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Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 1017–1030 | Cite as

The case for making more use of the Ostrom design principles in groundwater governance research: a South African perspective

  • Paul SewardEmail author
  • Yongxin Xu
Paper
  • 365 Downloads

Abstract

This study investigates whether increased use of the Ostrom design principles could improve groundwater governance research. The principles relate to self-organizing governance systems of common-pool resources, which are more likely to be sustainable if all eight design principles—e.g. clear resource and user boundaries, collective-choice arrangements, monitoring, sanctions, conflict-resolution mechanisms—are present. Empirical studies have proven the relevance and effectiveness of the Ostrom design principles for a range of common-pool resources. However, the application of the design principles to groundwater has been limited. The South African institutional landscape was therefore chosen as a case study to investigate the relevance of the design principles. The case study involved (1) comparing the design principles with established global governance benchmarking criteria, (2) assessing how implementable the design principles would be in South Africa, and (3) comparing the aims of the design principles and the broad aims of groundwater governance in South Africa. It was found that the Ostrom design principles provide researchers with a common ‘language’ for learning about the specific issues of a particular setting, learning from experiments in that setting, and learning from the experience of others. The Ostrom design principles and associated adaptive management, social learning, use of the diagnostic approach, and more specific hydrogeological principles are not mutually exclusive and can be complimentary. The implementation of groundwater governance in South Africa has been poor and few Ostrom design principles have been adopted. More use of the Ostrom design principles could improve groundwater governance in South Africa and globally.

Keywords

Socio-economic aspects Groundwater governance Groundwater management South Africa Sub-Saharan Africa 

Etude de cas pour faire davantage usage des principes de conception d’Ostrom dans la recherche sur la gouvernance des eaux souterraines: une perspective sud-africaine

Résumé

Cette étude examine si l’utilisation accrue des principes de conception d’Ostrom pourrait améliorer la recherche sur la gouvernance des eaux souterraines. Les principes se rapportent aux systèmes de gouvernance auto-organisationnels des ressources communes, qui sont plus susceptibles d’être durables si tous les principes de conception—par exemple les limites claires des ressources et des utilisateurs, les arrangements de choix collectif, le suivi, les sanctions, mécanismes de résolution des conflits—sont présents. Des études empiriques ont démontré la pertinence et l’efficacité des principes de conception d’Ostrom pour une gamme de ressources communes. Toutefois, l’application des principes de conception aux eaux souterraines a été limitée. Le paysage institutionnel sud-africain a donc été choisi comme étude de cas pour étudier la pertinence des principes de conception. L’étude de cas concernait (1) en comparant les principes de conception avec les critères établis de l’analyse comparative de la gouvernance mondiale, (2) en évaluant l’application des principes de conception en Afrique du Sud, et (3) en comparant les objectifs des principes de conception et les grands objectifs de la gouvernance des eaux souterraines en Afrique du Sud. Il a été constaté que les principes de conception d’Ostrom fournissent aux chercheurs un ‘langage’ commun pour l’apprentissage des questions spécifiques d’un contexte particulier, l’apprentissage des expériences dans ce contexte, et l’apprentissage de l’expérience des autres. Les principes de conception d’Ostrom et la gestion adaptative associée, l’apprentissage social, l’utilisation de l’approche diagnostique, et les principes hydrogéologiques plus spécifiques ne sont pas mutuellement exclusifs et peuvent être complémentaires. La mise en œuvre de la gouvernance des eaux souterraines en Afrique du Sud a été médiocre et peu de principes de conception d’Ostrom ont été adoptés. Une plus grande utilisation des principes de conception d’Ostrom pourrait améliorer la gouvernance des eaux souterraines en Afrique du Sud et dans le monde.

El caso para lograr un mayor uso de los principios de diseño de Ostrom en la investigación de la gobernanza del agua subterránea: una perspectiva sudafricana

