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Crafting Collaborative Governance: Water Resources, California’s Delta Plan, and Audited Self-Management in New Zealand

April 2015

Citation: 45 ELR 10324

Issue: 4

Author: Cameron Holley

Since the 1980s, water governance has increasingly been linked to institutions and laws that engage local actors and closely relate to local ecosystems and catchments. These approaches, referred to as collaborative water governance, encompass new coalitions among governments, their agencies, and institutions of civil society, and are typically held together via guidelines, plans, and nonbinding agreements. This Article offers an empirical look at two examples, Audited Self-Management in New Zealand and California’s Delta Plan, asking whether these initiatives promote genuine, effective stakeholder collaboration and how they blend their collaborative elements with traditional legal systems.

Dr. Cameron Holley is Senior Research Fellow at the Law Faculty, UNSW Australia, Connected Waters Initiative Research Center and National Center for Groundwater Research and Training.

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