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The challenge of groundwater governance: Case studies from Spain and Australia

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2010
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Springer
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This paper examines the relevance to groundwater management of Ostrom's design principles for managing common property resources. Experience in four case studies of groundwater management in the Murray Darling Basin in Australia and the Upper Guadiana Basin in Spain suggests that while Ostrom's design principles are relevant, sustainable groundwater management depends on the effective collaboration between government authorities and water users. A flexible and adaptive management approach is required, with collaboration between scientists, policy makers, water suppliers, and water users. Key management challenges include agreeing on a sustainable level of extraction, and establishing effective coordination and collaboration, and monitoring and control systems. Further case studies of groundwater management and their synthesis could make a useful contribution to the transition towards sustainable groundwater management regimes.
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