Water Resources Allocation and Agriculture: Transitioning from Open to Regulated Access
The book brings together a range of leading scholars and practitioners to compile an international account of water allocation policies supporting a transition to sustainable water use in regions where agriculture is the dominant water use. In Section 1, the collection canvasses five key cross-cutting issues shaping the challenge of sustainable water allocation policy, such as legal and economic perspectives, the role of politics, the setting of environmental flows, and the importance of indigenous rights. Section 2 presents 13 national, state and transboundary case studies of water allocation policy, covering cases from Europe, the Americas, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific region. These case studies highlight novel and innovative elements of water allocation regimes, which respond to the cross-cutting issues addressed in Section 1, as well as local challenges and social and environmental imperatives. The book provides a comprehensive account of water allocation in a range of international settings and provides a reference point for practitioners and scholars worldwide wishing to draw on the latest advances on how to design and implement sustainable water allocation systems.
ISBN: 9781789062779 (print)
ISBN: 9781789062786 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781789062793 (ePUB)
Chapter 9: Managing a common resource in agriculture: an overview of the French nested water allocation system
Josselin Rouillard, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo, 2022. "Managing a common resource in agriculture: an overview of the French nested water allocation system", Water Resources Allocation and Agriculture: Transitioning from Open to Regulated Access, Josselin Rouillard, Christina Babbitt, Edward Challies, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo
Download citation file:
Water resources in France are the focus of much social and political attention with recurring conflicts between agriculture and environmental organisations. The last 30 years have seen a major transition from open to regulated access to water resources, which has required a deep transformation of the regulatory framework, the development of new planning procedures at different nested levels, the establishment of new organisations, the development of hydrological, hydrogeological and environmental knowledge and significant social change. Nowadays, the French allocation regime has distinct characteristics, giving priority in allocation to the environment and relying on permits that can be modified or cancelled by the State without compensation. A move towards co-management has nevertheless occurred where authorities, users and stakeholders jointly define allocation rules. Co-management is deployed at different nested levels, from river basin district to catchment level and agricultural user communities. In particular, the establishment of agricultural users' organisations (OUGCs) is an innovative attempt to organise reallocation without relying on market mechanisms. The French model still faces major challenges in the future, due to imperfect allocation institutions and increased scarcity and droughts driven by climate change which will further question allocations between water uses and the environment.