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Managing Common Groundwater Resources: The Case of the Netherlands

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Glasbergen, Pieter; Verbeeten, Tanja
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1827
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
water resources
Abstract: "This article explores the loss of biodiversity in terms of human interventions. We highlight how this process is related to human activities that affect the water table. At the same tune, we suggest ways to approach this problem and perhaps to solve it. "We perceive the problem as one of 'common pool resources' (CPR). This perspective seems appropriate, since groundwater can be classified as a renewable common natural resource. In view of its limited capacity for regeneration, groundwater is a natural resource for which the exploitation should be regulated. "The capacity for regeneration of this resource has been stretched to its limits for decades. The natural recharge of groundwater in the Netherlands is smaller than the amount used. This does not pose an immediate problem to the active interests such as the water supply companies, industry, and agriculture. For these users, the shortage is not acute. "We are dealing with a special CPR problem. It is special hi the sense that exploitation of this resource is considered detrimental to the passive interests. In other words, the problem lies in the negative impact on nature. "In order to preserve and restore biodiversity, a policy has been formulated with reference to the CPR groundwater. Groundwater is considered to be a scarce commodity because of its critical role in conservation. Recognition of this passive, immaterial interest prompts the active interests to adapt their behavior."

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