2 2 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND WORK GROUP PARTICIPANTS This document was prepared with inputs from the institutions of the Good Governance Group, specially: The information was systematized by El Colegio de Mexico led by Dr. Judith Domínguez Serrano.
3 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos CONTENT Synthesis... 1 Acknowledgements and work group participants... 2 Executive summary... 4 Introduction... 6 Towards good governance for IWRM... 7 Water governance: consensual solutions... 8 The challenge of the Americas: consolidating water resource governance through democratic processes Key messages of the Americas IWRM requires coordination mechanisms among different sectors and level of government Explicit institutional arrangements strengthen government-society interaction Strengthening the capacities of all social stakeholders is fundamental for better governance The participation of relevant social stakeholders in IWRM is essential for the sustainable legitimacy and application of institutional political frameworks Information, transparency in management and accountability within the water sector is fundamental for a better governance The availabity of economic instruments support the sustainable management of water Objectives for 2012 and how we will do it Identification of and commitment to next steps
4 4 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The thematic paper on Good Governance for Integrated Water Resource Management is the result of forums and workshops held in different latitudes of the continent with the participation of various sectors and government and social organizations. These meetings prioritized the issue of Water Governance as a regional concern. The workshops established two SMART goals in order to achieve good governance in Integrated Water Resources Management, one substantive and one operational: The first relates to the creation a network of legislators and the mobilization of networks of journalists specialized in water resources to contribute to the strengthening of legal and institutional frameworks relating to water in the Americas, the second is to identify institutional reforms implemented by the countries in the Americas that consider financial, environmental and social sustainability for water resources management, for its replication or strengthening. Around these two goals, key messages and actions are proposed for 2012, embedded in a medium-term framework in which countries and water authorities are committed to strengthening good water governance. The concept and content of water governance in the Americas was defined, as an answer to who, how and when decisions are made regarding water resources and how they should be addressed within a context of good governance. In other words, how are water resources governed in the continent? What institutional reforms are needed to have better governance of these resources? This concept differs from governability, and it is conceived as a continuous, dynamic, flexible and necessary process to achieve good Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). In 2011, in the various fora the different social partners established their thematic priorities for the continent and this was one of them. The following motivated its prioritization: the water governance crisis, recognized regionally in 2001 (CEPAL, 2001), water-related conflicts, the institutional weakness of the sector in some countries or the delay in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals where water is a key factor. The first part of this document provides a conceptual framework that allows a review of institutional arrangements of the Americas. The aim was to establish a starting point for the key messages. From a governance approach, the current context of global change for the countries of the region is highlighted, in addition to strengthening the role of diverse social actors as well as of governments, and making visible the elements needed in the process of formulating water policy, such as information and transparency in the way of effective accountability. Governance is seen as a process and not as an end in itself following the broader, internationally accepted definition (UNEP, UNESCO, GWP).
