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Kart og Plan;73 (5)
This paper examines participation in water management, more specifically in implementing the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Norway. Attainment of the goals of the WFD depends on new ways of coordinating the activities, knowledge and resources of many sectors and levels of government, including the private sector. The WFD explicitly emphasizes broad stakeholder involvement and public participation. The new network arena of River Basin District Water Boards at the regional level and Sub-District Boards at the sub-regional level, cut across existing municipal, regional and national borders. In each River Basin District, broad reference groups are established. Through surveys and qualitative case studies, we examine how this norm of participation is operationalized in the River Basin Districts, and how different actors evaluate it. We find that the reference grou ps have mobilized many actors from civil society and the private sector, but they do not report having influe nce. The role of the reference group is unclear.
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