Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA) and its governance has received increased attention as a policy concern across the globe. Mitigation of DWPA is a complex problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and a multi-agency, broad societal response. In this paper, opportunities and barriers for developing co-governance, defined as collaborative societal involvement in the functions of government, and its suitability for mitigation of DWPA are reviewed using seven case studies in Europe (Poland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK), Australia (Murray-Darling Basin) and North America (State of Minnesota). An analytical framework for assessing opportunities and barriers of co-governance was developed and applied in this review. Results indicated that five key issues constitute both opportunities and barriers, and include: (i) pressure for change; (ii) connected governance structures and allocation of resources and funding; (iii) leadership and establishment of partnerships through capacity building; (iv) use and co-production of knowledge; and (v) time commitment to develop water co-governance.
- Collaborative governance
- Decentralized decision-making
- Non-point source pollution
- Nutrient management
- Water governance
- Programme Area 2: Water Resources