5 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos It is necessary to strengthen the water resource governance in the region, but through democratic processes, a prevailing social demand. The existing institutional frameworks and the formal and informal rules (IHDP, 2006) of the various countries of the continent were reviewed to identify concerns regarding water and all implemented financial, social or environmental policies. In reference to national legislation, the strengths and weaknesses of three elements of governance for IWRM consolidation were reviewed: decentralization, coordination and participation. Also, illustrative cases on good governance are included within each key message as references of similar contexts that have contributed to sustainable water management in various aspects (participatory processes in decision-making, tax and institutional reforms, among others). Governance, thus conceived, is a cross-cutting element with regard to other priority issues in the Americas (water and ecosystems, water and energy, water and food security, water and climate change and access to drinking water and sanitation). The convergence sets the agenda for the Good Governance Group with strategies identified and linked to the aforementioned issues, aimed at solving governance problems associated with water management in the region. The key messages are focused on the institutional design necesary for good integrated management for each basin, for water conservation and to fulfill the human right to water, which are based on deliberative processes in which some actors have an important role for consolidation and permanence. The 7 messages presented in this document refer to the review and strengthening of legal frameworks, to the creation of institutional arrangements whenever it is not possible to adopt laws, to the coordination and mainstreaming of water policy (at the institutional level), to the participation of relevant social actors in the creation of consensual solutions, to the access to information, transparency and accountability as at the previous stages for participation, to the recognition of ancestral knowledge and customs and the wealth of communal ways of water management (participatory level), and very importantly, to the review of financial mechanisms that are known to have worked and which can work elsewhere. Finally, this document concludes with the proposal of specific activities in the upcoming forums which reflect progress towards the achievement of the SMART goals and sets out next steps to continue the work of the Water Governance group after the 6th World Water Forum. 5
6 6 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos INTRODUCTION This paper presents the outcomes of the Working Group of Good Governance for the IWRM oriented to reach the SMART goals. The following two short-term goals have been established in the region: 1. By 2012, create a network of legislators, and mobilize networks of journalists on water resources in the Americas to contribute to the consolidation of legal and institutional frameworks on water issues. 2. By 2012, identify institutional reforms implemented by the countries in the Americas which take into account financial, environmental and social sustainability in water management. In the Americas, the processes of water resource deteroration still have not been reversed and there is a problem of governance in various countries, reflected in a weak institutional framework. However, some successful cases have been documented which could be a reference in the Continent for legal, institutional, social and financial strengthening. There are numerous cases of social management; of increasing payment for the use and usufruct of water after consultation, information and prior consensus; of use of economic instruments that have allowed for the conservation of not only water but also other resources; of legal, programmatic and specific actions to achieve universal access to drinking water and sanitation; and of transborder cooperation through institutional arrangements between social partners, which are a contribution to the 6th World Water Forum from the Americas. The diverse institutional capacity and the diversity of countries in North and Central America or the Caribbean is recognized, however some common elements of socio-cultural strengthening (symbolic value of water, social management) are identified, which need solutions on problems of water governance that are based on the principles of good water governance. A strategy was devised to position the subject of good water governance in the next international forums, including the 6th World Water Forum and the Rio +20 Summit in existing regional institutions (Parlatino, Parlacen, CODIA, networks of national or regional legislative journalists) and for a consolidation of identified actions in the medium term, especially the development of capacities in the region and the strengthening of institutional frameworks on the basis of IWRM. We hope to reach policy makers and society to achieve social change around the vision of water resources as a factor for the development of the continent and for overcoming poverty.
7 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos TOWARDS GOOD GOVERNANCE FOR IWRM Several contributions to good water governance have been identified on the continent, attributed to due to its cultural diversity and the symbolic value attributed to water in countries with indigenous communities; for community and associative water management (Central America, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru) but also through ancestral experience accumulated through years in the use of economic o y judicial) sobre la estructura actual de gestión del agua, la mirada a los modelos internacionales pero sobre todo a las experiencias en la región que pueden ser replicables por sus semejanzas socio-culturales. 1.The Value of Water. Water has been recognized as a strategic resource (Bolivia), as a matter of national security (Mexico), the human right to water has been constitutionalized (Uruguay, Bolivia, Mexico), and there there have been several ways to implement the MDGs (legal recognition, support programs, community action). Indigenous peoples recognize a symbolic value in water, which has allowed the conservation of water sources. 2.IWRM is recognized as the most appropriate model for water management associated with other environmental elements, it is enshrined in law, at the programmatic level or through more concrete actions at social and local levels, which reveals a wide range of possibilities for its implementation and the flexibility of its institutions. 