The Challenge of Sustainability
Chapter 18: The Need for Doctrinal Innovation
TOWARDS LEGAL INTEGRATION (a) The Challenge Water is a critical issue for each and every community across the globe. There is a diversity of interests and concerns. There is a diversity of cultural, institutional and legal arrangements. Despite this diversity, the characteristics of water are much the same across all communities. Five have been identified: • water is an essential of life; • its availability is variable and uncertain; • it is supplied or available locally; • it is used for a wide variety of independent purposes; • there is no substitute for water.1 These characteristics: Combine to make water a ‘commodity’ of special significance to government, industry and the general populace and a subject which can arouse great passion. Command over water confers power especially in arid climates while, conversely, lack of government control over water leads to the risk of social instability.2 One of the most important questions in establishing a system for water resources governance is to determine who has control of water resources and of water at the several points of the hydrological cycle. Just as important is how this power of control should be exercised: in other words a combination of structural and normative issues. Although each community over the millennia may have responded somewhat differently to these questions, it is remarkable how much emphasis has been placed upon the need to conserve rather than waste water in the context of the arrangements for its use and development. In some communities over the last 200 or 300 years the pendulum...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.