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Institutional development for stakeholder participation in local water management-An analysis of two Swedish catchments
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
2015 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, Vol. 43, 217-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) promotes a change of European water governance towards increased stakeholder participation and water management according to river basins. To implement the WFD, new institutional arrangements are needed. In Sweden, water councils have been established on the local level to meet the requirements of the WFD of a broad stakeholder involvement in water management. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge on institutional arrangements for meeting the WFD requirements on stakeholder participation in local water management. A case study of two adjacent catchments in southern Sweden is presented to analyze how institutional legacy affect organizational arrangements and stakeholder participation. Based on literature studies and semi-structure interviews, the case study is analyzed with special emphasis on the scope, the organization and the activities in practical water management in catchments. The result shows different institutional arrangements for water management, despite similarities of the catchments' characteristics and the regulatory framework on national and regional level.The study identifies four important factors regarding institutional arrangements for water councils and local stakeholder participation in water management. Firstly, an organization involving key stakeholders that are committed to the scope and goals of the water council and willing to provide resources for the implementation of the planned activities. Secondly, institutional arrangements that include a willingness for flexibility and awareness of the need to include the most relevant stakeholders. Thirdly, a clear leadership to drive the process to realize the specific goals and assess the outcome. Fourthly, voluntary involvement of farmers to take part in the implementation of the measures and contribute with knowledge and experiences regarding local conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 43, 217-227 p.
Keyword [en]
Adaptive management, EU Water Framework Directive, Institutional arrangements, Stakeholder participation, Water management
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25489DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.11.013ISI: 000348885800021ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84913582855OAI: diva2:771609
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From words to action: Lessons from active stakeholder participation in water management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From words to action: Lessons from active stakeholder participation in water management
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Water governance worldwide is going through a shift towards more holistic and participatory approaches. In Europe, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) adopted in 2000, aims at protecting surface water and groundwater. The WFD emphasizes the importance of stakeholder participation in planning and implementation of the directive, and in order to reach environmental objectives. However, the empirical findings are insufficient regarding how stakeholder participation can lead to improved decisions and implemented plans. In Sweden, a major water quality problem is eutrophication caused to a large extend by diffuse nutrient leakage from agriculture. Therefore, it is important to involve farmers in water management, since their participation can lead the commitment of mitigation measures for reduced nutrient leakage. The overall aim of this study is to contribute the knowledge and understanding of active stakeholder participation in water management, in particular how it can lead to implementation of water quality objectives. The thesis addresses stakeholder participation in eutrophication management in local Swedish catchments, with a particular focus on farmers’ participation in the commitment of mitigation measures. The results are based on case study research, involving four catchment areas in Sweden with severe eutrophication problems. The thesis identified socio-demographic factors, farmers’ knowledge, and the level of existing information and economic support for wetland creation, as factors affecting farmers’ willingness to participate in wetland creation to mitigate nutrient leakage. In the local catchment groups studied, farmers and other local stakeholders participated to discuss potential mitigation activities. In these, farmers emphasized other emitting actors’ responsibility and commitment in local action plans. Where this was realized, social capital within the group increased and led to further collaboration. The thesis also analyzed large-scale wetland programmes at catchment scale, where the organizational and institutional arrangements were central to realize farmers’ participation: inter-municipal agreements entailed sufficient resources, the organization involved the most relevant actors; and leadership resources were important. The thesis argues that organizing water management at a catchment level can be important to cope with challenges related to stake-holder participation for mitigating diffuse nutrient leakage. In particular for dissemination and collection of information, suggesting potential measures for all concerned actors, provide resources needed to realize actions, and to build trust and collaboration. The thesis also emphasized that stakeholder participation has to be underpinned by a genuine meaning, both for the initiators and the participants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. ix, 50 p.
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2015:01
stakeholder participation; EU Water Framework Directive; eutrophication; catchment-based water management; agriculture.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27446 (URN)1169/42/2007:10 (Local ID)978-91-7595-569-8 (ISBN)1169/42/2007:10 (Archive number)1169/42/2007:10 (OAI)
Public defence
2015-05-28, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1169/42/2007:10
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved

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