This study focuses on tht profound institutional transformation of the water authority ( waterschap) in the past fifty years. The number of water authorities was reduced from over 2,600 to 26, while never before in the water authority's long history, were the changes with respect to the organisation of its tasks , its funding and the composition and election of its board as dramatic as in the past fifty years. The Water Authrities (Modernisation) Act , which came into force late in 2007, constituted the final stage of this transformation. The study is based on the following three questions : -what institutional form will the water authority have after the enactment of the Water Authorities (Modernisation) Act? -does the historical context of the water authority provide an explanation for this institutional form and would it be possible to firther improve this form? -will the water authority have a raison d'etre in the future , in light of its historical development? These questions are answered by dividing the study into three sections. Firstly, we gave an account of the profound institutional transformation of the water authority in the past fifty years and of the changes envisaged in the near future as a result of the Water Authorities (Modernisation ) Act. Secondly, we analysed this highly fundamental recent amendment of the law and we put forward specific proposals for improvement or further research. Thirdly, and finally, we answered the ever-present question of the raison d'etre of the water authority , as it was asked in the past decades. This answer is based on the framework for analysis, presented in chapter 11, which is founded on the building stones presented in the preceding chapters. This framework for analysis has shown that the water authority, more than other public authorities (centarl government, provinces and municipalities) is an appropriate and sensible way to institutionalise regional and local water management. The study can be of social relevance to the organisation of public authorities in general and (regional and local) public water management in particular. Although the study focuses primarily on the situation in the Netherlands , the set up of the analysis would allow it to be used for further reflections on ' good water governance ' anywhere else in the world. The worldwide waterproblems ask for good water governance
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