22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

The relationship between Groundwater Governance and Management at Local Municipal Level.

24 Sep 2019, 12:00
Conference room 1.B ()

Conference room 1.B

Oral Topic 3 - Groundwater sustainability and governance Parallel


Fanus Fourie (Department of Water and Sanitation)


The terms ‘Management’ and ‘Governance’ are used interchangeably when referring to groundwater such as policy, protection, operations, financial systems and infrastructure. Governance and management are not separate scales of action, but different processes. Both processes can take place together at local, regional, national or global scales. (Seward 2015).
The influences from the different levels of government are also linked. Although governance is seen as more a national government function, some governance function can only be facilitated at a micro (local) level and not at the macro (national) level. This concept gave rise to the approach of national thinking but local implementation.
Governance and management can in most case not be split into two blocks and handled separately. To have sustainable groundwater resource delivery to a community both groundwater governance and groundwater management need to be in place. In most cases, the line between governance and management is seen as a straight line with a direct relation. In practice, this is rarely possible with governance or management functions always done at a fixed relation at different government levels.
The degree of governance vs management differs per level of government from institution to institution. The line between governance and management is thus very flexible between the different areas/location or aquifers where groundwater is being used and protected. The line can in one case be leaning more towards governance if more management functions are preform and vice versa.
The line between governance and management is not a thin line but rather a thick grey band. Some of the functions, responsibilities and roles are very difficult to place under governance or management alone and can fall under both. The same function can be seen by one organisation as a governance function because they see the function as a process and the other organisation see the function as a management function because it involves the implementation. The term ‘Implementation Governance’ was created to describe the overlap of functions, and this also links closely to the term ‘Local Level Governance’ that focuses on governance at the local municipal level.
At a national level more governance level functions, responsibilities and roles will take place than management and vice versa at the local municipality level it will lean more to management then governance. However, this also differs from municipality to municipality.
The paper describes the relationship between governance and management functions at different government levels and illustrates it through five scenarios/examples of the different government organisations at the municipal level.

Primary authors

Fanus Fourie (Department of Water and Sanitation) Ms Nicolette Vermaak (Department of Water and Sanitation) Prof. Danie Vermeulen (Institute for Groundwater Studies)

Presentation Materials

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