“Water governance refers to the political, social, economic and administrative systems in place that influence water’s use and management. It determines the equity and efficiency in water resource and services allocation and distribution, and balances water use between socio-economic activities and ecosystems.”
Governing water includes formulation of water policies, legislation and establishment of institutions to implement these. Well defined roles and responsibilities of government, civil society and the private sector in water resource management make these policies effective and improve institutional performance. Good water governance is integral for the rest of governance initiatives to succeed, according to World Bank estimates, some regions could see their growth rates fall by as much as 6% of GDP by 2050 as a result of water-related losses in agriculture, health, income, and property and be sent spiraling in a sustained negative growth trap.
Water governance is affected by decisions, by factors outside of the water sector such as agriculture and energy, the supply of water cannot be effectively and sustainably managed unless the complex relationship between these sectors are fully recognized and explored. Too often the sectorial policies and goals are created in silos. For Pakistan and the regional water sector, the need for ‘integration of policies’ within a nexus framework is urgent and warrants the government recognition.