Inderscience Publishers

Integrated urban water governance in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: changes and inertias

This contribution intends to contribute to the analysis of changes in the model of water governance in Belo Horizonte. The first part of the article explores how different theories concerning governance can be interpreted in different ways and, based on this, develops three water governance models: 1) the previous centralised model; 2) the traditional normative model; 3) the currently implemented model. The second part of the contribution focuses on understanding the changes and inertias that occurred in the city from the perspective of three domains, namely, decentralisation, participation and integration. It is shown that, from an historical institutional viewpoint, policy choices made in the past have acted as constraints over future options (application of path dependency theory). The analysis may contribute to understanding the changes in policies within the water sector. The empirical analysis presented leads to the conclusion that the changes in governance were not sufficient to radically transform the management principles applied in practice.

Keywords: integrated urban water management, IUWM, integrated water management, water supply, sanitation, integration, decentralisation, local power, participation, Brazil

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