A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe
Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink
Chapter 4: Transitions: Transcending Multiple Ways of Knowing Water Resources in the United States
Helen Ingram and Raul Lejano 4.1 Introduction Water is a complex, multifaceted resource reflecting very different values and ways of knowing. The history of water as a resource reprised in this chapter reveals a period of stability during which the dominant way of knowing water, as an engine for economic development, encountered other ways of knowing resulting in transitions, or substantial policy changes. Today US water policy is highly contentious with at least four widely accepted ways of knowing water to which many subscribe. Transitions happen as policy innovations are forged in particular contexts. Transitions in such contexts depend upon networks being built between existing ways of knowing that allow for collaborative action. Such knowledge networks may be facilitated by, but are different from, many institutional changes embraced by supporters of integrated water resources management (IWRM). The purpose of this chapter is to enrich the framework introduced in Part I of this book by adding a new theoretical perspective. We contend that transitions require particular strategies by policy entrepreneurs to forge links between people, agencies and groups who comprehend water through very different ways of knowing. In fact the multiplicity of ways of knowing about water resources stem from previous policy initiatives to introduce new perspectives into water management and policy. This chapter illustrates that policy science research coming from national study commissions, centres within universities and Washington-based think tanks has sometimes been substantial in changing policy frames (Kingdon, 1984) and fostering emergence and inclusion of other ways of knowing....
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