Collaborative water governance in Burgeo, Newfoundland and Labrador: challenges, successes, and opportunities

Kanyangarara, Rumbidzai Rufaro (2023) Collaborative water governance in Burgeo, Newfoundland and Labrador: challenges, successes, and opportunities. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (3MB)


Water—a finite natural resource—is complex, thus greater stakeholder representation is encouraged in decision-making. Collaborative governance processes, through which diverse actors pool resources and share responsibilities to effectively solve problems that they could not solve independently, have gained popularity as tools for effective water governance. In 2015, Burgeo lifted a long-term boil water advisory, and this was a shared effort between the Town of Burgeo and its staff, the residents of Burgeo, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada, and other actors. Despite achieving this milestone, Burgeo continues to face other water-related concerns, including water overuse and high concentrations of certain contaminants. These newer concerns indicate a need for further collaboration to achieve positive water-related outcomes for Burgeo’s water security. This study sought to explore collaborative water governance in Burgeo by examining the interactions, particularly communication and coordination, between the various actors who have been involved in attempting to provide clean, safe drinking water to the residents. An exploratory case study was developed, and data were collected from a range of sources including existing literature, secondary documents, and semi-structured interviews. A collaborative governance framework was developed to aid data collection and analysis. Drivers of collaborative governance in Burgeo included knowledge-power-resource asymmetries, prehistory of cooperation, and new water concerns. Knowledge-power-resource imbalances were also identified as challenges to successful collaboration, while facilitative leadership and conflict resolution strategies required improvement. The more resources and knowledge an actor/group possessed, the more power they had to influence decision-making in their favour. These power imbalances, in turn, impacted trust and the extent to which certain actors/groups felt that their contributions were valid and valued.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15849
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 194-224)
Keywords: collaborative governance, water, Burgeo, NL, communication and coordination
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Grenfell Campus > School of Arts and Social Science > Environmental Studies
Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Studies
Date: January 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Water security--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burgeo; Rural--Government policy--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burgeo; Natural resources--Co-management

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics