1st Edition

Global Water Ethics Towards a global ethics charter

Edited By Rafael Ziegler, David Groenfeldt Copyright 2017
    316 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Scholarly interest in water ethics is increasing, motivated by the urgency of climate change, water scarcity, privatization and conflicts over water resources. Water ethics can provide both conceptual perspectives and practical methodologies for identifying outcomes which are environmentally sustainable and socially just. This book assesses the implications of ongoing research in framing a new discipline of water ethics in practice.
    Contributions consider the difficult ethical and epistemological questions of water ethics in a global context, as well as offering local, empirical perspectives. Case study chapters focus on a range of countries including Canada, China, Germany, India, South Africa and the USA. The respective insights are brought together in the final section concerning the practical project of a universal water ethics charter, alongside theoretical questions about the legitimacy of a global water ethics.

    Overall the book provides a stimulating examination of water ethics in theory and practice, relevant to academics and professionals in the fields of water resource management and governance, environmental ethics, geography, law and political science.

    1. Introduction: global water ethics – towards a water ethics charter 

    Rafael Ziegler and David Groenfeldt 

    2. A brief history of efforts to articulate global water ethics 

    Susan Lea Smith 

    Part 1: Ethics and epistemology 

    3. What is water ethics and to what end do we study it? Lessons for the water ethics charter 

    Simon Meisch 

    4. Beyond general principles: water ethics in a Deweyan perspective 

    Martin Kowarsch 

    5. Incorporating ethics into water decision-making 

    David Groenfeldt 

    6. Transcending water conflicts: an ethics of water cooperation 

    Angela Kallhoff  

    Part 2: Global water ethics, local cases and a diversity of perspectives 

    7. Safe, just and sufficient space: the planetary boundary for human water use in a more-than-human world 

    Rafael Ziegler, Dieter Gerten and Petra Döll 

    8. The relevance of ethical factors in the pursuit of integrated water resources management 

    Maite Aldaya, Pedro Martínez-Santos and Ramon Llamas 

    9. A hierarchy of water needs and their implications for allocation mechanisms 

    Eran Feitelson 

    10. Reflections on water ethics and the human right to water in Khayelitsha, South Africa 

    Lucy Rodina 

    11. An eco-centric water allocation across competing demands in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China

    Jie Liu and Xiang Huang 

    12. Water, virtue ethics and traditional ecological knowledge in Rajasthan: Anupam Mishra and the rediscovery of water traditions 

    Ricki Levi and Daniel Mishori 

    Part 3: Water ethics charters and charting water 

    13. I yá.axch´age? (Can you hear it?) or, marrying the water: a Tlingit and Tagish approach towards an ethical relationship with water 

    Eleanor Hayman with Colleen James, Mark Wedge and David Katzeek 

    14. Developing an ecumenical framework for water justice 

    Susan Lea Smith 

    15. Developing a global water ethics charter 

    David Groenfeldt 

    16. The Berlin Water Charter: water ethics from an activist’s viewpoint  

    Dorothea Härlin 

    17. Water ethics and water stewardship: personal reflections   

    Adrian Sym 


    Rafael Ziegler is Head of Research at GETIDOS (Getting things done sustainably), based in Greifswald, Germany. He has worked as a lecturer at McGill University, ECLA and FU Berlin, and as a Deputy Professor of environmental ethics at the University of Greifswald.

    David Groenfeldt is Director of the Water-Culture Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA. He is the author of Water Ethics: A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis (Routledge, 2013).

    "Overall, it was a delight to read and engage this book. It is an important reference text for which specific chapters will teach very well in courses on fresh water values, ethics, and governance...Global Water Ethics is an important contribution to a growing set of ethical and governance reflections on water. There is much here that I recommend, even as there is more to be charted." - Christiana Zenner in Water Alternatives, 2019

    "One wonders why the creation of a water ethics charter took such a long time, over four decades after the outset of the environmental ethics movement. It is about time for the general public to realize the seriousness of the ethical aspects of using and managing water resources for future generations. This book will be an addition to the existing literature on water resource management. It is recommended reading for all environmental managers, scientists and policy makers who care about the current and future shortage of water in society." - Govindasamy Agoramoorthy in Environmental Earth Sciences, 2017