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Comanagement of groundwater: A review

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Abstract The sustainability of groundwater abstraction is fast becoming a global challenge. This article reviews cases and assess the potential of groundwater comanagement, beginning by identifying a comanagement spectrum with varying degrees of role sharing between the state and user communities. Twelve case studies selected from a global review illustrate varied levels of success. Key contextual elements are identified that contribute to raising the chances of success of comanagement. These include certain characteristics of the user community, the existence of a credible environmental or legal threat, joint monitoring and transparency, and substantial available funding. State action is shown to involve a delicate balance between “carrots” and “sticks” as part of a wider political balancing between parties. The limitations of both state‐ and community‐centered governance make comanagement appear as a way forward but a delicate set of conditions is needed for it to be effective. This article is categorized under: Human Water > Water Governance Engineering Water > Planning Water
Groundwater comanagement: a continuum
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Engineering Water > Planning Water
Human Water > Water Governance

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