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Special Issue "Water Governance in Times of Change: Perceptions, Institutions, Praxis and Learning"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tim Smith

1 Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558, Australia
2 Adjunct Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-7-5459-4891
Fax: +61-7-5456-5008
Interests: water governance; coastal management; climate change adaptation; geography; sustainability
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ryan Plummer

1 Professor and Chancellor's Chair in Research Excellence Director, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre Brock University St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
2 Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden
3 Adjunct Professor, Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 1-905-688-5550 Ext. 4782
Interests: novel governance strategies and social-ecological systems; adaptive co-management; adaptation and adaptive capacity; community-based natural resource management; integrated resource management; social capital and social learning; resilience and vulnerability
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ray Ison

1 Professor of Systems Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) Program Engineering & Innovation Department Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology The Open University Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA UK
2 Professor, Systems for Sustainability Program Leader, Systemic Governance Research Program Monash Sustainability Institute Monash University, Clayton Victoria, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Social-ecological systems; catchment management; social learning; public policy; climate change
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Neil Powell

1 Professor Uppsala University Villavägen 16, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
2 CRN Professorial Fellow Sustainability Research Centre University of the Sunshine Coast Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +4618-471 3852
Interests: soft systems methodologies; social learning; water governance dilemmas; adaptation and vulnerability; ecosystem goods and services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water governance is influenced by complex and increasingly dynamic interplay between various social-ecological factors. Contributing to effective water governance in times of complexity and change are issues associated with perceptions of resilience, institutional arrangements, praxis, and learning. This Special Issue aims to contribute knowledge on these issues of water governance through place-based case studies throughout the world, and, in particular, lessons for water governance in Europe.

Prof. Dr. Tim Smith
Prof. Dr. Ryan Plummer
Prof. Dr. Ray Ison
Prof. Dr. Neil Powell
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water governance
  • resilience
  • institutions
  • praxis
  • learning

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Water Security in Times of Climate Change and Intractability: Reconciling Conflict by Transforming Security Concerns into Equity Concerns
Water 2017, 9(12), 934; doi:10.3390/w9120934
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract
This paper considers how to achieve equitable water governance and the flow-on effects it has in terms of supporting sustainable development, drawing on case studies from the international climate change adaptation and governance project (CADWAGO). Water governance, like many other global issues, is
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This paper considers how to achieve equitable water governance and the flow-on effects it has in terms of supporting sustainable development, drawing on case studies from the international climate change adaptation and governance project (CADWAGO). Water governance, like many other global issues, is becoming increasingly intractable (wicked) with climate change and is, by the international community, being linked to instances of threats to human security, the war in the Sudanese Darfur and more recently the acts of terrorism perpetuated by ISIS. In this paper, we ask the question: how can situations characterized by water controversy (exacerbated by the uncertainties posed by climate change) be reconciled? The main argument is based on a critique of the way the water security discourse appropriates expert (normal) claims about human-biophysical relationships. When water challenges become increasingly securitized by the climate change discourse it becomes permissible to enact processes that legitimately transgress normative positions through post-normal actions. In contrast, the water equity discourse offers an alternative reading of wicked and post-normal water governance situations. We contend that by infusing norm critical considerations into the process of securitization, new sub-national constellations of agents will be empowered to enact changes; thereby bypassing vicious cycles of power brokering that characterize contemporary processes intended to address controversies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Re-Staging La Rasgioni: Lessons Learned from Transforming a Traditional Form of Conflict Resolution to Engage Stakeholders in Agricultural Water Governance
Water 2017, 9(4), 297; doi:10.3390/w9040297
Received: 20 November 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents an informal process inspired by a public practice of conflict mediation used until a few decades ago in Gallura (NE Sardinia, Italy), named La Rasgioni (The Reason). The aim is twofold: (i) to introduce an innovative method that translates the
