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Non-State Actors and water resources development – An economic perspective

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The paper defines a set of activities that must be undertaken if water resources management is to be productive and sustainable – two of the basic indicators by which economists measure success. The roles that Non-State Actors may play in these activities are discussed, as well as the usefulness and relevance of economics in each case. Two brief case studies are presented as examples of over-dependence on simplistic approaches – whether dependence on an organisational model, or dependence on an analytical discipline. It is concluded that the essential elements of successful and productive water resources management are scale-independent, that water scarcity requires higher levels of control – which is at variance with current moves to decentralise management; and that the value of each actor's and discipline's contribution to success is interdependent on all other elements.


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