Water is essential for economic growth, human health, and the environment. Yet governments around the world face significant challenges in managing their water resources effectively. The problems are multiple and complex: billions of people are still without access to safe water and adequate sanitation; competition for water is increasing among the different uses and users; and major investment is required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. This OECD series on water provides policy analysis and guidance on the economic, financial and governance aspects of water resources management. These aspects generally lie at the heart of the water problem and hold the key to unlocking the policy puzzle.
This report addresses multilevel governance challenges in water policy in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) and identifies good practices for co-ordinating water across ministries, between levels of government, and across local and regional actors. Based on the OECD Multilevel Governance Framework and a survey on water governance, the report i) maps the allocation of roles and responsibilities in 13 LAC countries’ water policy at central government and sub-national level; ii) identifies the main coordination "gaps" in terms of territorial and institutional fragmentation, funding mismatch, information asymmetry, accountability, objectives and capacity, and iii) provides a range of mechanisms to improve water governance at all levels and foster capacity-building.