Next Article in Journal
Estimating the Optimal Velocity Measurement Time in Rivers’ Flow Measurements: An Uncertainty Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Artificial Aquatic Ecosystems
Previous Article in Journal
Inherent Relationship between Flow Duration Curves at Different Time Scales: A Perspective on Monthly Flow Data Utilization in Daily Flow Duration Curve Estimation
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Philosophical Justification for a Novel Analysis-Supported, Stakeholder-Driven Participatory Process for Water Resources Planning and Decision Making

1
Latin America Center, Stockholm Environment Institute, Bogota 110231, Colombia
2
U.S. Water Group, Stockholm Environment Institute, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3
Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
4
Research Applications Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
5
Department of Classical Studies, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(8), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081009
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Water)
Two trends currently shape water resources planning and decision making: reliance on participatory stakeholder processes to evaluate water management options; and growing recognition that deterministic approaches to the evaluation of options may not be appropriate. These trends pose questions regarding the proper role of information, analysis, and expertise in the inherently social and political process of negotiating agreements and implementing interventions in the water sector. The question of how one might discover the best option in the face of deep uncertainty is compelling. The question of whether the best option even exists to be discovered is more vexing. While such existential questions are not common in the water management community, they are not new to political theory. This paper explores early classical writing related to issues of knowledge and governance as captured in the work of Plato and Aristotle; and then attempts to place a novel, analysis-supported, stakeholder-driven water resources planning and decision making practice within this philosophical discourse, making reference to current decision theory. Examples from the Andes and California, where this practice has been used to structure participation by key stakeholders in water management planning and decision-making, argue that when a sufficiently diverse group of stakeholders is engaged in the decision making process expecting the discovery of the perfect option may not be warranted. Simply discovering a consensus option may be more realistic. The argument touches upon the diversity of preferences, model credibility and the visualization of model output required to explore the implications of various management options across a broad range of inherently unknowable future conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: scientific analysis; decision-support; classical views on knowledge and authority; designing participatory processes involving stakeholders scientific analysis; decision-support; classical views on knowledge and authority; designing participatory processes involving stakeholders
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Purkey, D.R.; Escobar Arias, M.I.; Mehta, V.K.; Forni, L.; Depsky, N.J.; Yates, D.N.; Stevenson, W.N. A Philosophical Justification for a Novel Analysis-Supported, Stakeholder-Driven Participatory Process for Water Resources Planning and Decision Making. Water 2018, 10, 1009.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop