Motivation, robustness and benefits of water commons: Insights from small drinking water supply systems




water governance, water cooperatives, community water management, community water cooperatives, Ostrom's Design Principles, local water resources management, Slovenia


The article addresses the governance of water commons with an emphasis on drinking water. The study applied two conceptual frameworks: Ostrom's Design Principles and the Social-Ecological Systems framework. The empirical part refers to two water commons in Slovenia and is based on qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with locals and professionals. The article follows three objectives: 1) to identify the drivers and motivations for successful local water governance; 2) to assess the robustness of water commons in terms of current and future challenges; 3) to identify the benefits of water commons. The key elements for the functioning of the two local communities under examination are shared interests, as well as a strong commitment to effective management. In addition to the material benefits (i.e. drinking water supply), non-material ones are also important. Community building and identity are particularly noteworthy. The importance of small drinking water supply systems that are well organised and responsibly governed as commons is beneficial not only to a municipality but also to a country.


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How to Cite

Pipan, P., Šmid Hribar, M., & Urbanc, M. (2023). Motivation, robustness and benefits of water commons: Insights from small drinking water supply systems. Acta Geographica Slovenica, 63(3), 85–100.