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Action Day, 21 March, 2000 - Online 1400-1500: Good Governance and investing for water security The water crisis is often a crisis of governance: a failure to integrate policies and practices related to the management of water resources. Good water governance exists where government bodies responsible for water establish an effective policy and legal framework to allocate and manage water in way responsive to national social and economic needs, and to the long term sustainability of the resource base.
Moving to the substance of the various problems at hand, Margaret Catley Carlson started by listing a few myths and misconceived ideas such as "providing water to all implies free services", "nature always restore itself", "all nations must grow their own food" which confuse the debate on water governance. She then guided the participants through the various FFA action areas relating to governance. She highlighted the logical flow between the broad recommendations of the vision in terms of holistic approach, stakeholders participation, innovations, full cost recovery, government’s role as providers of the enabling environment and the specific action points indicated in the FFA. These points, relating to a wide range of actions such as building institutions at the basin level, financial mechanisms, regulatory frameworks, solving transboundary issues etc generated a number of reactions from the floor.
The youth group insisted on the crucial role new generations have to play in the governance debate. The issue of transparency and accountability came prominently during the discussion relating to private sector involvement. A suggestion was offered that high level office bearers in the international agencies should transparently disclose possible affiliations to the business community. At the same time, it was mentioned that the involvement of private sector service providers in the water supply and sanitation sector helped generating a debate on transparency and accountability and it was hoped that a similar evolution could happen in the irrigation sector. Easy access to knowledge and know how was seen as an important concern to be addressed by any governance system.
All sessions of the day: