group of laws, also known as statutes, acts, decrees, edicts, codes (to codify means to put legal principles into a code or statute form). In certain situations, there can be a hierarchy of legislation according to the source of law making, for example ordinances are frequently issued by municipal government, and in cases of conflict, and the latter may not have the same authority as acts issued by the principal law-making authority in the state.
A legal rule or principle established by a case (the higher the court that establishes the rule the greater its precedent value) which may be applied in later cases on the same legal issue.
Governs various forms of ownership over property which can take the form of tangible assets such as land or items, or immovable or personal property such as bank accounts. A property right refers to ownership of title to that property.
Order or rule legally binding adopted by an administrative agency or local government.
A coercive measure that results from failure to comply with a law, rule or order.
The right of enjoyment or use of property that belongs to another, including the rights to enjoy the profits and advantages of the object, provided there is no damage to the property (usufructuary = adjective).
A legal right to:
Abstract or divert and use a specified amount of water from a natural or man-made source (for so-called ‘off-stream’ uses).
Impound or store water in a natural source behind a dam or other hydraulic structure.
Use water in a natural source (for so-called ‘in-stream’ uses).
As to their legal form, water rights may be created by the direct operation of the law, but mostly on the basis of a legal instrument issued by the state agency responsible for water resources management.
Water right trading
The transfer or exchange of permits or licences for water extraction granted by government.
A lease contract whereby the government agrees to finance a facility but the private company operates the system and is responsible for providing work capital. The local government is responsible for all capital outlays. A formula fixes rates that often include a surcharge to be remitted to the government for repayment of debts.
Cooperative training network for sustainable development. This is linked directly to ‘good governance’ as building the capacity of institutions and people, in particular at the national level, is necessary for ‘good governance’, which in turn is critical to achieving sustainable development.
The act by which the central government transfers powers, rights and duties to lower political and administrative hierarchical units.
The act by which the government transfers core powers, rights and duties to individuals or groups of individuals that are located within or outside of the government.
The legal conception by which the legal system regards entities, which can be physical persons or artificial persons (business).
Recording activities carried out to meet set environmental objectives.
Associations of water users at the local level to manage commonly the resource in their best interest and according to the legal constraints established.
Legal principle that aims to bring the decision-making process to citizens. It is a bottom-up approach. State institutions will only intervene in the absence of capacity of lower institutions.
To act according to the prescriptions of law and regulations.
The misuse of a position of trust (where one receives authority in order to act on behalf of an institution) to gain profit.
Customary water management laws
Group of non-formal norms and behaviours that are accepted by the community, and that have endured over time in the society.
To compel observance of or obedience to laws and regulations by imposing certain sanctions.
Mechanism to incite the behaviour and choice patterns of a given population.
The process of bringing different interests into settlements or arrangements of some matter.
The qualification that determines one's ability to engage in valid negotiations in a parity situation towards the other contracting parties.
Legal restrictions imposed by the government to adjust the conducts of the citizens. The goal of regulations might be to produce outcomes that without the introductions of the restrictive measures would not have otherwise occurred.
Mechanism by which organized civil society can take part in the decision-making process of plans and projects that affect them directly or indirectly.
The capacity to avoid corruption in the governance system by means of clear and open decision-making processes as well as accountable officers.
Outcome of the process of negotiation, where two or more parties come to a settlement or agreement on water issues. The outcome might be formal or informal.
< previous section < index > next section >