Keywords: water governance, devolution, regulatory compliance, monitoring, enforcement, scale, Canada, United States, USA, non-compliance, water users, effective enforcement, local regulations, regulatory awareness, expense, normative values, enforcement style, biophysical fit
Groundwater governance: explaining regulatory non-compliance
This paper explores the non-compliance of water users through a case study of groundwater resources in the Gulf Islands (British Columbia (BC)) and the San Juan Islands (Washington). The research challenges two assumptions: that local regulations can easily incorporate scientific research, which in turn leads to sound on-the-ground management; that sound on-the-ground management translates into effective enforcement at the local level. The authors suggest that non-compliance is a function of several intervening factors previously identified in the literature – regulatory awareness, expense, normative values, enforcement style – as well as one which has not yet been explored: biophysical fit.