In advising watershed councils and technical teams, provide training to enhance quality efforts in the following parameters of the collaborative process: centralization vs decentralization of the decision-making process; the tension between local/lay knowledge and expert knowledge; scale and inclusiveness of collaborative decision-making; tensions between ecological/scientific time frames and management/constituent time frames; expenses and agency resources required for collaborative decision making. Continue reading →
The complexity of the science–policy interface is a feature of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and that the norms of scientific uncertainty in the face of competing theories (held by their protagonists with greater certainty) obliges scientists to take a more active role in sensitively managing the advice-to-policy process in order to improve management of water within river basins. Continue reading →
To improve integrated water resource management by addressing existing views held by various local entities and insufficient involvement of outside researchers in local decision making process, scientists need to work on two key fronts:
- Action research, which involves various aspects of the research spectrum; conducting studies and assessments; and resetting research questions in the light of new knowledge;
- Action advising, which strives to encompass various dimentions of policy making, involve various groups of stakeholders and identify the influential ones, provide advice throughout the policy making process and alter advice in the light of new experience.
Capable institutions are an essential element of effective integrated water resource management. An institutional assessment process investigating policy, organizational and operational elements, are effective tools when designed and analyzed by stakeholders. Assessment criteria include:
- a decision-making capacity at the basin level that reflects the interests of different uses and users;
- a clear and administratively detailed regulatory framework with criteria for decision making;
- a monitoring and information system for water resources information;
- a system that allows development and analysis of different scenarios for water use and effluent discharges;
- effective and transparent accountability through a stakeholder participation mechanism;
- enforcement and sanctioning power;
- representation of water used interests and liaison with river basin management institutions;
- effective control of service providers;
- cost recovery by service providers and a system that allows market incentives for efficient allocation.
To address the complexity of water resource management problems, engage stakeholders in structuring, i.e. systematizing the knowledge which emerges during the participative process, in order to make it comprehensible for the other participants and functional for the decision process. Cognitive mapping (concepts linked to form chains of action-oriented argumentation) and analysis is an example of a system that can be used to produce different points of view and information, in order to enrich a collective ‘‘knowledge base’’ with creative ideas and concepts around the problem. Continue reading →
To address the complexity of water resource management problems, combine the technological dimension with the social dimension, based on stakeholders involvement; use decision-support tools in a shared platform through which the debate is organised and the different sources of knowledge are integrated. Continue reading →
To assess customer satisfaction with community water conservation programs, consider evaluating: effectiveness in reducing water use; effectiveness of enforcement; fairness; overall satisfaction with the program; necessity of the water use restrictions; and necessity of the water use bans. Continue reading →
As watershed organizations develop, facilitate a form of governance that is democratic and able to generate outcomes considered legitimate by all affected parties:
- Provide a foundation of accepted scientific knowledge about the scope of the problems and the underlying biological-chemical-physical-socio-economic factors at work;
- Develop rules to inform the planning process that are accepted as ‘‘right’’ and just by the stakeholders and provide for a process through which interested individuals (stakeholders)develop, debate, reject, and accept plans to deal withthe identified problems while promising to reach stipulated goals including a process for making the plan known to all affected parties;
- Establish an accepted process for implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of the plan and its recommendations in an impartial way including a way to amend the plan or recommendation in light of new scientific information or changingsocial and/or environmental conditions.
When working on riparian issues, allow the local community to drive the process, identify the timelines, and identify the way in which they wish to manage riparian areas. Use awareness, team and tool building, community-based action, and monitoring. Continue reading →
When working on riparian issues, give the community the opportunity to build a relationship with extension staff, to build trust and understanding, and to allow enough time for multiple interactions to occur. Continue reading →