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Book Sections Year : 2022

Managing a common resource in agriculture: an overview of the French nested water allocation system

Abstract

Water resources in France are the focus of much social and political attention with recurring conflicts between agriculture and environmental organisations. The last 30 years have seen a major transition from open to regulated access to water resources, which has required a deep transformation of the regulatory framework, the development of new planning procedures at different nested levels, the establishment of new organisations, the development of hydrological, hydrogeological and environmental knowledge and significant social change. Nowadays, the French allocation regime has distinct characteristics, giving priority in allocation to the environment and relying on permits that can be modified or cancelled by the State without compensation. A move towards co-management has nevertheless occurred where authorities, users and stakeholders jointly define allocation rules. Co-management is deployed at different nested levels, from river basin district to catchment level and agricultural user communities. In particular, the establishment of agricultural users' organisations (OUGCs) is an innovative attempt to organise reallocation without relying on market mechanisms. The French model still faces major challenges in the future, due to imperfect allocation institutions and increased scarcity and droughts driven by climate change which will further question allocations between water uses and the environment.
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Dates and versions

hal-03768949 , version 1 (05-09-2022)

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Josselin Rouillard, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo. Managing a common resource in agriculture: an overview of the French nested water allocation system. Water Resources Allocation and Agriculture, IWA Publishing, pp.105 - 116, 2022, ISBN: 9781789062779 (print) ISBN: 9781789062786 (eBook) ISBN: 9781789062793 (ePUB). ⟨10.2166/9781789062786_0105⟩. ⟨hal-03768949⟩

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