Guest contribution by Gül Özerol, Cheryl de Boer, and Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf.
“Water Governance, Policy and Knowledge Transfer: International Studies of Contextual Water Management” is the title of a new book published in May by Routledge as part of the book series Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management.
A major finding of the book is that context matters in water management and that there is no panacea or universal concept that can be applied to all countries or regions with different political, economic, cultural and technological contexts. Yet it is also shown that some countries are facing pressing and similar water management issues that cut across national borders, and hence the transfer of knowledge may be beneficial. Overall, the book provides insights into the importance of context in water management and enables the readers to draw valuable lessons regarding the transfer of policies, concepts and knowledge from one locality to another.
Edited by a team of researchers from the University of Twente in The Netherlands, the book is a very welcome addition to water governance literature. Contributors of the book come from a wide variety of places and share a of experiences, whereas the editors and many of the contributors are connected to CSTM, the Twente Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development at the University of Twente. With its researchers specialised in policy studies, the CSTM has a long research and teaching history in water governance and environmental policies.
In addition to the introductory and concluding chapters, the book consists of two theoretical chapters and eleven empirical chapters. The theoretical chapters review the concepts that are applicable to understanding the interactions towards improved water management and explore the various ways that improved water management is given meaning. These chapters are followed by eleven empirical chapters that offer interesting theory-guided case studies from more than twenty countries in three continents: Europe, North America and Asia.
The empirical chapters of the book discuss the transferability of policy and governance concepts by analysing the contextual needs and factors. Transfers regarding a variety of water management issues such as flood risk management, drought, urban agriculture, drinking water provision and climate change adaptation are examined in three sections: 1- Transfer of established knowledge (cases from Romania, India and Canada) 2- Transfer of international concepts (cases from Kazakhstan, Turkey, Palestine, Vietnam and Mexico) 3- Transfer of an emerging concept (cases from the Netherlands, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the European Union region).