Knowing water better: towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources - KnoWat


The water tenure assessment methodology, developed through the KnoWat project, aims at identifying and analysing the diversity of water tenure arrangements that exist within a given water course such as river basin or other ‘assessment areas’. It seeks to shed light on the role that tenure plays in the management and use of water resources, and what impact it has on people’s food security and livelihoods. It will look at formal laws and policies, their implementation, and enforcement of rules by studying the de facto water tenure arrangements of people at local level.

The methodology foresees a balance between desk research, field work for data collection, trainings and participatory consultations with local people depending on water for their livelihoods, decision makers and national stakeholders. 

The water tenure assessment is characterized by six steps which are as follows: 

  • Step 1 - A preparatory phase the assessment team is assembled and trained, the potential scope of the water tenure assessment, is assessed and preliminary research on the legal framework is undertaken.
  • Step 2 - A scoping phase to present the initial findings to key stakeholders and on the scope of the water tenure assessment.
  • Step 3 - A research phase including legal research on formal and customary water tenure arrangements, as well as a field research on water tenure arrangements that are not defined by formal law. A water governance research will collect auxiliary information to help assess the water tenure systems, such as implementation of formal water tenure arrangements. 
  • Step 4 - An analysis phase to analyze and compare the water tenure arrangements based on a methodological toolkit.
  • Step 5 – A validation phase to present findings of the water tenure assessment to key stakeholders for feedback.
  • Step 6 – A reporting phase to prepare a final water tenure assessment report and summary, including conclusions and recommendations. 

If you wish to receive a copy of the guide, please contact us at [email protected] and we will send you a copy of the working document before the final publication.

Share this page