Adaptive Water Management: On the Need for Using the Post-WWII Science in Water Governance.

Hjorth, Pder and Madani, Kaveh, (2023). Adaptive Water Management: On the Need for Using the Post-WWII Science in Water Governance.. Water Resour Manage, 37(6-7), 2247-2270

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Hjorth, Pder
    Madani, Kaveh
    Title Adaptive Water Management: On the Need for Using the Post-WWII Science in Water Governance.
    Appearing in Water Resour Manage
    Volume 37
    Issue No. 6-7
    Publication Date 2023-01-02
    Place of Publication Netherlands
    Publisher Springer
    Start page 2247
    End page 2270
    Language eng
    Abstract Although the UN concluded, already in 1997, that water would be the most contentious issue of the 21st century, water governance is still confused, nearly everywhere. Even the severe impacts of escalating water bankruptcy and global warming have so far failed to incur a marked improvement in governance systems. The global community has adopted sustainable development as a common vision and guide for the future. Yet, the adoption of the underlying principles of sustainable development has been slow in the water sector and elsewhere. Despite the realization that water governance is a political issue, the near-universal neoliberal agenda tends to only employ technologic and economic solutions to address water problems. This paper presents a historical overview, from the end of the Second World War (WWII) and onwards, of events that could, or should, have had an impact on water management frameworks. It evidences some important consequences of the institutional rigidity exposed during that period. The paper also turns to the fields of science, policy, and management, to pinpoint failures in the translation of political rhetoric as well as new scientific findings into change at the operational level. It explores how an updated knowledge base could serve a quest for sustainable water governance strategies. It is argued that a persistent failure to learn is an important reason behind the dire state that we are now in. As a result, water management is still based on century-old, technocratic, and instrumental methodologies that fail to take advantage of important scientific advancements since WWII and remain unable to properly deal with real-world complexities and uncertainties. The paper concludes that when it is linked to a transformation of the institutional superstructure, adaptive water management (AWM), a framework rooted in systems thinking, emerges as a prominent way to embark on a needed, radical transformation of the water governance systems.
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 1573-1650
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    Created: Sat, 30 Sep 2023, 06:04:55 JST by Věra Greschner Farkavcová on behalf of UNU FLORES