Water management in global perspective: from multi-governance of water to multilevel water governance |

Water management in global perspective: from multi-governance of water to multilevel water governance


How can and should water resources be ‘governed’ at a global scale? Whereas some years ago the relevance of such a question was highly contested the need for global coordination in water governance is not disputed any longer. However, the judgement on current state and desirable future developments of global coordination efforts diverge considerably. The issue of water governance is to be differentiated from the question of water management. Management is about achieving goals, with given means and resources, within given constraints and preferably in a ‘cost effective way’. Governance is about setting the stage for management, the processes of selecting policy options among competing values, translating them into goals, means and processes to be ‘managed’, to evaluate outcomes and externally account and take responsibility for choices made along the way. Water management is about effectiveness and efficiency. Water governance is about legitimacy. Pasquale Steduto - current Chair of UN Water and Johan Kuylenstierna – his Chief Technical Advisor – eloquently formulate the essence: “Climate change, energy, food security, economic development – in the end, it all trickles down to water’. In order to become a useful and effective countervailing power in the various global debates associated with water, the prevailing system of multi-governance of water is to be complemented and embedded in a system of multilevel water governance. To this end much primary and particularly comparative institutional research still needs to be done. Some basic questions in global water governance are urgently to be addressed in order to properly support and sustain an inevitable institutionalisation process.

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Prof. dr. Theo. A.J. Toonen, Dean of the Faculty Technology, Policy/Governance and Management (TBM/TMP), Delft University of Technology

Thursday, 29 October 2009
4.00 p.m.

Lecture Theater 1, Block E2
National University of Singapore

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