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Local forms of water governance: A cross-analysis of two Mediterranean irrigation systems Volume 20, issue 2, avril-mai-juin 2009

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IRD UMR "Gestion de l’eau, acteurs, usages" Maison des sciences de l’eau 300 avenue E. Jeanbrau BP 64501 34394 Montpellier cedex 5 France

This paper deals with the institutional innovations introduced by State agents in the field of community-based water management. Through the history of irrigation management in two user communities from the Mediterranean mountains, we illustrate the way in which State agents "participate" in community water management. The concept of "local water governance" defined as a mechanism of regulation associating State agents and water users leads us to define collective management as an articulation and integration of rules and organisational forms emanating from different sources.