Shiga University Research Center for Sustainability and Environment in collaboration with International Lake Environment Committee iILECj and the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Shiga Prefecture, Japan

Lakes in Japan are generally subjected to multiple basin management plans developed and implemented by governmental sectors, including lake water quality conservation, sewerage systems, and river infrastructure development. On the other hand, information sharing through citizen participation also has played an increasingly important role in achieving the steady improvement of water quality and ecosystem integrity. Over the course of the project duration, various governance issues and challenges will be addressed with regard to lakes in Japan, including Lake Suwa, lakes in Northern Kanto (Lakes Kasumigaura, Inbanuma, and Teganuma), Lakes Shinji and Nakaumi, and Lake Saroma. Consultations with relevant organizations and individual have been conducted for the purpose of gaining a greater understanding of the lake basin characteristics and their governance challenges. As an example, the major issues and challenges in governance in the case of Lake Suwa have been improvements in the once totally-degraded lake water quality, with social mobilization of the shoreline communities. In the case of the Northern Kanto lakes, the issues and challenges have encompassed the management of highly-competed water resources, extremely complex river systems with flood and drought control needs, and demanding qualities of water across jurisdictions. In regard to Lake Nakaumi, the major governance issues is social mobilization for restoration of the entire lake, once the target of a failed attempt by the government to transform its brackish water to freshwater for irrigation purposes.

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