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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Decentralization in water management authority has shifted decision-making to the local level and expanded participation to include a wider set of actors. The result is a politics of water that is more variable than in the past, across space and over time, reflecting the diversity of local values and local water resources. Fragmentation of policy responsibility offers potential for more environmental and financial sustainability in the long term, but in the short term it requires management agencies and stakeholders to find ways to interact effectively. How we design our local institutions, and the incentives that higher levels of government provide for directing local decisions, will help determine whether the new approach produces a more sustainable and resilient water future.

Keywords: decentralization, urban water, integrated water resources management, water privatization, water infrastructure, water conservation, fragmentation

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