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A Street View of Groundwater Policymaking and Management in Azraq, Jordan

Al-Amin, Hoor; Evers, Jaap; Hermans, Leon; (2024) A Street View of Groundwater Policymaking and Management in Azraq, Jordan. Water Alternatives , 17 (1) , Article A17-1-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Groundwater management is a complex task that includes a multitude of actors. It is even more complicated in water scarce countries with less well-established formal water governance structures. In these settings, local government officers have been recognised for their essential role in groundwater management. Often, their role is described as problematic, with officers being under-resourced, under-motivated and, at times, corrupt. In this paper we zoom in on these street-level bureaucrats in Azraq, one of the most depleted groundwater basins in Jordan. Based on inputs from officers, farmers, and sector experts, we collate and analyse information on how the settings in which local officers work influence their day-to-day implementation of policies. We observe that officers in Azraq are heavily influenced by the context in which they operate. This context is characterised by the physical scarcity of groundwater, the formal policy setting, and the presence of the shadow state. The context shapes local officers’ relationships with farmers, their own personal beliefs and subjectivities, and their capacity and resources. As a result, their divergent actions arguably become the groundwater management policy. Based on these findings, we argue that a deeper understanding is needed of the underlying factors and drivers that shape local groundwater management if we are to arrive at better groundwater policy for a more sustainable future.

Type: Article
Title: A Street View of Groundwater Policymaking and Management in Azraq, Jordan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.water-alternatives.org/index.php/alldo...
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Groundwater management, street-level bureaucrats, policymaking, shadow state, Jordan
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188964
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