Can Water Reform Survive Politics? Institutional Change and River Basin Management in Ceará, Northeast Brazil

by Maria Lemos; João Lúcio Farias de Oliveira

Dec 1, 2004
This study examines the implementation of participatory river basin management in the Baixo Jaguaribe/Banabuiú valleys in Ceará, NE Brazil. It specifically analyzes the creation of Users Commissions and River Basin Committees, which are deliberative organisms that make decisions about river basin management with the participation of water users, state and societal representatives. It argues that the ability of policymakers to sustain the project's more innovative aspects -- namely stakeholder participation, decentralization and integration -- depends, first, on the "character" of the policy networks entrusted with the implementation of different portions of the new regulatory framework; second, on the ability of these networks to garner support of other influential actors inside and outside the state government; and third, on the ability of the network and its supporters to diffuse policy opposition.
Can Water Reform Survive Politics? Institutional Change and River Basin Management in Ceará, Northeast Brazil


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