- Norms in multilevel groundwater governance and sustainable development
- Award date
- 4 July 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Groundwater constitutes 98-99% of the world’s available freshwater resources. Humans abstract 200 times more groundwater than oil - using it heavily for domestic, municipal, agricultural and industrial purposes. Consequently, humans cause groundwater depletion and quality degradation in some locations; while underutilizing it in others, due to financial, technological, and/or geographic constraints. Yet, normative aspects of groundwater governance frameworks inadequately address groundwater’s unique physical attributes; do not counter drivers of groundwater problems; and do not discuss groundwater from a sustainability or inclusive development perspective. Therefore, the thesis poses the question: What are the shortcomings of the current normative architecture for sustainable and inclusive groundwater governance and what are the key elements of a normative architecture at multiple geographic levels that are consistent with sustainable and inclusive development?
In response, the thesis integrated institutional analysis with the concepts of multilevel governance, Earth System governance, sustainable and inclusive development, ecosystems services, and legal pluralism. Mapping and descriptive statistics identified patterns in a database of over 200 global, regional-transboundary, and national groundwater laws and policies. Exploration of groundwater governance in the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System in southern Africa further contextualized the analysis. The findings indicate that groundwater governance frameworks need to address groundwater’s specific physical attributes; more deeply integrate social and relational elements (e.g. public participation and poverty eradication); address climate change and trade impacts on groundwater; integrate capacity building and data gathering; assess equivalence and/or pluralism between formal and customary governance frameworks; and address opportunities for increased, yet sustainable and inclusive groundwater use.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 1: Introduction (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 2: Theoretical background and methodology (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 3: Contextualizing groundwater problems (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 4: Groundwater governance principles (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 5: Groundwater governance at the global level (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 6: Groundwater governance at regional and transboundary level (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 7: Groundwater governance at national level (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 8: Groundwater governance in the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 9: Conclusion: Towards normatively coherent groundwater governance across geographic levels (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
Chapter 10: Towards a normative architecture for groundwater governance (Embargo up to and including 4 July 2019)
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