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Water Politics - ESAC 2008 - Pacheco-Vega Water Politics - ESAC 2008 - Pacheco-Vega Presentation Transcript

  • Strengthening effective wastewater governance in Mexico: Is there a role for river basin councils? Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD The University of British Columbia ESAC June 1-5, 2008
  • Agenda
    • Managing a commons in Mexico – towards watershed management
    • New challenges: Wastewater treatment policy
    • The Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IAD)
    • Case study: The Lerma-Chapala river basin
    • Applying IAD to the Lerma-Chapala case
    • Next steps…
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Research questions
    • Why, if we have enough expertise and capacity to build treatment plants, the volume of water being treated still remains minimal?
      • Is it that we don’t have adequate technology transfer mechanisms?
      • Is it that the treatment process is too costly?
      • Or is it, maybe, that we lack appropriate institutions to promote building and operation of wastewater treatment plants?
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Hypothesis
    • It isn’t just a matter of having the right technology or the right treatment process. It’s also about having the appropriate institutional arrangements to support a coherent and strong sanitation policy.
    • Of course, sustained and efficient wastewater treatment cannot be achieved without technological advances and appropriate industrial treatment processes.
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Hydrological regions within Lerma-Chapala © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Wastewater treatment plants within L-Ch © Raúl Pacheco Vega
    • National Inventory of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (2002)
      • Guanajuato 3
      • Michoacan 5
      • Queretaro 2
      • Jalisco 16
      • Mexico 20
    • Data from the NIMWTP indicates that there are 1,448 municipal wastewater treatment plants currently treating around 34,303 l/s.
    • Over 40% of the total Mexican population is not connected to a wastewater treatment plant.
    • Still well below our targets…
  • Institutional innovations
    • Coordination agreement (1989)
      • Five states
      • Emphasizes the need for council basins
      • Establishes a basin-wide council
    • Lerma-Chapala Basin Council (1993)
      • Basin councils are supposed to be spaces of discussion and coordination between all three levels of government (federal, state and municipal).
      • Basin councils include user representatives, with an aim of executing programmes and actions devoted to enhance water management, hydraulic infrastructure development and resource management within the watershed.
    • Technical aquifer councils
      • User associations with a mandate for sustainable groundwater use.
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Questions to ask…
    • Who should be responsible for treating wastewater?
      • Federal – municipal – state governments
      • Users
    • Should the local water management authorities be held responsible?
      • If so, who deals with wastewater generated outside municipal (city) limits?
      • Who treats agricultural wastewater?
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Gaps that need to be filled
    • Little attention is paid to
      • Allocation of responsibilities
      • Mechanisms to minimize pollution in water bodies
      • The responsibility for whom should be treating water is not clear and just vaguely assigned
    • We may be able to manipulate anthropogenic elements but we are unable to control ecosystem elements, nor hydrologic cycles.
    • The answer – may lie in the institutions!
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Institutions
    • Intimately tied to the structure of property rights and the way in which rules of interaction between actors are defined.
    • Institutions are recognized as key to succes or failure of water management (North 1990, Ostrom 1990, Ostrom et al 1994, Agrawal 1993, Wester et al 2001, Pacheco-Vega 2004)
    • North (1990) – institutions are constrains which shape human interaction and the way in which societies evolve through time.
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) © Raúl Pacheco Vega Physical/Material Conditions Patterns of Interaction Action Situations Attributes of Community Rules-in-Use Outcomes Action Actors Evaluative Criteria Figure 1: Framework for Institutional Analysis Source: Ostrom et al (2002, p. 23)
  • Using IAD in wastewater policy in L-Ch
    • In general…
      • Institutions serve to give stable structures to human interactions and to reduce uncertainty.
      • Institutions foster coordination among all stakeholders.
    • Specific to wastewater treatment policy
      • The fact that a user can get away with not treating water he/she has polluted indicates that there is no appropriate rule, incentive structure and enforcement mechanism to force the user to stop polluting and/or treat wastewater.
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Moreover…
    • If each one of the groups who have access to water were left to themselves, they would only give priority to their own needs given that there are no coordination mechanisms in place (the commons problem)
    • We should be able to design expected behavior from each and everyone of the stakeholders, with clearly defined rights and responsibilities.
    • Responsibilities should include “Polluter-Pays” Principle.
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • 2004 - Reform to the National Waters Law
    • Three objectives
      • Implement watershed management
      • Achieve stakeholder participation
      • Strengthen operational functions of water authorities
    • The new institutional arrangement proposed by the National Commision for Water (CNA)
      • Includes a mandatory water policy (coercive)
    • Establishes two institutions for water management
      • Basin Councils and Basin Organisms
      • Unclear responsibilities and competences
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Four modest contributions
    • Institutions matter.
    • Institutional arrangements do not necessarily mean interorganizational arrangements.
    • Wastewater treatment has been neglected in the academic literature that has examined the Lerma-Chapala watershed
    • Wastewater management and water policy are very complex – thus the need to use interdisciplinary frameworks like IAD
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega
  • Acknowledgements
    • Funding
      • Participation in this meeting was possible thanks to a grant from the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico (CONACyT) and the Council of Science and Technology of Guanajuato (CONCYTEG) to the project “ Evaluación de Políticas y Programas dentro de la Cuenca Lerma-Chapala ” ( Evaluation of Policies and Programs within the Lerma-Chapala Basin ) (Grant Number GTO-04-C02-106).
    • Comments
      • Participants in the III Encuentro de Investigadores de la Cuenca Lerma-Chapala-Santiago (October 2004, Chapala, Mexico), the Workshop on Institutional Analysis for Environmental Decision-Making (January 2005, Fort Collins CO)
    • Editorial and research assistance
      • Manuel Velázquez, Fernando Basurto
      • Paul Ruesch
    © Raúl Pacheco Vega