Mieux connaître l’eau: vers un accès plus équitable et plus durable aux ressources naturelles - KnoWat

Getting to Know Water Tenure

Water tenure, like any other type of tenure, is a social construct. Water tenure can be defined as “the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, between people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources” (Hodgson 2016; FAO 2020).  It determines how people obtain rights to water resources right that can include the rights to access, impound, use, and manage water, rights to have access to information and participate in decisions on water resources management. 

To ensure an equitable distribution to all legitimate  rights holders and protect natural ecosystems, it is important that existing water tenure arrangements are coherent, and all legitimate tenure rights recognized by national legislation. 

Water tenure arrangements can be very complex and vary considerably, including within the same country, according to local and social practices, traditions and status, the  geography, the environment and the livelihoods practiced. Different water tenure arrangements may coexist and/or overlap in the same region, and water tenure holders  may be part of more than one water tenure arrangement.

Share this page