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Integrated Assessment—How Does It Help Unpack Water Access by Marginalized Farmers?

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Institute for Water Futures, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
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School of Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
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Shushilan, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh
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Department of Rural Sociology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh
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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Land & Water, Brisbane, QLD 4002, Australia
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SeeSide Dialogue, Brisbane, QLD 4017, Australia
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College of Sciences and Engineering, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Hobart, TAS 7005, Australia
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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Land & Water, Hobart, TAS 7004, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3444; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123444
Received: 13 November 2020 / Revised: 1 December 2020 / Accepted: 2 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
Water is critical to the lives and livelihoods of rural communities in developing countries; however, access to water can be inequitable within communities. This paper uses a generalized integrated assessment approach to explore the determinants of water access by marginalized farmers in two villages in coastal Bangladesh, before and after the setup of local water institutions. The study was part of a broader project aimed at promoting socially inclusive agricultural intensification. An integrative framework was developed in this study to capture and link the diverse range of factors that influence the distribution of water, including the often-overlooked role of social dynamics and governance arrangements. While interventions around improving water resource infrastructure can be critical for freshwater availability, the case studies show that a breakdown of asymmetric power structures may also be needed for water access to all individuals, especially marginalized groups. Establishing a community-based water institution on its own does not necessarily address power issues in a community. It is imperative that the agency and capacities of the marginalized members are developed and that the institutional arrangements foster an enabling environment for marginalized members to influence decision making. Integrated assessment allowed the case studies to be explored from multiple perspectives so as to gain a greater understanding of the barriers and levers to obtaining equitable outcomes from water interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: inclusive water management; marginalization; Bangladesh; water governance; South Asia; integrated assessment inclusive water management; marginalization; Bangladesh; water governance; South Asia; integrated assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hamilton, S.H.; Merritt, W.S.; Das, M.; Rahman, M.W.; Bhuiya, S.S.; Carter, L.; Cosijn, M.; Roth, C.H.; Singha, S.; Syme, G.J. Integrated Assessment—How Does It Help Unpack Water Access by Marginalized Farmers? Water 2020, 12, 3444. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123444

AMA Style

Hamilton SH, Merritt WS, Das M, Rahman MW, Bhuiya SS, Carter L, Cosijn M, Roth CH, Singha S, Syme GJ. Integrated Assessment—How Does It Help Unpack Water Access by Marginalized Farmers? Water. 2020; 12(12):3444. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123444

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hamilton, Serena H.; Merritt, Wendy S.; Das, Mahanambrota; Rahman, M. W.; Bhuiya, Sumana S.; Carter, Lucy; Cosijn, Michaela; Roth, Christian H.; Singha, Sambhu; Syme, Geoffrey J. 2020. "Integrated Assessment—How Does It Help Unpack Water Access by Marginalized Farmers?" Water 12, no. 12: 3444. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123444

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