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Governance of Water Resources in the Ulí River Watershed, Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: García, D.; Jiménez, F.
Conference: Capturing the Complexity of the Commons, North American Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Conf. Date: Sep. 30-Oct. 2
Date: 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/6549
Sector: Social Organization
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): water management
legal systems
efficiency
indigenous institutions
social behavior
networks
Abstract: "This article analyzes the current conditions of local water governance in the Ulí river Watershed, Bosawas Biosphere Reserve (RBB), Nicaragua, based on the identification and analysis of formal and informal rules, the identification and characterization of stakeholders and analysis of social-network interactions. Different methods were applied, among which was a formal review of the water- resource legal framework and an analysis of the same to determine the effectiveness of the respective regulations, being in the development stages, which also served as a base to identify the synergies, shortcomings, contradictions and duplicities of those same regulations. Others employed were partially structured interviews, participative observation to identify the informal rules, analysis CLIP--Collaboration, Conflict, Legitimacy, Interests, Power--and social-network analysis based on the topics of planning and management, training and capacity building, financing and financial management and implementation of actions. Some of the results in this analysis highlighted the existence of legal pluralism, weaknesses in governability of water law and water-related regulations in the process of application, minimal institutional presence and insufficient resources to implement the legal framework, and no joint water-resource management actions among the three municipalities within the watershed. Other important findings were that formal religious institutions and political parties have an influence over the decisions made by stakeholders in non-formal agreements, people are not used to paying for water consumption, and land ownership is directly linked to access rights, along with daily water utilization and management. With regards to the stakeholder’s network, planning is the strongest while funding is the weakest. In addition, social analysis CLIP shows that stakeholders who are categorized as forceful and dominant are present in all the networks."

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