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This paper presents an informal process inspired by a public practice of conflict mediation used until a few decades ago in Gallura (NE Sardinia, Italy), named La Rasgioni (The Reason). The aim is twofold: (i) to introduce an innovative method that translates the complexity of water-related conflicts into a “dialogical tool”, aimed at enhancing social learning by adopting theatrical techniques; and (ii) to report the outcomes that emerged from the application of this method in Arborea, the main dairy cattle district and the only nitrate-vulnerable zone in Sardinia, to mediate contrasting positions between local entrepreneurs and representatives of the relevant institutions. We discuss our results in the light of four pillars, adopted as research lenses in the International research Project CADWAGO (Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance), which consider the specific “social–ecological” components of the Arborea system, climate change adaptability in water governance institutions and organizations, systemic governance (relational) practices, and governance learning. The combination of the four CADWAGO pillars and La Rasgioni created an innovative dialogical space that enabled stakeholders and researchers to collectively identify barriers and opportunities for effective governance practices. Potential wider implications and applications of La Rasgioni process are also discussed in the paper. Full article
Open AccessArticle Societal Drivers of European Water Governance: A Comparison of Urban River Restoration Practices in France and Germany
Water 2017, 9(3), 206; doi:10.3390/w9030206
Received: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
The European water governance took a decisive turn with the formulation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which demands the restoration of all water bodies that did not achieve sufficient ecological status. Urban rivers are particularly impaired by human activities and their restorations
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The European water governance took a decisive turn with the formulation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which demands the restoration of all water bodies that did not achieve sufficient ecological status. Urban rivers are particularly impaired by human activities and their restorations are motivated by multiple ecological and societal drivers, such as requirements of laws and legislation, and citizen needs for a better quality of life. In this study we investigated the relative influence of socio-political and socio-cultural drivers on urban river restorations by comparing projects of different policy contexts and cultural norms to cross-fertilize knowledge. A database of 75 projects in French and German major cities was compiled to apply (a) a comparative statistical analysis of main project features, i.e., motivation, goals, measures, morphological status, and project date; and (b) a qualitative textual analysis on project descriptions and titles. The results showed that despite a powerful European directive, urban river restoration projects still keep national specificities. The WFD drives with more intensity German, rather than French, urban river restoration. This study showed the limits of macro-level governance and the influence of microlevel governance driven by societal aspects such as nature perception and relationships between humans and rivers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Where There Is No History: How to Create Trust and Connection in Learning for Transformation in Water Governance
Water 2017, 9(2), 130; doi:10.3390/w9020130
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
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Abstract
Trust is often seen as an important element in settings of knowledge sharing and the co-creation of knowledge for dealing with transformations in water governance. However, seemingly similar conversations during a co-creation workshop in Uppsala resulted in both trust and distrust, and thereby
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Trust is often seen as an important element in settings of knowledge sharing and the co-creation of knowledge for dealing with transformations in water governance. However, seemingly similar conversations during a co-creation workshop in Uppsala resulted in both trust and distrust, and thereby influenced consequent possibilities for the co-creation of knowledge. Therefore, this article focuses on how trust influences knowledge sharing and how knowledge sharing influences trust. We use a case study approach to analyze the Uppsala co-creation workshop—part of the Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance (CADWAGO) project—by comparing 25 conversations, making use of theories on swift trust and trust dynamics. We found four different conversation patterns (1) sending; (2) defending; (3) misunderstanding; and (4) connecting. The first three patterns influenced trust negatively and did not lead to knowledge sharing, whereas pattern four showed trust development and co-creation of knowledge. From our comparative analyses, we conclude that trust starts to emerge when there is mutual openness and empathy visible in turn-taking patterns. More specifically, trust emerges when communication styles allow for recognition and exploring underlying needs and wishes, resulting in a more dynamic dialogue, further trust development, and connection between actors. Our list of conversation patterns is provisional but we argue that understanding how different kinds of interactions can lead to trust or distrust is crucial to understanding why and how learning takes place—insights that are essential for fostering learning and transformations in water governance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Building a Foundation for Knowledge Co-Creation in Collaborative Water Governance: Dimensions of Stakeholder Networks Facilitated through Bridging Organizations
Water 2017, 9(1), 60; doi:10.3390/w9010060
Received: 8 October 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainable governance of water resources relies on processes of multi-stakeholder collaborations and interactions that facilitate the sharing and integration of diverse sources and types of knowledge. In this context, it is essential to fully recognize the importance of fostering and enhancing critical
