in: Bogardi / Gupta / Nadalal / Salamé / van Nooijen / Kumar / Tingsanchali / Bhaduri / Kolechkina, Handbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples, Cham: Springer, 253-272
Failure at multiple levels of governance rather than the resource base itself is at the origin of the water crisis. Despite increasing scholarly research on water governance and efforts towards policy reform the overall situation has not substantially improved and major transformations in water governance are yet to be implemented. The chapter summarises and addresses multi-level and multi-sectoral challenges for water governance by reviewing and discussing several key concepts in science and policy. An analysis of basin scale approaches and their effectiveness and a discussion of the importance of scale and of multi-level governance approaches shows that crossing boundaries is essential to tackle complexities of sustainable water governance and management. The concept of the WEF nexus is introduced and critically analysed concerning its potential to overcome sectoral fragmentation and sectoral power imbalances. Crossing boundaries also implies governance across national borders. The sub-chapters on transboundary water management and on global water governance address these international and global dimensions. Overall, the chapter highlights from different perspectives the importance of linking and of governing across scales from the local to the international and global.