3.The use of financial instruments for charging water use and usufruct and the acknowledgment of the need of paying for it. These funds have been used for conservation (Payment for Environmental Services) and the application of the polluter pays principle (rates for discharges into bodies of water and sewer systems), and schemes of targeted subsidies for public service, among others. 4.Community management and partnerships in the provision of water have been effective at a local level; they have taken a relevant role in the absence of the State, other stakeholders, including associations, and international organizations. There is a wide variety of local governance schemes that can be replicated elsewhere. That is why the subject of Water Governance has been set as a priority for the 6th World Water Forum, bringing on the attention of governments, politicians and decision makers on the current structure of water management and its effects on its use, analyzing the international models but, especially, regional experiences that can be replicated due to their socio-cultural similarities to an improvement in the governance of water resources. 7
8 8 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos WATER GOVERNANCE: CONSENSUAL SOLUTIONS Water governance refers to the interaction of political, social, economic and management systems that come into play to regulate the development and management of water resources and the provision of water services at different levels of society (UNDP, 2000). Water governance exists where state organizations responsible for water management establish an effective policy, along with an appropriate legal framework to regulate and manage water in ways that respond to environmental, economic, social and state policy needs, with the participation of all social stakeholders. The ability to meet the objectives of a government depends on its institutional organization, but mostly on its method of governance. While some countries in the Americas have not been able to consolidate IWRM, and the coordination between different levels and sectors to achieve sustainable water use is still an illusion, some social questioning on the legitimacy of decisions and social control over decisions being taken have recently arisen. This discussion puts the current rules of the game at the heart of the debate. There are cases in which even with a strong institutional system (with laws and water-related bodies) there is no governance, with the result of environmental deterioration (i.e. failure to find a balance regarding the environment), lack of social acceptance or imposition of a one-sided (top-down) vision of the solution. Consensual decisions are more effective in conserving water resources and incorporating the views of relevant stakeholders. They will ensure more sustainable and more socially acceptable solutions in the longer run. In order to speak about governance it is necessary to include other levels of government, besides the central or federal government, such as state or local governments that, that even with little or weak water competencies, have others, such as territorial (land, urban planning) or environmental (biodiversity protection, forest) competencies, or influence other sectors (energy, economy, finance, agriculture), which are stronger or have bigger budgets, and which directly or indirectly determine water policy and can have a strong negative impact on water resources. For improved governance it is necessary to apply the IWRM approach, consider mainstreaming of water resources and proposing policies with an integrated approach. It also implies applying the principle of actions and skills coordination (institutional level) and the principle of subsidiarity.
9 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos 9 THE CHALLENGE OF THE AMERICAS: CONSOLIDATING WATER RESOURCE GOVERNANCE THROUGH DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES I. THE PROBLEM Without a doubt, America is a continent with an abundance of water, but with institutional weaknesses in its water resource management. Latin America can be considered a reservoir of water, with 30% of the world s water. The average coverage is not low: 93% of the population has access to drinking water and 79% to sanitation, but intra-regional disparities between urban and rural areas is very marked. On average only 13% of water is treated, although we must recognize that in some countries the percentage exceeds 50%. Seventy five million Latin Americans lack access to clean water, 116 million lack sanitation services which cause 34 children out of every 1000 to die every year from water borne diseases1. The inhabitants of the region are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially hydrometeorological phenomena. A challenge is universal access to drinking water and sanitation on equitable terms and financially sustainable conditions (especially Central America and the Caribbean). The link with food security has received little attention by agriculture and water public policy makers. There is no evidence of strong commitment to protect ecosystem water requirements, but it should be noted that some have already adopted legislation on environmental flow. The problems of water governance in the region are associated with the administration of water from the hydrological cycle unit (surface and groundwater water ) that need to be managed in an integral manner, the need to expand and strengthen public institutional capacities, the establishment of effective and clear regulations to provide efficient services, the coordinated management of shared river basins, and the formulation and implementation of effective, cross-cutting and coordinated policies, especially with the entities at local level. Finally, the subsidiary action of governments, whenever possible, and the awareness and motivation of the population is also needed. Another weakness in our continent is the production of systematic information on a regular basis with a high degree of reliability that allows for monitoring of the status of water resources, but also providing disaggregated information for all social stakeholders, including local governments that need it to develop their policies. Agua Latina, Una ventana de información al servicio del sector de agua y saneamiento, Auspiciado por el Programa de Agua y Saneamiento del Banco Mundial. agualatina.net/9/index.html 1 A challenge is universal access to drinking water and sanitation on equitable terms and financially sustainable conditions (especially Central America and the Caribbean).
