T8: Water Tenure Health

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T8: Water Tenure Health, , Land and Water Days in Near East & North Africa, 15-18 December 2013, Amman, Jordan

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T8: Water Tenure Health

  1. 1. Water tenure Water tenure is the relationship, whether formally or customarily defined between people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources. Put another way water tenure is similar to land tenure. Just as people and communities have all kinds of overlapping and inter-linked relationships relating to the use of land (such as ownership rights, lease rights, use rights, customary rights, rights of way, mortgages and on) they also have a wide range of different relationships with water resources (both surface and ground water). These include: - - - - formal water use rights recognised in a water law. Traditionally linked to land tenure rights such rights are now more commonly created on the basis of licences or permits that confer legal security on users; small scale or de mininis uses of water which are usually exempted from a water rights regime. No need to obtain a permit but no legal protection/security either; irrigation water is often supplied to farmers by a third party such as an irrigation agency or water user association. The right of a farmer is not only to a share of available water but also the service of delivering that water; customary or local law rights to use water resources, which may or may not be long-established, regulate the uses of water in a given place; informal or illegal uses of water resources, the water equivalent of ‘squatters’, are as much a socio-economic issue as a legal problem; livelihood rights that are entirely dependant on the availability of water resources including inland fishing, navigation and the harvesting of wetland resources but which are typically not regulated by water laws and policies meaning that such uses of water have no legal protection; spiritual, aesthetic and recreational claims on water resources are a nonconsumptive use of water but no less important for that; and environment/rights of future generations the environment, with all of the ecological services that it provides, is another key use of water. Although we do not typically talk about ‘water tenure’ it is clear that water tenure, in the form of these different types of relationship, exists. Moreover in practice it is water tenure that is the fundamental concern of individual water users: ‘will I get my water’? Exercise: Mapping tenure and a ‘health check’ of water tenure 1
  2. 2. Step 1: Mapping water tenure arrangements in your country COUNTRY_______________ MAPPING OF WATER TENURE Yes/No Is there a system of formal water use rights Example: formal permits issued under the water law Does the water law exempt small scale or de mininis uses Example: exemption for watering household plots, livestock, etc.? What individual and/or collective legal rights to farmers have on irrigation schemes to irrigation water? Example: long terms legally binding water supply contracts Does customary or local law regulate access and use of water locally or nationally? Example: Islamic law, locally evolved rules for water sharing and allocation (e.g. qanats) Are there informal or unregulated uses of water? Are these uses considered to be illegal uses? Example: unregulated groundwater abstractions, attempts to regulate using criminal administrative law, … Do people depend on water for their livelihood rights Example: fishing on rivers and canals, navigation and the harvesting of reeds, wetland resources Are rivers, lakes and streams considered to have spiritual, aesthetic and recreational values? Example: e.g. tourism, religious practices,… Is provision made for environmental services/rights of future generations? Example: minimum environmental flows, ecological or water quality standards 2 Comments/Questions
  3. 3. Step 2: Health check on water tenure “The hypothesis is that secure, sustainable and equitable water tenure arrangements are fundamental both to effective water governance and good water management”. Examples: to encourage investments, to prevent conflict, to secure livelihoods, to protect the resource base and give people a real stake in the resource. The purpose of this ‘health check’ is a quick and dirty first attempt to try and evaluate the relative “health” of different types of tenure arrangements NOTE: THIS “HEALTH CHECK” EXERCISE IS CONCERNED WITH HOW THINGS ARE IN PRACTICE, THAT IS DOCUMENTING HOW THINGS ARE RATHER THAN HOW THINGS SHOULD BE E.G. IN FORMAL LAWS AND POLICIES. Security: factors to be taken into account for each type of tenure arrangement on security of tenure include the following: a) formal legal security, but also security in practice (how secure people feel that their tenure in each type e.g. fisheries, irrigation, etc.. is. For example local or customary law might give more security in practice than formal law if it is implemented; b) quantity of water available as a share or volume of the flow; c) quality of the water; d) how decisions are made to temporarily re-allocate water in times of drought or water shortage and e) do people feel they have security. NOTE: Feel free to add from your perspective and/or experience other relevant factors that might impact security of tenure. Also feel free to document examples of security or insecurity of tenure. Equity: equity means fairness. Factors to be taken into account for each type of tenure arrangement that impact on equity of tenure. For example a) are the systems fair; b) are there mechanisms in place for allocation and re-allocation; c) there are priorities established between uses; d) decisions made in a participatory way. NOTE: Feel free to add from your perspective and/or experience other relevant factors that might impact security of tenure. Also feel free to document examples of fairness or unfairness. Sustainability: are the current arrangements sustainable in economic, social and environmental. If we do nothing, are we going to have more security, equity and more sustainability? Do we have a safe relationship with water? Factors to be taken into account for each type of tenure arrangement that impact on sustainability include the following. Factors to be taken into account here refer to: a) in stream flows, b) the long term viability of the whole system, etc. Please feel free to come up with examples of sustainability. Feel free to add from your perspective and/or experience other relevant factors that might impact security of tenure. Also feel free to document examples of sustainability or unsustainability. 3
  4. 4. WATER TENURE HEALTH CHECK: Please assess each type of tenure arrangement in terms of security, equity and sustainability Formal water rights Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure and 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainable and 5 highly sustainable) De minimis small-scale uses Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure to 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainable and 5 highly sustainable) Irrigation water Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure to 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainable and 5 highly sustainable) Informal/illegal uses Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure to 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainable and 5 highly sustainable) Non-consumptive livelihood rights Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure to 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainble and 5 highly sustainable) Environment Factors to be taken into account. Use Examples if needed Security SCORE Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsecure to 5 highly secure) Equity Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unequitable and 5 highly equitable) 4
  5. 5. Sustainability Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 (0 unsustainable and 5 highly sustainable) 5

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