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Analysing the Role of Visions, Agency, and Niches in Historical Transitions in Watershed Management in the Lower Mississippi River

1
Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück, Barbarastr. 12, D49069 Osnabrück, Germany
2
Faculty of Technology, Policy, Management, Delft University of Technology, P.O Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121845
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract

This paper analyses five major transitions in watershed management in the Lower Mississippi River from the early 19th century to the present. A conceptual framework is developed for analysing the role of visions, agency, and niches in water management transitions and applied to a historical case on water management in the Lower Mississippi River. It is shown that water management regimes change over time and that major transitions were preceded by niches, in which new visions were developed and empowered. The case shows that: (i) emerging visions play an important role in guiding transitions; (ii) agency enables the further diffusion of visions and niches; (iii) vision champions play an important role in transitions, but are not decisive; (iv) each transition has led to an extension of the number of societal functions provided, which has led to more complex water management regimes in which functions are combined and integrated; and (v) external landscape factors are important, as they can lead to awareness and urgency in important decision making processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: transitions; water management regimes; water resource management; niches; visions; agency transitions; water management regimes; water resource management; niches; visions; agency
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Van der Voorn, T.; Quist, J. Analysing the Role of Visions, Agency, and Niches in Historical Transitions in Watershed Management in the Lower Mississippi River. Water 2018, 10, 1845.

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