Science–policy processes for transboundary water governance
- 1.2k Downloads
In this policy perspective, we outline several conditions to support effective science–policy interaction, with a particular emphasis on improving water governance in transboundary basins. Key conditions include (1) recognizing that science is a crucial but bounded input into water resource decision-making processes; (2) establishing conditions for collaboration and shared commitment among actors; (3) understanding that social or group-learning processes linked to science–policy interaction are enhanced through greater collaboration; (4) accepting that the collaborative production of knowledge about hydrological issues and associated socioeconomic change and institutional responses is essential to build legitimate decision-making processes; and (5) engaging boundary organizations and informal networks of scientists, policy makers, and civil society. We elaborate on these conditions with a diverse set of international examples drawn from a synthesis of our collective experiences in assessing the opportunities and constraints (including the role of power relations) related to governance for water in transboundary settings.
KeywordsAdaptation Collaboration Environment Governance Sustainability Transboundary water management
This perspective was initially developed at a workshop funded by the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo, and then further refined through a special session of the Global Water System Project conference, “Water in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance” held in Bonn, Germany (May 2013). Additional support for this collaboration has been provided by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We gratefully acknowledge the constructive feedback of anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor on an earlier version of the manuscript.
- Agrawal, A., and J. Ribot. 1999. Accountability in decentralization: A framework with South Asian and West African cases. Journal of Developing Areas 33: 473–502.Google Scholar
- Ascher, W., T. Steelman, and R. Healy. 2010. Knowledge and environmental policy: Re-imagining the boundaries of science and politics. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Bruch, C., L. Janksy, M. Nakayama, K. Salewicz, and A. Cassar. 2005. From theory to practice: An overview of approaches to involving the public in international watershed management. In Public Participation in the Governance of International Freshwater Resources, ed. C. Bruch, L. Jansky, M. Nakayama, and K. Salewicz, 3–18. New York: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
- Conca, K. 2005. Governing water: Contentious transnational politics and global institution building. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Cornwall, A. 2002. Making spaces, changing places: Situating participation in development. IDS Working Paper 170. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
- Cosens, B. 2010. Transboundary river governance in the face of uncertainty: Resilience theory and the Columbia River Treaty. Journal of Land, Resources and Environmental Law 30: 229–265.Google Scholar
- Earle, A., D. Malzbender, A. Turton, and E. Mazungu. 2005. A preliminary basin profile of the Orange/Senqu River: AWIRU. South Africa: University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
- Getches, D.H. 1997. Colorado River governance: Sharing federal authority as an incentive to create a new institution. University of Colorado Law Review 68: 573–658.Google Scholar
- Getches, D.H. 2003. Water management in the United States and the fate of the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. United States-Mexico Law Journal 11: 107–113.Google Scholar
- Government of Canada. 2010. Northwest Territories environmental audit. Published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Ottawa, ON.Google Scholar
- Grossmann, M. 2006. Cooperation on Africa’s international water bodies: Information needs and the role of information-sharing. In Transboundary water management in Africa: Challenges for development cooperation, ed. W. Scheumann, S. Neubert, and V. Böge, 173–235. Bonn: German Development Institute.Google Scholar
- Guston, D.H. 2004. Forget politicizing science. Let’s democratize science! Issues in Science and Technology 21: 25–28.Google Scholar
- Hirsch, P., K.M. Jensen, B. Boer, N. Carrard, S. FitzGerald, and R. Lyster. 2006. National interests and transboundary water governance in the Mekong., Danish International Development Assistance and the University of Sydney Australian Mekong Resource Centre: Sydney.Google Scholar
- Howard, B.C. 2014. Historic “pulse flow” brings water to parched Colorado River Delta. National Geographic (March 22). Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140322-colorado-river-delta-pulse-flow-morelos-dam-minute-319-water/.