10 10 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos It is also necessary to effectively institucionalize the existing participatory mechanisms. This can be done through legislation on access to informationon water issues, especially those topics which are most interesting to citizens, in thr appropriate language, and which would motivate their involvement. II. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS Having legislative frameworks in place is fundamental to guarantee the existence of a rule of law regarding water, and their updating is necessary in those countries of the region that have obsolete laws which do not respond to the complex water issues of today. Moreover, there are countries that do not even have any water legislation. This legislative asymmetry has several negative consequences for IWRM. It slows down the cooperation processes when facing common regional issues as in transborder basins (rivers shared between Guatemala and Mexico), in which sovereignty serves as an argument to avoid decision-making. The lack of coordination frameworks poses another governance problem. Since various government agencies concur without the explicit obligation to cooperate, the result is the development of several sectorial actions within the same territory, duplicating efforts, resources and activities, or, sometimes, these actions may even be contradictory, reflecting this lack of coordination mandatory where natural resources issues, including water, are involved. Policy decisions which are taken outside of the water sector and its authorities directly impact water resources.
11 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos III. THE URBANIZATION OF THE CONTINENT Latin America is predominantly an urban continent (more than 70% of the population lives in cities) and this reality must be addressed. Also, it is necessary to interact with city systems, incorporating medium-term visions, and to take inter-urban migration into consideration, especially to medium-sized cities, which will require water services and exert pressure over water resources and the environment in general. This pressure is even greater in more complex metropolitan areas.this spatial dimension is fundamental when designing the institutional framework for IWRM. Misguided decisions about growth not only alter the hydrological cycle, but also the urban ecosystem (the Metropolitan Zone of Mexico Valley is an example). Lessons can be learned from this mistake and talking about cities located within sustainable watersheds is part of this recognition. IV. STRENGTHENING PARTICIPATORY PROCESSES AROUND WATER Water conflicts in the Americas reflect a lack of deliberative spaces. There are numerous cases in which the laws regarding water resources are not effective, and do not take the opinion of others, or society, into consideration. These regulatory gaps, deliberate or not, close up spaces for debate and deliberation. While the institutional framework may exist, even the enshrinement of these principles in law and the decision-making process, is badly designed. The clash between management using informal rules regarding water use and water-derived administrative actions have led to alternative discussion forums to provide solutions and recommendations to these conflicts. Even though they enjoy strong social support, these solutions are not binding in relation to water authorities (Latin American Water Tribunal), although they do have moral value. It is necessary to reduce the gap between alternative forms of community or social management of water, accept them and recognize them in the system of formal rules. In the Latin American context, several countries formally recognize communal forms of management (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay) and from there the system is built up (Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (CAPS), although more oriented towards rural areas. There are cases in urban or peri-urban areas, as is the case of management of the 9 colonies in the city of Morelia, Michoacán (Mexico) where after a long negotiation process with the state government, the people achieved participation in management. 11
12 12 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos KEY MESSAGES OF THE AMERICAS 1. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS REGARDING WATER GIVE CERTAINTY TO SOCIAL STAKEHOLDERS AND FAVOR FUNDING FOR THE WATER SECTOR The role of legislation is to functionally articulate the water management model in two aspects: first, vertically, among the various water authorities, clearly establishing competencies on water resources, whether management or the provision of services. For the OECD (2011) the state model (centralized or federal) is not relevant to adopt IWRM; rather, it responds to other criteria such as the basin unit. This is a good argument for promoting updates in the legislative processes and avoiding fragmentation in territorial views on water. Countries such as Brazil or Mexico, which have a basin-oriented management based on IWRM, have served as a reference for others in the adoption of national water laws. In Latin American countries, a modernization of water laws, a renewal of legislation, an incorporation of principles such as participation (albeit nominal), and advances in transboundary management are taking place. There are cases in the region where territorial actions have been coordinated with water actions, and these are a good reference for others (Argentina, Canada). Latin American water regulations must be consistent with the principles of governance. The goal is the democratization of certain decisions on water. The legislative challenge is also to regulate a relationship in which citizens, authorities, levels of government, countries and social stakeholders are partners in the same deliberative process designed to maintain ecologically sound water under the IWRM approach. TRANSBORDER MANAGEMENT THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TOOLS IN THE BASIN OF THE AMAZONS. Countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The Amazon Basin has an area of 5,870,000 km2 and contains about one fifth of the global water surface. Two multilateral agreements are in place for its administration: the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, signed in 1978 and entered into force in 1980 and the Protocol of Amendment to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty which entered into force on December 14, 1998 and which led to the Organization of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACTO, for its Spanish acronym). The countries members of these agreements are
