The potential for improved water management using a legal social contract
This review examines the proposed social contract to improve water management in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand. This contract defines expectations of resource access and use, forming a boundary of responsibility between entitlement holder and society. The type of expectations may range from community wellbeing to freedom of private interests. In effect, this creates a tension between other regarding action for resource stewardship and the freedom to self-manage a resource entitlement with minimal accountability. The tension is embedded in western liberal legal frameworks that simultaneously seek enforcement of stewardship obligations while protecting the freedom of private interests in resources. In Canterbury a collaborative resource management strategy for water, supporting a legal social contract shows the tension in practice.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordswater management; Canterbury; social contract; resource management; freshwater access; irrigators; sustainability
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