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The sustainable governance of water resources relies on processes of multi-stakeholder collaborations and interactions that facilitate the sharing and integration of diverse sources and types of knowledge. In this context, it is essential to fully recognize the importance of fostering and enhancing critical connections within and between networks of relationships between different government and non-government agencies, as well as the dynamics that are in support of the development of new knowledge and practices. In Quebec, a network of watershed organizations (WOs) has been put in place to serve as bridging organizations (BOs) for stakeholder groups in their watershed territories. Using the WOs as a case study, this research aims to contribute to a greater understanding of how stakeholder groups can be effectively connected to support knowledge co-creation through networked relationships facilitated by BOs. In line with this overall research aim, the following research objectives are proposed: (1) to assess the quality of the knowledge that is developed and shared through the WOs and their stakeholder networks; (2) to determine the characteristics of stakeholders participating in the WOs’ networks that either hinder or support collaborations and knowledge co-creation; (3) to describe the collaborative processes and mechanisms through which the WOs facilitate stakeholder interactions and knowledge co-creation; and (4) to assess the quality of the relationships and interactions between stakeholders participating in the WOs’ collaborative networks. A comprehensive literature review is provided of collaborative network dimensions that are in support of knowledge co-creation that forms the foundation of a research framework to assess knowledge co-creation processes that are facilitated through BOs and their collaborative networks. Documented experiences have been gathered through face-to-face semi-structured interviews, as well as a Quebec-wide survey distributed to all WOs and their staff. A total of 41 interviews were conducted, of which nine interviews were with staff members of six selected WOs. Stakeholder perspectives were captured through 33 interviews with diverse stakeholders from three of the six selected WOs. Additionally, interviews were also conducted with five decision makers at the Quebec provincial government level. The findings of this study point to some key challenges and constraints for the effective facilitation of collaboration and knowledge co-creation through the Quebec WOs and their stakeholder networks. Through diverse collaborative mechanisms, most WOs have, to an extent, succeeded in creating opportunities for learning through a renewed sense making of different practices (and related identities) through the development of their watershed master plans, as well as through the facilitation of new communicative connections and translation efforts between diverse stakeholder groups. Key challenges to their effectiveness have been relating to a limited capacity and resources, limited territory-wide impacts, as well as limited perceived legitimacy that hindered the WOs as BOs in their ability to facilitate effective knowledge co-creation. Areas for further research to overcome these challenges are in developing a greater understanding of how BOs can optimize resources and capacities available in their collaborative networks through, e.g., the development of boundary-crossing leaders and competences, as well as the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water Governance in England: Improving Understandings and Practices through Systemic Co-Inquiry
Water 2016, 8(11), 540; doi:10.3390/w8110540
Received: 9 August 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In 2015, water governance in England finds itself part way through perhaps the most significant changes since the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Each of the changes is a response to the specific challenges that fall within the realm of improving
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In 2015, water governance in England finds itself part way through perhaps the most significant changes since the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Each of the changes is a response to the specific challenges that fall within the realm of improving water governance. However, they also raise many questions: How will the changes play out in practice? Will they work together to form a coherent ’whole’? Can collaborative and competitive approaches really co-exist? This research aims to engage researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in a systemic co-inquiry in order to improve understandings and practices in relation to water governance in England. The two workshops undertaken as part of the research focused on the current and future water governance situation in England, respectively. The findings from the workshops demonstrate that the systemic co-inquiry process generally proved very successful and useful for this group of stakeholders. The workshops provided the opportunity for participants to share, explore and challenge their ideas, knowledge and experiences in water governance; and in doing so, they brought about shared understandings, revealed new insights and identified concerted actions to improve (transform) water governance. However, it is recognised that whilst significant progress has been made towards improving understanding and practices in relation to water governance in England, there is still further work required in order to implement these improvements on a local, national or global scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perceptions of Present and Future Climate Change Impacts on Water Availability for Agricultural Systems in the Western Mediterranean Region
Water 2016, 8(11), 523; doi:10.3390/w8110523
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many Mediterranean countries have experienced water shortages during the last 20 years and future climate change projections foresee further pressure on water resources. This will have significant implications for irrigation water management in agricultural systems in the future. Through qualitative and quantitative empirical