13 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. ACTO and the Permanent Secretariat are based in Brasilia, and have authority to enter into agreements with signatories and non signatory countries, as well as international organizations. Fostering sustainable development in the watershed, environmental preservation and conservation and the rational use of its natural resources are among the objectives of both agreements. Freedom of commercial navigation is guaranteed and the coordination of health services, research, infrastructure development and tourism is promoted. Goals in the following sectors have also been established: water, protection of natural areas, biodiversity, biotechnology and biodiversity markets, land use planning, human settlements and indigenous affairs, health and education, transportation, electricity and communications and infrastructure. Special emphasis is placed on the exchange of information between Member States, as well as in the cooperation between them to achieve the objectives. The decisions adopted through ACTO and the commissions created are based on consensus and the unanimous vote of the members. Through a variety of instruments, the participation of multiple stakeholders and civil society in implementing projects and of local and regional groups (especially indigenous groups) in the development of cooperation initiatives are encouraged. As noted, this organization is a clear example of transborder basin management, where the activities, projects and cooperation fall within a pre-established regulatory framework that limits the levels each player can participate in. We must also refer to the strength of socio-cultural values that find constitutional recognition in the region, the conception of water not only as a natural resource, but one with symbolic and cultural value, beyond economic value. In Bolivia, for example, the Constitution recognizes not only the human right to water, but also IWRM (Chapter V). The experience of countries that receive international aid is very important. In these countries, funding is essential to solve their water problems, especially those related to access to water and sanitation. Central America has experienced the demands of adapting institutional frameworks so they give certainty to the correct application of financial resources. This is not only a matter of lack of financial resources, but also about the inability of the water sector to access funding due to institutional weaknesses. A further consideration is the lack of knowledge from the financial sector on water issues. 13
14 14 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos 2. IWRM REQUIRES COORDINATION MECHANISMS AMONG DIFFERENT SECTORS AND LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT In order to achieve effective IWRM, an integrated approach that encompasses not only the complexity of water resources, but also the environment, is required. Administratively it is addressed with cross-cutting criteria and actions: Some countries have made progress in horizontal cross-cutting (mainstreaming) (Mexico, Argentina, Canada, United States, Colombia, and Brazil). More difficult is vertical cross-cutting (mainstreaming) tha implies intergovernmental coordination and coordinating competencies, not only functions. The sectorial powers, not only related to water, but also those derived from other regulated sectors such as energy, transportation, land use and urban planning, make integrated management more difficult. Adoption of the Act on Land-Planning integrating the IWRM principles. The average yearly global water offer is 7,400 m3 per capita, which is veryheterogeneouslyallocated. In Mendoza, Argentina, this is as low as half the world average and is more severe in the Mendoza River basin, with only 1560 m3/habitant/year. In turn, there is a marked seasonal deficit during the spring months when demand exceeds offer, which is more acute in dry years such as the present year. In the hydrological year one hectare under irrigation in the Rio Mendoza consumed annually 11,046 m3, as opposed to 37,800 m3 for an urbanized hectare. Under thesecircumstances, the survival of the adopted provincial development model will be very difficult without a clear political and technical land-use concept which allows for the proper and jointly-agreed use of resources to achieve a Mendoza as desired. In this context, users organizations of the Mendoza River have made significant contributions to the Act on Land-Use of 2009 (8051) and the Strategic Development Plan, such as demanding: effective implementation of the water balance, sanitation, of registered rights / or their reclassification, respect for the autonomy of watersheds, representation and effective participation of the various uses of water and the consensual reformulation of the instruments that make effective the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). These contributions, achieved through hard work in the Legislative Chambers, finally took shape and were incorporated into the legal text. Also, once the new law came into effect, there was active participation in the preparation of the Strategic Development Plan through the so-called Council of State, currently implemented through the Land-use Council, where organizations of basin s water users have an active participation.
