IRIBARNEGARAY Martin Alejandro
congresos y reuniones científicas
Governance, sustainability and decision making in water and sanitation management systems
Conferencia; The 1st World Sustainability Forum; 2011
Institución organizadora:
MDPI Open Access Journals Platform (Sci Forum)
The relationship between governance, sustainability and decision making isreceiving increasing attention in academic and policy circles. Governance and sustainabilityare, however, contested and somewhat imprecise concepts. Both concepts are inextricablylinked to local circumstances and therefore need to be defined in terms of the characteristicsof the people living in a given place at a given moment. In this paper we present analternative idea of governance in which its relationship with sustainability is highlighted.We base our understanding of governance on a previously defined conceptual frameworkfor sustainability build on the three pillars of “place” (the spatial dimension), “permanence”(the temporal dimension) and “persons” (the human dimension), instead of the classic triplebottom line of economy, environment and society. This conceptual framework is arguablymore sensitive than the triple-bottom-line approach to understand complex, long-term issuessuch as environmental governance and inter-generational justice. It also makes the idea ofsustainability more adaptable to specific settings and more appropriate to understand local,regional, and global processes. Interactions between persons in a given place are usuallytriggered by specific problems. These interactions directly affect the overall situation in thefuture, constantly reshaping the temporal dimension in a continuous process of change. To test the conceptual framework presented we analyze the governance of the WSMS of the city ofSalta, Argentina. We briefly describe the system, examine institutional changes in recentyears, and discuss the relevance of different stakeholders acting therein in order to identifykey features that might be useful to detect governance failures and successes. We organizedour finding in a semi-quantitative index that allows a more in-depth analysis of the complexlinks of governance and sustainability. The index is calculated by aggregating descriptors,indicators and variables in a weighted matrix. Data used to build the index come fromliterature reviews, information provided by the water company, field visits, and interviewswith key actors. We compare our approach with other governance analytical frameworks,highlighting similarities and differences. Some specific recommendations are made topromote a better governance of the system studied.