Understanding uptake of community groundwater monitoring in rural Brazil Academic Article uri icon


  • Resource monitoring is often cited as important for effective common pool resources management. In practice, not all monitoring interventions are successful, particularly when the resource, such as groundwater, is challenging to monitor and measure. We conducted a field experiment on groundwater monitoring in CearĂ¡, Brazil, where communities are increasingly reliant on groundwater yet do not engage in monitoring. Despite careful implementation, uptake of monitoring within the 80 treatment communities was low. To unpack this low uptake, we conduct multimethods exploratory research. We find that uptake is less likely in communities facing high coordination costs, either within the community leadership or across the broader community. Uptake is also less likely when there are physical barriers to monitoring, when there are more substitutes for groundwater, and when there is lower variability in water availability. Our findings can inform future monitoring interventions in similar contexts worldwide.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

altmetric score

  • 12.4

author list (cited authors)

  • Cooperman, A., McLarty, A. R., & Seim, B

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Cooperman, Alicia||McLarty, Alexandra R||Seim, Brigitte

publication date

  • July 2021