15 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos In some legal systems, the principle of coordination or the principle of duty to cooperate, are implicit in the state model (especially in federal states). However, coordination is difficult in environmental issues, and without clearly defined competiencies, it is easy to shy away from responsibilities in relation to water resources. It is important to pay attention to the territorial dimension and to the politicaladministrative boundaries under which competencies are set, and therefore, on territorial actions with effects on water resources, which must be coordinated, especially with the water and soil responsible bodies. The watershed is the appropriate level to adopt this integrated approach and coordinated action on the territory. In this sense, the Brazilian experience, which manages to coordinate various activities in transborder basins around water based on building trust over time, relationships, institutional frameworks, and the involvement of social stakeholders, is one of the successful examples in the Americas. The lack of harmony among public policies that directly or indirectly affect water management leads to loss of credibility. The right institutional framework should identify these contradictions. It is necessary to explicitly regulate concurrence of various jurisdictional powers of the various levels of government or agencies involved to implement it in other sectoral policies (mainstreaming). 3. EXPLICIT INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS STRENGTHEN GOVERMENT-SOCIETY INTERACTION The lack of institutional arrangements at appropriate stages in the process of creating public policy, has led to absolute failures or at best, low-impact activities (the water war in Bolivia is an example). Coalitions, alliances, civic movements, working groups, networks and cooperation agreements on water issues, as well as meetings, deliberation and consensus space among business, government or civil groups favor exchange information, knowledge and experience, but above all, dialogue. The new institutional arrangements allow for the inclusion of viewpoints that had not been considered. Scale becomes an essential requirement because those experiences that work at a local level cannot be transferred to a larger scale without due analysis and adjustment, and also expect them to yield the same results. The criteria for establishing these institutional arrangements should be focused on establishing an institutional structure and a regulatory and operational framework that builds trust in institutions (law, organizations, authorities) to allow for consensual and transparent decisions. 15
16 16 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos Transboundary management promoted by multiple stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental. Action: The creation of the Binational Management Group. A promising example of binational transborder management for the preservation of the environment of the Goascorán River basin. Country: Honduras and El Salvador The binational Goascorán River basin is shared by Honduras and El Salvador. This basin shows accelerated environmental deterioration mainly due to inadequate management of solid and liquid wastes, agricultural burning, lack of sustainable forest management and lack of water infrastructure for storage and distribution, which increases the demands on the availability of the resource due to the increase of population. In 2006 the Binational Rio Goascorán Manager Group was created to integrate, advocate and coordinate sustainable management of the basin and improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of the region. This initiative is particular because its creation was an initiative of various stakeholders and the successful collaboration among them. These stakeholders include local authorities (municipalities), local and national civil organizations, national and international cooperation groups under the support of government programs and projects for both countries, which had a threshold of one year of work before negotiating the consolidation of the Group, under a system of shared responsibility. This process was part of legal framework of both countries, in which a concern was expressed for the conservation of natural resources. It is important to mention that before the creation of the group there were various efforts in place to improve the basin conditions, however, they did not have enough impact and remained as isolated actions without coordination between them. This initiative has had positive impacts on the incidence in government agendas at Honduras and El Salvador; such as integration of commissions for production, social, environmental and water resources management, creation of spaces for debate and consultation, establishment of local management groups (municipalities, mainly associations) and implementation of the Comprehensive Basin Management Plan under a participatory process; among others. STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITIES OF ALL SOCIAL STAKEHOLDERS IS FUNDAMENTAL FOR BETTER GOVERNANCE The need for capacity building at various levels has been identified in the region: strengthening advocacy abilities, negotiation, public mobilization. These generate social awareness and, therefore, a change in attitudes about water, improve the capacities of the human resources who manage water at the operational level (networking, strengthening and increasing resources for research, and access to information) that, if addressed and prioritized, will facilitate social change around water.
