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Water 2016, 8(7), 273; doi:10.3390/w8070273

Public Participation in Water Planning in the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Tucson Basin (U.S., Arizona): Impact on Water Policy and Adaptive Capacity Building

Institut de Govern i Polítiques Públiques, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB-Edifici MRA, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, 350 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Eylon Shamir, Sharon B. Megdal and Susanna Eden
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
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The benefits of public participation in water management are recognized by governments, scholars, and stakeholders. These benefits, however, do not result from all engagement endeavors. This leads to the question: What are the determinants for effective public participation? Given a list of criteria for achieving the transformational capacity of participation, we analyze the benefits (including the influence on public policies) gained through public participation and the determinant factors for obtaining these benefits in the Ebro River Basin in Spain and in the Tucson Basin in Arizona (U.S.). Furthermore, and considering that droughts and floods are major water management challenges in both case studies, we focus on the potential of participation to build adaptive capacity. Our analysis of these case studies concludes that influence on public policies is determined more by the context of the participatory process, i.e., legal framework, political leadership, and social awareness, whereas influence on adaptive capacity building depends more on the characteristics of the participatory process, particularly the existence of active on-site consultation and deliberation. View Full-Text
Keywords: water management; public participation; stakeholder engagement; adaptive capacity water management; public participation; stakeholder engagement; adaptive capacity

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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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Ballester, A.; Mott Lacroix, K.E. Public Participation in Water Planning in the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Tucson Basin (U.S., Arizona): Impact on Water Policy and Adaptive Capacity Building. Water 2016, 8, 273.

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