Water Demand Management as Governance: Lessons from the Middle East and South Africa

  • David B. Brooks
  • Sarah Wolfe


Reviews of water demand management in the Middle East and in South Africa, two of the most water-challenged areas of the world, show that water demand management is occurring in almost all nations, but without the breadth or strength that is required by their increasingly difficult water situation. It is not absent as a policy goal, but it remains secondary to supply management and very much secondary to reducing government expenditures. There is therefore great scope for further analytical work on water demand management and even greater scope for work on ways to promote its adoption. What is needed above all is to treat water demand management not just as a technology to apply or a program to deliver but as a form of governance — indeed, a form that is as critical to improving social, economic and environmental conditions as it is to saving water. Application of this governance concept to Israel and Palestine shows the need for new institutions for water demand management, and that both existing and new policies need to be formulated in order for water demand management to play the role that it should.


Governance Israel Palestine South Africa water conservation water demand management 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Brooks
    • 1
  • Sarah Wolfe
    • 2
  1. 1.Friends of the Earth CanadaOttawa
  2. 2.Department of Environment and Resource StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterloo

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