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Many Mediterranean countries have experienced water shortages during the last 20 years and future climate change projections foresee further pressure on water resources. This will have significant implications for irrigation water management in agricultural systems in the future. Through qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods carried out on a case study on four Mediterranean farming systems located in Oristano, Italy, we sought to understand the relationship between farmers’ perceptions of climate change (i.e., increased temperature and decreased precipitation) and of present and future water availability for agriculture as forecasted by climatic and crop models. We also explored asymmetries between farmers’ perceptions and present and future climate change and water scenarios as well as factors influencing perceptions. Our hypotheses were that farmers’ perceptions are the main drivers of actual water management practices and that sustainable practices can emerge from learning spaces designed from the understanding of the gaps between perceptions and scientific evidences. Results showed that most farmers perceived that climate change is occurring or will occur in their area. They also perceived that there has been an increased temperature trend, but also increased precipitation. Therefore, they are convinced that they have and will have enough irrigation water for agriculture in the near future, while climate change projections foresee an increasing pressure on water resources in the Mediterranean region. Such results suggest the need for (i) irrigation management policies that take into account farmers’ perceptions in order to promote virtuous behaviors and improve irrigation water use efficiency; (ii) new, well-designed learning spaces to improve the understanding on climate change expectations in the near future in order to support effective adaptive responses at the farm and catchment scales. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Learning for Transformation of Water Governance: Reflections on Design from the Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance (CADWAGO) Project
Water 2016, 8(11), 510; doi:10.3390/w8110510
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper considers how learning for transformation of water governance in the context of climate change adaptation can be designed for and supported, drawing examples from the international climate change adaptation and water governance project (CADWAGO). The project explicitly set out to design
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This paper considers how learning for transformation of water governance in the context of climate change adaptation can be designed for and supported, drawing examples from the international climate change adaptation and water governance project (CADWAGO). The project explicitly set out to design for governance learning in the sense of developing elements of social infrastructure such as workshops, performances and online media to bring stakeholders together and to facilitate co-learning of relevance to governance. CADWAGO drew on a variety of international cases from past and ongoing work of the project partners. It created a forum for dialogue among actors from different contexts working at different levels and scales. The range of opportunities and constraints encountered are discussed, including the principles and practicalities of working with distributed processes of design and leadership of events. A range of concepts, tools and techniques were used to consider and facilitate individual and collective learning processes and outcomes associated with water governance in the context of climate adaptation. Questions were addressed about how elements of past, present and future water governance thinking and practice are connected and how multi-level systemic change in governance can take place. Some reflections on the effectiveness of the design for learning process are included. The nature of the contribution that projects such as CADWAGO can make in learning for transformation of water governance practices is also critically considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water: Drought, Crisis and Governance in Australia and Brazil
Water 2016, 8(11), 493; doi:10.3390/w8110493
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1522 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite huge differences in population, household income and development levels, Australia and Brazil have some temporal convergences in their water governance systems. Over the last 20 years, both countries have significantly reformed their water policies and practices by introducing a legal foundation for
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Despite huge differences in population, household income and development levels, Australia and Brazil have some temporal convergences in their water governance systems. Over the last 20 years, both countries have significantly reformed their water policies and practices by introducing a legal foundation for more integrated and participatory catchment/basin management based on the best information available. A critical test of any water reform is how effective it is in meeting the challenges of extreme and unpredictable conditions of drought and floods, which are expected to increase under climate changes scenarios. This paper compared the contemporary water governance frameworks of Australia and Brazil in relation to three elements of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): integration, participation, and information/knowledge. We focused on insights from Brazil’s recent drought and Australia’s fluctuating water crises to derive lessons and recommendations for future changes. Among the main recommendations, we stress the need for both systems to improve effective participation and to embrace a more comprehensive approach to cope with water scarcity in future scenarios. Furthermore, water related decisions should be based on a transparent and well informed process, and take into account the lessons from similar situations worldwide in order to avoid unnecessary or ineffective measures. As demonstrated in the Australian case during the Millennium Drought, the most effective initiatives were those involving government, the private sector and society to achieve a more sustainable consumption pattern in all sectors. There is much to learn from the Brazilian and Australia experiences in water reforms and crises, but it is imperative to understand the social, economic and environmental context within which these took place. Continuing to develop the capacity and willingness of researchers and policy makers to work together can make an important contribution towards meeting the growing and spreading challenges in water resource management around the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Contemporary Water Governance: Navigating Crisis Response and Institutional Constraints through Pragmatism
