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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


HOOPER, Bruce P. Covenant action to facilitate integrated river basin management. Water SA [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.4, pp.456-460. ISSN 1816-7950.

This paper outlines elements of best practice integrated river basin management and explores a procedure to implement IRBM. The procedure identifies a 'road map' for improved governance based on a best practice approach, with initial trialling in a UNESCO HELP basin in North America showing some application. But even with best practices understood, action is often only minimal and flexible, adaptable institutions are needed to underpin basin management. The covenant concept is one such institution, based on the idea of harnessing mutual trust and obligation between stakeholders. A covenant is 'signed' as a social contract and the idea of covenant described in this paper results from observations of intractable water sharing problems. This paper also outlines the components of a covenant, the factors which require consideration for implementation and ways forward.

Keywords : covenants; mutual responsibility; integrated water resources management; basin governance.

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