Coalitions, Institutional Design Choices and Consequences
Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink
Chapter 7: Emergence, performance and transformation of Portuguese water institutions in the age of river basin organisations
What does it take to make reforms of the organisation of water governance effective on the ground and what are the factors that shape the path of development in water governance? This chapter tries to provide insights in regard to these questions based on the study of changes in water management in Portugal throughout the last decade. Recent reforms were part of the process of implementing the European Water Framework Directive (European Community, 2000) which aimed at integrated water resources management. Throughout the last decade, member states of the European Union (EU) changed their national legislative framework to implement these requirements, and day-to-day water planning and management practices started to change accordingly. By 2009 member states were required to present new river basin management plans and programmes of measures are currently being implemented. The application of these prescriptions by European states provides detailed insights in regard to the overarching interests of this book, namely the study of the politics of river basins and their performance. In Portugal, the requirements of the Water Framework Directive with regards to the implementation of river basin management fell on fertile ground because at the time of the transposition of the Directive its introduction had long been considered by Portuguese water experts.
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