17 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos 17 The institutional framework should be strengthened (the leadership role, operator, regulator of the water authority), with the active and linked involvement of sector bodies and including other sectors, in order to facilitate the planning of supply and demand of resources; the development of managerial and technical capabilities (human resource training on water resources) takes into account academic training not only of engineers, but of education of users to change lifestyles and consumer habits, education for participation (since the mere statement in the legislation of participation is not enough). It requires creating tools and channels to exercise it and more decisively support research and development (which involves the application of appropriate technologies that suit the patterns of use to criteria of sustainability) which are unavoidable requirements to achieve IWRM objectives. Strategies for capacity building in IWRM, in each region, watershed or aquifer must recognize specific needs and characteristics in regard to the situation of water resources, socioeconomic conditions and its own institutional framework. Therefore, the operational strategies must be tailor-made. Community leader training program on IWRM (MASAL Projet, Peru) The Water Resources Act considers IWRM as the primary focus which is defined in the Policy and National Water Resource Strategy of Peru and accepted as principle. The Project Sustainable Management of Soil and Water in Hillsides (MASAL, for its Spanish acronym) is implemented in four districts of the Community of Rural Municipalities Hermanos Ayar of the department of Cusco, Peru. The main challenge in this region is to reduce poverty and improve living conditions of rural population. The program became an educational process of continuing education and it was developed over a the years 2007and The program is organized into four modules: IWRM diagnosis in Andean watersheds, Participatory Land Management, Planning IWRM for Community Development, Local Institutions and Governance of Water. These modules were developed collectively through a driving group for leadership training and community leaders in IWRM, which was responsible for the design of the technical and methodological proposal. This proposal defined the guidelines, approaches, program structure and evaluation system, all of them fundamental to the concept of local ownership of the program and responsiveness to the effective demand for new skills. These strengthening actions lead to changes in self-esteem and attitude of the people, which contributes to their involvement and active participation. Also, they promote the development of planning instruments. The impacts of the program include: empowerment at the personal level, job placement and a role in water management, strengthening user organizations, development at the micro-basin level, design tools for IWRM and, implementation and...the Water Resources Act considers IWRM as the primary focus which is defined in the Policy and National Water Resource Strategy of Peru and accepted as principle...
18 18 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos replication in the municipalities. The project also is being adopted by other local associations. Despite these achievements, the regions and national and regional institutions must still consider that capacity-building also means investment where difficulties are perceived and that a greater participation of official representatives (different levels of government) is still needed. Source: Indij, D., Donin, G., y Leone, A., (2011), Gestión de los Recursos Hídricos en América Latina: Análisis de los actores y sus necesidades de desarrollo de capacidades, European Union. 5. THE PARTICIPATION OF RELEVANT SOCIAL STAKEHOLDERS IN IWRM IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE SUSTAINABLE LEGITIMACY AND APPLICATION OF INSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL FRAMEWORS Social participation under the governance approach involves stakeholders in decisions (their needs and interests) and in conflict management, among others. If there is something that society challenges regarding water resources is the legitimacy of decisions, even when coming from the authority. This is because of the distancing from its social base, a situation that needs to be refocused or reversed, by involving all social partners. This is precisely the premise of governance. Good governance of water is reached with the acceptance of policies. Taking into consideration how to intervene, who should do it and how they can do it allows a dynamic basis for planning a more rational use of available human and financial resources. Also, participatory processes to find solutions are observed, in which the actors are recognized as fundamental to change the situation, and pay for water s environmental services. Participatory Processes on Water Management of the Panama Canal Basin The basin of the Panama Canal (CHCP, for its Spanish acronym) currently has 5 Advisory Councils and 29 Local Committees. The Advisory Councils are local spaces for consultation between social, political, economic and environmental sectors.they bring together the full range of stakeholders from the respective sub-basins, where representatives from local governments interact including, the Rural Water Management Boards (JAAR, for its Spanish acronym), health committees, the productive sectors, community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and the local committees organized by subwatershed.
