Wageningen, 16-18 October 2018.

ICWSI Conference

This international and multidiscipinary water conference was convened within the framework of the Wageningen University & Research 100 years centennial celebrations. The conference focused on the interaction between science and society in developing solutions for pressing water related problems as identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

FAIRWAY WP6 (Legal Policy and Governance) results so far were presented in a well-attended session on water governance. After a short general introduction on the FAIRWAY project, the aim and scope of the work package on governance was highlighted. Some very preliminary results and so-called ‘impressions’ were presented. These impressions revealed the extremely complex governance structures in countries, related to protection of water resources from pollution with nitrate and pesticides from agriculture. The governance structures were also highly diverse between countries. A significant part of these differences can be explained by historical, cultural and political differences between countries. Knowledge of these governance structures is necessary to be able to translate innovative local governance arrangements from our case studies to other regions in Europe and beyond, to be worked on in the coming years. Finally, the audience was invited to share their experiences with local governance arrangements. We received good examples from the Netherlands and New Zealand and a lively discussion arose about law enforcement. It was concluded that a mix of legal and voluntary instruments is possibly the best way forward for effective protection of drinking water resources.

Sandra Boekhold

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