Conflicts over water are a common feature in closing basins and the difficulties in resolving them provide a serious barrier for the formulation of an effective IWRM strategy. Understanding the specifics of a conflict, including its dynamics and its evolution, provides an essential basis for subsequent efforts towards conflict resolution. Since conflicts are driven by interests and values of stakeholders, insight into the values underlying conflicts may further help the identification of promising ways to resolve them. Especially the latter is of crucial importance, as the identification of effective solutions to conflicts still remains more of an art than a craft. This paper discusses the use of two analytic frameworks that support a better understanding of local conflicts over water: conflict analysis and value-focused thinking. It illustrates the use of these frameworks to analyse local water conflicts in a closed sub-catchment in Tanzania. It shows how these frameworks support the identification of solutions that can help local stakeholders to “create value” in closing basins. On the basis of this illustrative analysis, the paper argues that these two frameworks deserve a wider use in the field of local water management.
CIRAD Workshop on Water Resource Management for Local Development: Governance, Institutions and Policies, 08-11 November 2004, Aventura, Loskop Dam, South Africa, pp. 15