Category: Water policy

How organisations learn: lessons from flood risk management in England

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What is a learning organisation? It is one that adapts to challenges, that has an internal structure that allows communication and reflection, and that hosts individuals that trust each other enough to experiment and work together. A new open access article published in the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, one of the highest ranked journals in the field of Development Studies and Environmental studies, looks into Read More

Governance Conditions for Upscaling Urban Water Reuse Schemes

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A new research article has been published as part of research activities funded by the POWER project (Political and Social Awareness on Water Environmental Challenges). The latest article is titled “Upscaling Urban Recycled Water Schemes: An Analysis of the Presence of Required Governance Conditions in the City of Sabadell (Spain)” and is co-authored by Josep Pinyol Alberich, Farhad Mukhtarov, Carel Dieperink, Peter Driessen and Annelies Broekman. The article discusses the barriers and opportunities of scaling up successful urban water reuse schemes with a case study of Sabadell, a satellite municipality of Barcelona, Spain Read More

Internet and Water Governance: A Good Combination?

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Many expected that Internet would create a democratic arena in governance, help hold governments accountable and increase input from citizens to decision-making in the public sector. The time proved different. We live in the age of fake news, social media determines what we think and if anything, the government now knowns everything about it. But is everything as bleak as it is painted nowadays, or was the vision of the Internet pioneers completely wrong? A new research paper published in Environmental Science and Policy co-authored with my former colleagues at Utrecht University Carel Dieperink and Peter Driessen researches this very question. The paper is available for download on the website of the journal for free. The uses of digital tools for a deliberative and a two-way communication, however, is rather rare. Overall, we can conclude that ICT helps more efficient water government, but not necessarily a more deliberative Read More

Advice from Helen Ingram on Being in Academia for Early and Seasoned Scholars

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In 2017, a double special issue of the Journal of the Southwest was published that celebrated the career of Dr. Helen Ingram (pictured) as a scholar, mentor and colleague. The special issue contains a number of essays written by world-class scholars in the U.S. and around the world and is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject of water policy and politics. Here is a recent review published in Water Alternatives about the Special Issue — a nice starting point to know what to read. Read More

Public Policy Bits: Public Policy, Planning and Chess

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Once a great Cuban world chess champion Jose Raul Capablanca was asked how many moves ahead he is able to see in a chess game. He famously responded: ‘one, the best one’.

Karl Wittfogel, in 1957, published his seminal book “Oriental Despotism“, his claim that state-formation and organization of societies in hierarchies originated from large structural works, mainly irrigation in Mesopotamia and in the Yellow River in China, received much attention. While the hypothesis of Wittfogel on the link between large-scale irrigation works and “despotism” is currently rejected, the Chinese water engineers can be credited for another achievement: they laid the foundation of the game of chess. Dr. David Lee in “The Genealogy of Chess” directly tied the control of water and disastrous flooding to the creation of the ancient board game of Go and the later game of Xiang Qi, which is seen as a prototype of modern chess. Chess, like water management, reached Europe through the Arab world from where the Moors brought it to the Southern Europe in their conquests. Read More