Opportunities and Barriers for Water Co-Governance

A Critical Analysis of Seven Cases of Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in Europe, Australia and North America


Morten Graversgaard, Hedelin B., Smith L., Gertz F., Højberg A.L., Langford J., Martinez G., Mostert E., Ptak E., Peterson H., Stelljes N., van den Brink C., and Refsgaard J.C., Opportunities and Barriers for Water Co-Governance—A Critical Analysis of Seven Cases of Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in Europe, Australia and North America. Sustainability 2018.10, 1634.

Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA) and its governance has received increased attention as a policy concern across the globe. Mitigation of DWPA is a complex problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and a multi-agency, broad societal response. In this article - to which Dr. Grit Martinez and Dr. Nico Stelljes of Ecologic Institute contributed as are co-authors - opportunities and barriers for developing co-governance, defined as collaborative societal involvement in the functions of government, and its suitability for mitigation of DWPA are reviewed using seven case studies in Europe (Poland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK), Australia (Murray-Darling Basin) and North America (State of Minnesota). The article is available for download.

An analytical framework for assessing opportunities and barriers of co-governance was developed and applied in this review. Results indicated that five key issues constitute both opportunities and barriers, and include: (i) pressure for change; (ii) connected governance structures and allocation of resources and funding; (iii) leadership and establishment of partnerships through capacity building; (iv) use and co-production of knowledge; and (v) time commitment to develop water co-governance.

More content from this project

Morten Graversgaard
Beatrice Hedelin
Laurence Smith
Flemming Gertz
Anker Lajer Højberg
John Langford
Erik Mostert
Emilia Ptak
Heidi Peterson
Cors van den Brink
Jens Christian Refsgaard
Published in
Sustainability Journal
Published by
39 pp.
Project ID
Table of contents
collaborative governance, decentralized decision-making, non-point source pollution, nutrient management, water governance
Europe, Australia, North America

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