1st Edition

Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Water Diplomacy A Principled and Pragmatic Approach

Edited By Shafiqul Islam, Kevin M. Smith Copyright 2020
    324 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    324 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book introduces the concept of Water Diplomacy as a principled and pragmatic approach to problem-driven interdisciplinary collaboration, which has been developed as a response to pressing contemporary water challenges arising from the coupling of natural and human systems.

    The findings of the book are the result of a decade-long interdisciplinary experiment in conceiving, developing, and implementing an interdisciplinary graduate program on Water Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA. This has led to the development of the Water Diplomacy Framework, a shared framework for understanding, diagnosing, and communicating about complex water issues across disciplinary boundaries. This framework clarifies important distinctions between water systems - simple, complicated, or complex - and the attributes that these distinctions imply for how these problems can be addressed. In this book, the focus is on complex water issues and how they require a problem-driven rather than a theory-driven approach to interdisciplinary collaboration. Moreover, it is argued that conception of interdisciplinarity needs to go beyond collaboration among experts, because complex water problems demand inclusive stakeholder engagement, such as in fact-value deliberation, joint fact finding, collective decision making, and adaptive management. Water professionals working in such environments need to operate with both principles and pragmatism in order to achieve actionable, sustainable, and equitable outcomes. This book explores these ideas in more detail and demonstrates their efficacy through a diverse range of case studies. Reflections on the program are also included, from conceptualization through implementation and evaluation.

    This book offers critical lessons and case studies for researchers and practitioners working on complex water issues as well as important lessons for those looking to initiate, implement, or evaluate interdisciplinary programs to address other complex problems in any setting.

    Part I: Problem-Driven Interdisciplinary Collaboration: A Principled Pragmatic Approach to Addressing Complex Problems Using Water Diplomacy as an Example
    1 .Origins: Conceptualization, Implementation, and Evolution of an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program on Water Diplomacy

    Shafiqul Islam, Kent Portney, Michael Reed, Timothy Griffin, and William Moomaw
    2. Making Distinctions: The Importance of Recognizing Complexity in Coupled Natural and Human Systems

    Kevin M. Smith and Shafiqul Islam
    3. Working Together: An Argument for Problem-Driven Interdisciplinary Collaboration

    Kevin M. Smith and Shafiqul Islam
    4. Principled Pragmatism: How Water Diplomats Approach Complex Water Issues?

    Kevin M. Smith and Shafiqul Islam

    Part II: Problem-Driven Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Action: Case Studies from the Tufts Water Diplomacy Program

    5. Operationalizing Problem-Driven Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Overview of Case Studies from the Tufts Water Diplomacy Program

    Kevin M. Smith and Shafiqul Islam

    6. Flood Diplomacy: The Hydrological, Technical, and Socio-Political Challenges of Delineating Usable Floodplain Boundaries

    Michal Russo and Laura Read

    7. Cholera in Haiti: Why Many Efforts Have Failed and How We Can Do Better

    Michael Ritter

    8. Water Diplomacy at the Macro Scale: Agricultural Groundwater Governance in the High Plains Aquifer Region of the United States

    Gregory N. Sixt, Ashley C. McCarthy, Kent E. Portney, Timothy S. Griffin

    9. Creating Flexibility in Freshwater Availability for the Eastern Nile Basin

    Agustín Botteron

    10. Confronting the Natural Domain: Strategies for Addressing Ecology and Conservation in Complex Water Management Challenges

    Charles B. van Rees, Gabriela Marie Garcia, Jessica Rozek Cañizares

    11. Access to Safe Drinking Water across the Navajo Nation

    Laura Corlin

    12. Coupling and Complexity of Natural and Human Systems: A Case Study from the Southwest Bangladesh Delta

    Wahid Palash, Kevin M. Smith, Shafiqul Islam

    Part III: Looking Back and Looking Forward: Reflections and Lessons from the Tufts Program on Water Diplomacy
    13. Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program: Lessons Learned From the Tufts Water Diplomacy Program

    Glenn G. Page, Shafiqul Islam

    14. Reflections on the Tufts Experiment with Interdisciplinary Water Diplomacy Research

    Kent E. Portney, J. Michael Reed, Amanda C. Repella

    15. Perspectives on Water Diplomacy: Key Findings, Remaining Challenges, and Future Directions

    Lawrence Susskind, Enamul Choudhury, Greg Koch

    16. Quo Vadis?

    Shafiqul Islam and Kevin M. Smith


    Shafiqul Islam is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Director of the Water Diplomacy Program at Tufts University, USA.

    Kevin M. Smith is a PhD candidate in environmental and water resources engineering and a member of the third cohort of Water Diplomacy graduate students at Tufts University, USA.