Governance and Complexity in Water Management
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Governance and Complexity in Water Management

Creating Cooperation through Boundary Spanning Strategies

Edited by Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs

The premise of this book is that careful reconsideration of strategies to achieve water management ambitions, together with more in-depth knowledge on the theories and practices of boundary spanning, could bring solutions for contemporary water problems within reach.
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Chapter 11: Conclusions

Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs

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Hans Bressers and Kris Lulofs INTRODUCTION The relevance of this volume was clear to us beforehand. We started this book with a broad outline of three eras of water management. We concluded that many of the urgent contemporary water issues on the agenda require boundary spanning. It is unlikely that water managers are able to cope with the challenges on their own. Overcoming barriers in society often implies seeking cooperation, searching for well-equipped coalitions that together possess the needed resources. And if such a coalition is willing to engage in a multi-purpose project that serves several functions in society, something splendid can be realized and the involved water management community can be proud of it. This being said, we also conclude that craftsmanship of water management in the twenty-first century requires conscious consideration of whether boundary spanning is an effective and efficient strategy given the job to be done and the goals to be reached. Boundary spanning and the creation of coalitions inherently lead to dependency and complexity. What is acquired in terms of resources and power can easily be lost in terms of decisiveness and policy drift. The authors of this book tried to demonstrate that a careful reconsideration of strategies to realize water ambitions, together with more in-depth knowledge on the theories and practices of boundary spanning, could make solutions for contemporary water problems become feasible. Some self-chosen guidelines were dominant for selecting chapters and case studies that are included in this book: any chapter included should deal...

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