Water 2016, 8(6), 224; doi:10.3390/w8060224
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water has often been the source of crises and their frequency will intensify due to climate change impacts. The Niagara River Watershed provides an ideal case to study water crises as it is an international transboundary system (Canada-United States) and has both historical
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Water has often been the source of crises and their frequency will intensify due to climate change impacts. The Niagara River Watershed provides an ideal case to study water crises as it is an international transboundary system (Canada-United States) and has both historical and current challenges associated with water quantity and quality, which resonates broadly in water basins throughout the world. The aim of this study was to understand how stakeholders perceive ecosystems and the relationship with preferences for governance approaches in the context of water governance. An online survey instrument was employed to assess perceptions of the system in terms of resilience (engineering, ecological, social-ecological, or epistemic), preferences for governance approaches (state, citizen, market, and hybrid forms), and the most pressing issues in the watershed. Responses showed that, despite demographic differences and adherence to different resilience perspectives, support was strongest for governance approaches that focused on state or state-citizen hybrid forms. The validity of the resilience typology as a grouping variable is discussed. The roles of institutional constraints, pragmatism in governance approach preferences, and the influence of multiple crises are explored in relation to the context of the study site, as well as to water governance scholarship more broadly. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Perceptions in Flood Prone Areas: A Typology and Its Relationship to Preferences for Governance
Water 2016, 8(5), 191; doi:10.3390/w8050191
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 2 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 May 2016 / Published: 7 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A shift appears to be occurring in thinking about flooding, from a resistance-based approach to one of resilience. Accordingly, how stakeholders in flood-prone regions perceive the system and its governance are salient questions. This study queried stakeholders’ internal representations of ecosystems (resistance- or
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A shift appears to be occurring in thinking about flooding, from a resistance-based approach to one of resilience. Accordingly, how stakeholders in flood-prone regions perceive the system and its governance are salient questions. This study queried stakeholders’ internal representations of ecosystems (resistance- or resilience-based), preferences for governance actors and mechanisms for flooding, and the relationship between them in five different regions of the world. The influence of personal experience on these variables was also assessed. Most respondents aligned themselves with a resilience-based approach in relation to system connectedness and response to disturbance; however, respondents were almost evenly split between resistance- and resilience-based approaches when considering system management. Responses generally were considered to hold for other disturbances as well. There was no clear relationship between internal representations and preferences for governance actors or mechanisms. Respondents generally favoured actor combinations that included governments and mechanism combinations that included regulations and policies. Those who had personal experience with flooding tended to align themselves with a resilience-based internal representation of system management, but personal experience showed no clear relationship with governance preferences. The findings support an evolutionary perspective of flood management where emerging paradigms enhance preceding ones, and prompt a critical discussion about the universality of resilience as a framing construct. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Water Abstraction License Regime in Italy: A Case for Reform?
Water 2016, 8(3), 103; doi:10.3390/w8030103
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current Water Abstraction License (WAL) regime in Italy is no longer flexible enough to cope with the challenges posed by human-induced climate and global environmental changes. The cornerstones of the current regime were laid down in the 1930s and have remained essentially
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The current Water Abstraction License (WAL) regime in Italy is no longer flexible enough to cope with the challenges posed by human-induced climate and global environmental changes. The cornerstones of the current regime were laid down in the 1930s and have remained essentially unchanged ever since. The sole noteworthy reform of the Italian WAL regime was the decentralization of the regulatory competences from the state to the regional authorities in the late 1990s. In this paper, we review the WAL regimes across the administrative regions comprising the Po River Basin District (PRBD), the largest and economically most important in Italy. PRBD’s WAL regime includes a rigid and scattered WAL normative that hinders the performance of bottom-up conflict resolution mechanisms at a basin scale; a water pricing scheme that does not reflect the cost of water conveyance and use, and does not encourage efficient water allocation; and the lack of a central WAL register, which delays and in some cases impedes an environmental impact assessment for issuing new licenses or renewing existing ones, and does not allow prioritizing applications according to their full economic value. We argue these deficiencies may compromise both the integrity of riverine and water dependent ecosystems and the economic uses of water. This paper offers insights that can inform reform of water allocations in the PRBD and elsewhere in Italy and in Europe. Full article
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