This paper examines awareness of groundwater formal and informal institutions among water users. The paper adopted sequential exploratory research design to collect quantitative and qualitative data. The sample size was 90 groundwater users, and 50% were women. Descriptive statistics, Kruskal Wallis H Test and Mann Whitney U Test were used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. The results show that 50% of the respondents showed average awareness of formal institutions whereas 70 and 57.7% showed high awareness of norms and values respectively. In addition, the results showed statistically significant difference on the extent of respondents’ awareness of water institutions (P=0.001) among low, medium and high categories. Furthermore, there was no significant difference on awareness of formal institutions between male and female respondents (P=0.403). The paper concludes high groundwater users’ awareness of informal institutions including norms and values than formal institutions mainly rules and regulations particularly Water Resource Management Acts. Therefore, the paper recommends endeavours to raise awareness of formal institutions at a local level because awareness of formal and informal institutions is equally important for groundwater governance.
Key words: Water users, awareness, formal institutions, informal institutions, governance, Tanzania.
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