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IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
5. Water Governance and Water Security
Author(s): Raphaèle Ducrot
Vilma Barban
Raphaèle Ducrot (1) , Vilma Barban (1) Corresponding author : UMR G-EAU / Cirad-ES. Visiting scientist IEA/USP Av Prof Luciano Gualberto, Travessa J, 374 Terreo ; Cidade Universitaria 05508-900 ; São Paulo - SP Bresil . Tel / Fax 00 55 11 3812 74

Keyword(s): periurban catchment, negotiation, role-playing game, companion modeling, land and water legislation

AbstractIn spite of the implementation since the 70’s of various legislation to control urbanization in the headwater catchment of the Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo (Brazil), illegal settlements without sanitation infrastructure have continued to spread. This expansion has led to a rapid degradation of water quality in the main water drinking reservoirs that provides 50 % of the domestic water supply of the city. In the last decade, the development of a new water governance framework based on the principles of integrated water management has strengthen the need for discussion between the different stakeholders and levels of management. But the efficiency of the legislation is undermined by functional difficulties faced by the committees. Their role as discussion platforms is weakened by important asymmetries in power and access to information between a fragmented and poorly represented civil society, powerful actors such as the water firm and the biggest municipalities, and the short-term electoral strategies of many municipalities. This contribution aims to discuss how the role of computerized role playing games to highlight how different are the preoccupation of actors representing the center and institutional sphere actively participating in the catchment committees and the local stakeholders, and the consequences of this discrepancies for development of sustainable solutions for the preservation of the headwater catchment. The role playing game Ter’Aguas, developed using a companion modelling approach has integrated the representations of local actors as well as institutional ones. It allows simulating the negotiations related to local planning including land and water infrastructure planning involving different actors. Players take decision concerning land market, land occupation and land use changes, as well as the development of urban infrastructures, taking into account social and economic factors. The simulated negotiations take place in the context of a legislation inspired from the specific catchment legislation that has just been approved, allowing simulating how this legislation could effectively be implemented. The game was played with the watershed committee and separately with representatives of peri-urban local actors including representatives of urban settlements, of local municipalities and of the water firm. There were huge discrepancies between the two of game sessions concerning the content and focus of the main negotiations. While institutional actors focused on the role of business activities and environmental police to control the urbanisation process and prevent the degradation of water quality, the discussion with local actors mostly focused on negotiation between land title regularisation and sanitation, based on the opportunities and constraints of the new legislation framework. They also tried unsuccessfully to use the speculation mechanisms. The difference is significative of the difficulties of institutional actors to identify and take into account the interests of local actors and reveals a top down approach of planning that may lead to failure in the implementation of the legislation. It raises questions about the possibility of finding efficient long term solutions to control the urbanisation process and water quality degradation in the headwater catchment of Sao Paulo.
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