19 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos Community participation and its empowerment is what has secured local level monitoring, because while it is true that the ACP has a team of Community Relations which has been guiding and leading the various processes, the results would not have been achieved without the people s interest and the commitment of the various organizations who have the duty of making the structures created functional. The participatory process starts from the local level, through local committees: participatory structures established by subwatershed sections representing high, medium and low stretches and are made up of representatives of existing community organizations. It seeks to consolidate a local linkage from their own reality. These structures, after strengthening their organizational capacity and building their management plans with the participation of other sectors, is consolidated representatively by geographic region in Watershed Advisory Councils, which is the ultimate expression of the participatory platform of the watershed. The Advisory Council is supported by a Local Technical Group consisting of various state institutions (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, National Environmental Authority, among others), which advises it on engineering, ecological, economic and legal aspects, and also facilitates social integrated management of water resources. The Sustainable Development Plan and IWRM in the Panama Canal Basin (DS-IWRM Plan) was formulated in One hunded forty projects were prioritized for the first 3 years of implementation, which consider water resources as pivotal. The plan included the preparation of annual operating plans (AOP) for each of the 7 regions of work and a system of indicators was developed allowing monitoring and accountability of the Development and Integrated Water Resources Plan of the Panama Canal Basin (DS-IWRM Plan). Among the indicators of impact, we have the implementation of the Watershed Sustainability Index. The DS-IWRM Plan aims to promote the integrated management of water resources of the basin in harmony with economic growth, social equity and environmental and natural resources conservation, recognizing the basin as a territorial unit. To be eligible being informed is required: participation is no use without knowledge, since it might hinder the process. Governments have an important role in this regard, because they must deliver useful information through the appropriate channels for each stakeholder group and in the appropriate language, which will encourage good participation. In governance schemes, it is recognized that stakeholders other than Government play an important role, including those that generate knowledge of water resources (academic expertise). Governments themselves, at different levels, require this exchange of information, in local authorities for instance. There are examples of socialization of water information to transfer knowledge and disseminate information in the accessible language (www.siaps. colmex.mx), and in which other stakeholders become drivers, when facing difficult access to water information, besides the technical skills involved. The civil society organizations and foundations are other stakeholders that play important roles of social empowerment and water knowledge transfer. 19
20 20 Hacia una buena gobernanza para la gestión integrada de los Recursos Hídricos The legislation on access to environmental information is a critical step in the countries; however, there are some steps to take for real access to quality information, and this depends largely on governments. Governments take on a new role and it is to be advocates for this participation; however, it may not occur if there is no sufficient and suitable information. The generation of water information is a state responsibility that can not be declined. This strategy seeks to create systematic evaluation mechanisms of available water resources and adequate information systems. It would then be necessary to ensure a resource information system, comprehensive enough to contain physical, biological, social and economical data and ensure that interested stakeholders can access them and the information contained therein and use them accordingly to their needs. International agencies have supported such initiatives in several countries in the continent (Ecuador), under the pivotal axis of climate change or they have been initiatives of water or environmental authorities (http://rade.ine.gob. mx) To achieve good governance in IWRM, relations of trust are necessary, as well as the exchange of criteria based on transparency, of efficient authorities and of a mobilized and participatory society where the mechanisms of evaluation will be the engine of new ideas and new public policies. But it is also important to involve the private initiative (PI) in this reconfiguration of social actors. Many water projects are expensive for governments and forms of association with the social and private sectors must be sought, aimed at the financial sustainability of projects. There are sectors that are suitable for this purpose, such as building works, operation, and, especially, water treatment, one of the downfalls of the region.... and with a gender perspective Experience has shown that, in general, interventions with contributions of both men and women work better. Water is not a gender-neutral issue. Understanding gender roles contribute to plan interventions and water policies, which are based on the knowledge of how and why people choose given options regarding water use to meet their needs. Including a gender perspective is a matter of policy coherence since it is a very vulnerable sector in the continent in water-related catastrophic events such as floods. Also, on a day to day basis, they are the most affected by not having safe water.