Resumen

Este estudio investiga si un mayor uso de los principios de diseño de Ostrom podría mejorar la investigación de la gobernanza del agua subterránea. Los principios se relacionan con los sistemas de gobierno autoorganizados de recursos comunes, que son más probables de ser sostenibles si todos los principios de diseño están presentes—por ejemplo, límites claros entre los recursos y los usuarios, acuerdos de elección colectiva, monitoreo, sanciones, mecanismos de resolución de conflictos. Los estudios empíricos han demostrado la relevancia y la eficacia de los principios de diseño de Ostrom para una gama de recursos comunes. Sin embargo, la aplicación de los principios de diseño en el agua subterránea ha sido limitada. El panorama institucional sudafricano fue, por lo tanto, elegido como un estudio de caso para investigar la relevancia de los principios de diseño. El estudio de caso incluyó (1) la comparación de los principios de diseño con los criterios establecidos de evaluación de la gobernanza global, (2) la evaluación de la implementación de los principios de diseño en Sudáfrica, y (3) la comparación de los objetivos de los principios de diseño y los objetivos generales de la gobernanza del agua subterránea en el sur África. Se descubrió que los principios de diseño de Ostrom proporcionan a los investigadores un “lenguaje” común para aprender sobre los problemas específicos de un entorno en particular, aprender de los experimentos en ese entorno y aprender de la experiencia de otros. Los principios de diseño de Ostrom y el manejo adaptativo asociado, el aprendizaje social, el uso del enfoque de diagnóstico y los principios hidrogeológicos más específicos no se excluyen mutuamente y pueden ser complementarios. La implementación de la gobernanza del agua subterránea en Sudáfrica ha sido deficiente y se han adoptado pocos principios de diseño de Ostrom. Un mayor uso de los principios de diseño de Ostrom podría mejorar la gobernanza del agua subterránea en Sudáfrica y en todo el mundo.

在地下水治理研究中更多地利用奥斯特罗姆设计原则的案例:南非的观点

摘要

该研究了奥斯特罗姆设计原则的使用是否可以改善地下水治理研究。这些原则涉及公共资源的自组织治理系统,如果所有设计原则(例如明确的资源和用户边界,集体选择安排,监测,制裁,冲突解决机制)都是可持续的,那么它们更可能是可持续的。当下。实证研究证明了奥斯特罗姆设计原则与一系列公共资源的相关性和有效性。然而,设计原则在地下水中的应用受到限制。因此,选择南非的制度环境作为案例研究,以研究设计原则的相关性。案例研究涉及(1)将设计原则与既定的全球治理基准标准进行比较,(2)评估设计原则在南非的可实施性,(3)比较设计原则的目标和南方地下水治理的广泛目标非洲。结果发现,奥斯特罗姆的设计原则为研究人员提供了一种共同的“语言”,用于了解特定环境的具体问题,从该环境中的实验中学习,并从其他人的经验中学习。奥斯特罗姆的设计原则和相关的适应性管理,社会学习,诊断方法的使用以及更具体的水文地质学原理并不是相互排斥的,可以是互补的。南非地下水治理的实施情况很差,奥斯特罗姆的设计原则很少。更多地使用奥斯特罗姆设计原则可以改善南非和全球的地下水治理。

O caso de fazer mais uso dos princípios de projeto de Ostrom na pesquisa sobre governança de águas subterrâneas: uma perspectiva sul-africana

Resumo

Este estudo investiga se o aumento do uso dos princípios de projeto de Ostrom poderia melhorar a pesquisa sobre governança em águas subterrâneas. Os princípios dizem respeito a sistemas de governança auto-organizáveis de recursos comuns, que têm maior probabilidade de serem sustentáveis se todos os princípios de projeto (por exemplo, limites claros de recursos e usuários, acordos de escolha coletiva, monitoramento, sanções, mecanismos de resolução de conflitos) estivessem presentes. Estudos empíricos comprovaram a relevância e a eficácia dos princípios de projeto de Ostrom para uma gama de recursos comuns. No entanto, a aplicação dos princípios de projeto às águas subterrâneas tem sido limitada. A configuração institucional sul-africana foi, portanto, escolhida como um estudo de caso para investigar a relevância dos princípios de projeto. O estudo de caso envolveu (1) comparar os princípios de projeto com os critérios de benchmarking de governança global estabelecidos, (2) avaliar como os princípios de projeto seriam implementáveis na África do Sul e (3) comparar os objetivos dos princípios de projeto e os objetivos gerais da governança de águas subterrâneas no Sul África. Descobriu-se que os princípios de projeto de Ostrom proporcionam aos pesquisadores uma “linguagem” comum para aprender sobre as questões específicas de um ambiente particular, aprender com os experimentos nesse ambiente e aprender com a experiência de outros. Os princípios de projeto de Ostrom e o gerenciamento adaptativo associado, o aprendizado social, o uso da abordagem diagnóstica e os princípios hidrogeológicos mais específicos não são mutuamente exclusivos e podem ser complementares. A implementação da governança de águas subterrâneas na África do Sul tem sido fraca e poucos princípios de projeto de Ostrom foram adotados. Maior uso dos princípios de projeto de Ostrom poderia melhorar a governança das águas subterrâneas na África do Sul e no mundo.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the comments from the Hydrogeology Journal editors and two anonymous reviewers. Their inputs have significantly improved the quality of the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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