1st Edition

Water Crises and Governance Reinventing Collaborative Institutions in an Era of Uncertainty

Edited By Peter Leigh Taylor, David A. Sonnenfeld Copyright 2018
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Water Crises and Governance critically examines the relationship between water crises and governance in the face of challenges to provide water for growing human demand and environmental needs. Water crises threaten the assumptions and accepted management practices of water users, managers and policymakers. In developed and developing world contexts from North America and Australasia, to Latin America, Africa and China, existing institutions and governance arrangements have unintentionally provoked water crises while shaping diverse, often innovative responses to management dilemmas. This volume brings together original field-based studies by social scientists investigating water crises and their implications for governance.

    Contributors to this collection find that water crises degrade environments, place untenable burdens on stakeholders, and produce or exacerbate social conflict, undermining ecological and social conditions that sustain effective collaboration. At the same time, water crises can promote institutional change that "resets" governance, promoting unusual and creative responses appropriate for local contexts. The studies in this volume provide evidence that, while water crises pose serious threats to environments and societies, they also provide opportunities to learn from experience and recraft water governance with coherent visions of more ecologically and socially sustainable futures. This volume was originally published as a special issue of Society & Natural Resources.


    Water Crises and Institutions: Inventing and Reinventing Governance in an Era of Uncertainty Peter Leigh Taylor and David A. Sonnenfeld

    Part I: Ecological Crises

    1. Crises and Institutional Change: Emergence of Cross-Border Water Governance in Lake Eyre Basin, Australia Jennifer Bellamy, Brian W. Head, and Helen Ross

    2.Scales of Power in Water Governance in China: Examples From the Yangtze River Basin Qidong Huang and Jiajun Xu

    3. Rescaling Knowledge and Governance and Enrolling the Future in New Zealand: A Co-Production Analysis of Canterbury’s Water Management Reforms to Regulate Diffuse Pollution Ronlyn Duncan

    Part II: Crises of State Policy and Law

    4. The Practice of Water Policy Governance Networks: An International Comparative Case Study Analysis Rachel Eberhard, Richard Margerum, Karen Vella, Severine Mayere, and Bruce Taylor

    5. Building Capacities for Sustainable Water Governance at the Grassroots: "Organic Empowerment" and Its Policy Implications in Nicaragua Sarah T. Romano

    Part III: Crises of Access

    6. Water Crisis and Options for Effective Water Provision in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas in Cameroon Lotsmart Fonjong and Violet Fokum

    7. Women’s Crucial Role in Collective Operation and Maintenance of Drinking Water Infrastructure in Rural Uganda Resty Naiga, Marianne Penker, and Karl Hogl

    Part IV: Crises of Power

    8. When Policy Hits Practice: Structure, Agency, and Power in South African Water Governance Jan Janosch Förster, Linda Downsborough, and Machaya Jeff Chomba

    9. Standing Up for Inherent Rights: The Role of Indigenous-Led Activism in Protecting Sacred Waters and Ways of Life Emma S. Norman


    10. Crises, Uncertainty and Water Governance for Sustainable Futures Peter Leigh Taylor and David A. Sonnenfeld


    Peter Leigh Taylor is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Colorado State University, USA, and co-Editor-in-Chief of Society & Natural Resources. He has done extensive research and applied work on community-based forest management in Latin America. His current research focuses on environmental flows and agricultural water governance on the Colorado River.

    David A. Sonnenfeld is Professor of Sociology and Environmental Policy at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and co-Editor-in-Chief of Society & Natural Resources. Recent books include the Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change; Food, Globalization and Sustainability; and The Ecological Modernisation Reader.