Participatory Water Monitoring: A Guide for Preventing and Managing Conflict
The CAO has prepared this guide to be used as a design tool for communities, civil society organizations, corporations, and governments at both the subnational and national level that want to implement participatory water monitoring programs. The document provides a framework that can be used to develop a detailed implementation plan that meets the unique characteristics of each situation.
Participatory monitoring is one established and accepted way for the public to make informed decisions. Participatory methods have been applied to areas as diverse as monitoring revenue sharing and assessing forest impacts. Through the collection of data that is credible to multiple parties, participatory monitoring can become an essential instrument for generating trust. Thus, the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO) sees participatory monitoring as a way to reduce or avoid conflict and improve the results of development projects.
Participatory water monitoring can be especially important in helping prevent water-related conflicts that may arise in the extractive industry and large-scale agriculture sectors. Participatory water monitoring presents unique challenges, however, because of the complex and highly technical nature of assessing impacts to water and the controversy surrounding the competing demands that communities and industry place on water resources.