Comparative Evaluation of the Water Taking Permit and Compliance Management System in Four Case Studies

Zhang, Xiao
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University of Guelph

The status of water quantity is a major concern across the world. Many countries are experiencing increasing demand and a changing climate, resulting in droughts and floods that have threatened human lives and economic losses. By conducting a document review, observation and in-depth interviews, the researcher summarized water permitting systems in the cases of England, Minnesota, Ontario and Gansu province. The analysis and assessment of four permitting systems were accomplished by the means of five criteria (efficiency, effectiveness, equity, accountability and transparency) and three rankings (high, moderate, low). The results showed the structure and distribution of authority and responsibility varies widely. The operation of water permitting systems as a key resource planning instrument differs among jurisdictions with strengths and weaknesses. This research concludes that effective management, sufficient communication and advanced technology construct “best practices”. Recommendations on “best practices” can be adopted by jurisdictions to develop the effective water quantity management systems.

water quantity, water permitting system, “best practice”