Groundwater governance is a necessary condition for groundwater management that in turn improves access to clean and safe drinking water. However, it is one of the developmental issues, which has not been addressed squarely in Tanzania. Using governance principles, we explored groundwater governance in Njombe district where water for domestic use depends on groundwater source. The study used cross-sectional research design by adopting a mixed method approach with a random sample of 250 respondents. It also involved 32 Focus Group Discussion (FGDs) participants and 9 governance actors at a district and community levels. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to summarize descriptive statistics while qualitative data were subjected to the content analysis. The results show that five out of eight governance principles namely: accountability, transparency, collaboration, rule of law and responsiveness were not practised effectively because of poor knowledge among the governance actors. To that effect, the practice of governance principles was poor translating into poor groundwater management. Therefore, district authorities should build capacity on good governance to all groundwater governance actors recognized by the law. This helps practise governance principles effectively for groundwater management.
Key words: Groundwater governance, actors, Njombe District, Tanzania.
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