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Local, National and Global Water Governance and Management

Water governance and management in Canterbury are effectively ‘off limits’ for comment here while the significant changes proposed in the ministerial review [News, 18 Feb. 2010] are being actively discussed.  However, it is worth noting that, while Canterbury has the numerically largest problems related to water resources, allocation, quality and use, those problems occur to some extent in nearly all parts of New Zealand.  Nationally, there is a central government policy entitled “New Start for Fresh Water”, led by the Ministers of Environment and Agriculture, approved by Cabinet in 2009.  Part of the work is being carried out by the Land and Water Forum, with a report-back date of 31 July 2010, on “A Fresh Look at Fresh Water”.  There is a major current emphasis on water governance and management in Australia, where the fresh water problems are much greater than those in New Zealand.  Their Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative started in 2004.  In the UK, there is a report due in April 2010 from the ICE, RAE and the CIWEM to the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government on “The Engineering Contribution to Global Water Security”.  Water governance and management were key issues put to the 2009 UN Copenhagen COP-15 Conference on Climate Change by the Global Public Policy Network on Water Management.  Yes, we have water governance and management problems to solve in Canterbury; let’s keep them in national and global perspective.
Sources:http://www.mfe.govt.nz/cabinet-papers/implementing-new-start-for-fresh-water.html; http://www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/117-national-water-initiative.asp ;  http://gppn.stakeholderforum.org/fileadmin/files/GPPN_2008-9/Papers/GPPN_Key_Messages_Water_and_Climate_Change_Adaptation_COP-15.pdf ;