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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that two types of process affect the allocation of water between users. The first of these are a set of intentional strategies, which dominate the literature on water allocation. These include institutional allocating mechanisms and the purposeful appropriation of water. The second type of process is unintended and occurs through indirect action or inaction. Through this second type of process, people, sectors, and places nevertheless gain water share. Unintended allocation arises from within the ungoverned spaces and “wicked problems” of land and water transformations in two interrelated ways: (1) via external changes in non-water sectors and (2) via internal changes within the water management sector. This unintended or hidden type of water allocation process is largely overlooked. Yet, it is potentially important because volumes of water moved through unintentional allocation can be large, and it can undermine well-intentioned policy interventions in the water and land management sectors.

Keywords: water allocation, unintended allocation, water management, institutional allocating mechanism, water share, appropriation of water

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