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Negotiating Water Rights in Contexts of Legal Pluralism: Priorities for Research and Action

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bruns, Bryan; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2371
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): IASC
water resources--theory
institutional design--theory
property rights--theory
property rights
capacity building
action research
Abstract: "Strengthening negotiated approaches to water allocation is a priority for research and action. Institutional reforms should be grounded in an understanding of the complexity of how water allocation is practiced at the local level in contexts of legal pluralism. Water resource projects need to be capable of explicitly renegotiating rights among old and new users. Formalizing water tenure should be studied and developed as only one of several relevant approaches for improving water allocation institutions. More effective institutions are needed for enabling stakeholders to participate in basin water governance. Farmers and rural communities require defensible access to water as a crucial asset for their livelihoods. Alternatives to water expropriation need to be developed which can equitably and efficiently respond to the challenges of intersectoral reallocation. Action research should help develop appropriate institutional innovations for negotiating water rights in these contexts."

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