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Water 2016, 8(11), 526; doi:10.3390/w8110526

Rainwater Harvesting and Social Networks: Visualising Interactions for Niche Governance, Resilience and Sustainability

Centre for Water Systems, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manfred Kleidorfer
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synergies in Urban Water Infrastructure Modeling)
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Abstract

Visualising interactions across urban water systems to explore transition and change processes requires the development of methods and models at different scales. This paper contributes a model representing the network interactions of rainwater harvesting (RWH) infrastructure innovators and other organisations in the UK RWH niche to identify how resilience and sustainability feature within niche governance in practice. The RWH network interaction model was constructed using a modified participatory social network analysis (SNA). The SNA was further analysed through the application of a two-part analytical framework based on niche management and the safe, resilient and sustainable (‘Safe and SuRe’) framework. Weak interactions between some RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations highlighted reliance on a limited number of persuaders to influence the regime and landscape, which were underrepresented. Features from niche creation and management were exhibited by the RWH network interaction model, though some observed characteristics were not represented. Additional Safe and SuRe features were identified covering diverse innovation, responsivity, no protection, unconverged expectations, primary influencers, polycentric or adaptive governance and multiple learning-types. These features enable RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations to reflect on improving resilience and sustainability, though further research in other sectors would be useful to verify and validate observation of the seven features. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrastructure; integrated model; niche; organisation; rainwater harvesting; resilience; social network analysis; sustainability infrastructure; integrated model; niche; organisation; rainwater harvesting; resilience; social network analysis; sustainability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ward, S.; Butler, D. Rainwater Harvesting and Social Networks: Visualising Interactions for Niche Governance, Resilience and Sustainability. Water 2016, 8, 526.

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