The Law and Governance of Water Resources
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The Law and Governance of Water Resources

The Challenge of Sustainability

Douglas Fisher

This path-breaking book focuses on the law and legal doctrine within the wider policy context of water resources and analyses the concept of sustainability.
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Chapter 15: Planning for Water Resources Development

Douglas Fisher


INTRODUCTION So much for principles and directions. Whether or not there is formal provision for them in legal instruments such as constitutions or statutes, they inform and guide how decisions and activities in relation to water resources are made and undertaken. Sometimes, they may be translated into statements of strategy or statements of policy which provide more specific guidance about the management of water resources. These instruments perform a range of different functions. They may operate at different levels: for example national, regional or sub-regional. They may assume the form of strategies, policies, plans or programmes. These instruments may contain enforceable rules. If not, they set parameters for decision-making and operational activities for which the public sector is largely responsible. In this event, they are not use-specific, location-specific or project-specific. Nevertheless they impact upon – as they are designed to do – existing and proposed use-specific, location-specific and projectspecific activities. It is at this level of specificity that these paralegal rules of strategic planning are transformed into legal rules of use and development planning and regulation. Planning may thus be governed either by legal or by paralegal rules. There is nothing novel about planning. It is unlikely that any project for the use and development of water resources will be designed and implemented in the absence of some kind of plan or planned arrangement. If it is a public sector project to be undertaken by a public agency in exercise of its operational functions, it will have been planned to achieve a...

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