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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Analyzing the public policy challenge of multifunctional land use, for which farmers are required to be food producers, water resource managers and environmental stewards, it is argued that a location-sensitive policy mix is required, consisting of appropriate regulation complemented by advice provision, voluntarism, and well-targeted incentive schemes. The case is further made for adaptive management, local deliberation and stakeholder participation, and hence for governance that is open, delegated, and collaborative. Assessment, planning, and decision making need to be delegated to the most appropriate governmental level and spatial scale to achieve desired outcomes, whilst effective mechanisms for vertical and horizontal coordination of the resulting multilevel and polycentric governance are essential. Hydrographic catchments have significant advantages as spatial units for analysis, planning, coordination, and policy delivery. However, catchment-based working creates further need for cross-level, sector, and scale communication and coordination. Mechanisms for this merit further attention.

Keywords: water resources, catchment, vertical coordination, horizontal coordination, localism, environmental stewardship

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