The Challenge of Making Groundwater Visible: A Review of Communication Approaches and Tools in France
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Groundwater specialists strive to make groundwater issues visible. They face a dual challenge: first to develop knowledge on groundwater and secondly to share this knowledge with other stakeholders who should be included in knowledge development, groundwater management and protection policy. Questioning communication is all the more interesting as groundwater is a quasi-invisible resource. How groundwater and issues can be made more visible? In the field of sociology, with a pragmatist stance, our chapter questions how instruments frame interactions and represent groundwater. Indeed, the groundwater is made visible by tables, indicators, maps, photographs, videos, games, stories in newspaper and spokespersons such as hydrogeologists. Within a project funded by AFB (French Agency for Biodiversity), we reported on a number of communication approaches and activities implemented in 11 case studies in France. The inventory is based on web mining, grey literature review and interviews. The chapter develops a transversal analysis of the use of the instruments, and identifies assets and limits across the cases according to the following categories: public targeted; content, issues brought to the fore and normative stance adopted; type/format. Finally, concrete recommendations are made.
KeywordsMediation Representation Policy instruments Format Participation Spokespersons
This work has been supported by AFB (French Agency for Biodiversity). The authors would like to thank Bénédicte Augeard, Delphine Loupsans and Claire Magand for stimulating discussions; Xavier Bernard, James Daly and Jeanne Latusek (IFP) for their fruitful contribution to the study; the editors for reviewing the first draft of this chapter and providing valuable comments and all the interviewees who shared their point of view and experiences.
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