- Huitema, D., and S. Meijerink (eds.). 2009. Water policy entrepreneurs: A research companion to water transitions around the globe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- ICPDR (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River). 2007. 15 years of managing the Danube River 1991–2006. Vienna: UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project.Google Scholar
- Ingram, H. 1990. Water politics: continuity and change. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
- Kasperson, R.E., and M. Berberian (eds.). 2011. Integrating science and policy: Vulnerability and resilience in global environmental change. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Lebel, L., Garden, P. and M. Imamura. 2005. Politics of scale, position, and place in the governance of water resources in the Mekong region. Ecology and Society 10: 18. Retrieved, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol10/iss2/art18/.
- Mackenzie River Basin Board (MRBB). 2003. State of the aquatic ecosystem report. Fort Smith: Mackenzie River Basin Board.Google Scholar
- Mekong River Commission (MRC). 2010. State of the basin report 2010. Vientiane: Mekong River Commission.Google Scholar
- Middleton, C., N. Matthews, and N. Mirumachi. 2014. Whose risky business? Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and large hydropower dams in the Mekong Region. In Hydropower development in the Mekong Region: political, socio-economic and environmental perspectives, ed. N. Matthews, and K. Geheb, 127–152. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBC). 2003. Murray–Darling Basin Water Resources Fact Sheet. Canberra: Murray Darling Basin Commission.Google Scholar
- Nadasdy, P. 1999. The politics of TEK: Power and “integration” of knowledge. Arctic Anthropology 36: 1–18.Google Scholar
- Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM). 2010. Joint baseline survey-1: Baseline water resources quality state of the Orange-Senqu River System in 2010. Centurion: ORASECOM.Google Scholar
- Raadgever, G. T., E. Mostert, N. Kranz, E. Interwies, and J.G. Timmerman. 2008. Assessing management regimes in transboundary river basins: Do they support adaptive management? Ecology and Society 13: 14. Retrieved, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss1/art14/.
- Reed, M.S., A.C. Evely, G. Cundill, I. Fazey, J. Glass, A. Laing, J. Newig, B. Parrish, et al. 2010. What is social learning? Ecology and Society 15: r1. Retrieved, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/resp1/.
- Roux, D.J., K.H. Rogers, H.C. Biggs, P.J. Ashton, and A. Sergeant. 2006. Bridging the science-management divide: Moving from unidirectional knowledge transfer to knowledge interfacing and sharing. Ecology and Society 11: 4. Retrieved, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art4/.
- Sabatier, P.A., W. Focht, M.N. Lubell, Z. Trachtenberg, A. Vedlitz, and M. Matlock (eds.). 2005. Swimming upstream: Collaborative approaches to watershed management. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Schmeier, S. 2013. Governing international watercourses. The contribution of river basin organizations to the effective governance of internationally shared rivers and lakes. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Timmerman, J.G., and S. Langaas. 2004. Environmental information in European transboundary water management. London: IWA Publishing.Google Scholar
- Turton, A., P. Ashton, and E. Cloete. 2003. An introduction to the hydropolitical drivers in the Okavango River basin. In Transboundary rivers, sovereignty and development: Hydropolitical drivers in the Okavango River Basin, ed. A. Turton, P. Ashton, and E. Cloete, 7–30. Pretoria: African Water Issue Research Unit, Green Cross.Google Scholar
- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2009. Atlas of transboundary aquifers: global maps, regional Cooperation, and local inventories. Paris: International Hydrological Programme.Google Scholar
- United States Department of the Interior. 2012. Colorado River Basin water supply and demand study. Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy/finalreport/index.html.
- Wolfe, B.B., D. Armitage, S. Wesche, B.E. Brock, M.A. Sokal, K.P. Clogg-Wright, C.L. Mongeon, M. Adam, et al. 2007. From isotopes to TK interviews: Towards interdisciplinary research in Fort Resolution and the Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories. Arctic 60: 75–87.Google Scholar
- Wolfe, B.B., R.I. Hall, T.W.D. Edwards, and J.W. Johnston. 2012. Developing temporal hydroecological perspectives to inform stewardship of a northern floodplain landscape subject to multiple stressors: Paleolimnological investigations of the Peace–Athabasca Delta. Environmental Reviews 20: 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zeitoun, M., M. Goulden, and D. Tickner. 2013. Current and future challenges facing transboundary river basin management. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 4–5: 331–349.Google Scholar