Document Type


Publication Date



In this article, three countries' experiences with decentralized water resources management are profiled. Comparative analysis provides an illustration of some of the challenges that countries may face when implementing decentralized water laws and policies. In particular, the case studies demonstrate that income levels and financial resources play a significant role in the success of decentralized water resources management. In Haiti, decentralization policies have been largely ineffective, as statutory authorization for water resources management at both national and local levels has not been coupled with the financial or human resources required to effectively manage water resources. A similar story is being played out in Rwanda, though coordination efforts between the national and local governments have managed to overcome typical challenges faced by developing states. By contrast, the ideals of the principle of subsidiarity are well represented in the United States, where the state of Florida has established powerful integrated water resources management structures to balance the needs of water users. Haiti, Rwanda, and Florida have been selected for detailed study because they offer varied and