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Article

Agenda Setting in Water and IWRM: Discourse Analysis of Water Policy Debate in Pakistan

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US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water, MUET, Jamshoro 76090, Pakistan
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The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE), King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), 126 Pracha Uthit Road, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
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Center of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment, PERDO, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
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Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Sindh 70060, Pakistan
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Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes/Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(6), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061656
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Attention and Water Governance: An Agenda-Setting Perspective)
This article explores the water policy narrative in Pakistan, and identifies its historical trajectories and influences, as well as the impact of the global agenda setting of water for 2030. For this purpose, water sector reforms in Pakistan are examined as a case study. The National Water Policy (NWP) 2018 and Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) reforms are critically evaluated and loopholes identified, in terms of both theoretical aspects and constraints in their practical implementation. The overall analysis reveals that the engineering narrative is dominant in policy circles and large-scale infrastructure construction is seen as an exceptional measure to overcome the current loss of storage potential due to sedimentation. On the other hand, the adoption of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) framework reflects the desire of state institutions to imbue water policy reform with international credibility. The IWRM framework has been adopted as isomorphic mimicry to appease international financing institutions and donors. PIM reform is thus far from delivering the desired results due to ideological battles among new (i.e., the Participatory Farmers Institution) and traditional bureaucratic irrigation institutions. As adopted, the global agenda setting of water, in the shape of IWRM, is a repackaging of existing activities, and prevents alternative thinking in the setting of water priorities according to developmental needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: National Water Policy; discourse analysis; Integrated Water Resource Management; isomorphic mimicry; path dependency and lock-in; Pakistan National Water Policy; discourse analysis; Integrated Water Resource Management; isomorphic mimicry; path dependency and lock-in; Pakistan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arfan, M.; Ansari, K.; Ullah, A.; Hassan, D.; Siyal, A.A.; Jia, S. Agenda Setting in Water and IWRM: Discourse Analysis of Water Policy Debate in Pakistan. Water 2020, 12, 1656. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061656

AMA Style

Arfan M, Ansari K, Ullah A, Hassan D, Siyal AA, Jia S. Agenda Setting in Water and IWRM: Discourse Analysis of Water Policy Debate in Pakistan. Water. 2020; 12(6):1656. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061656

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arfan, Muhammad, Kamran Ansari, Asmat Ullah, Daniyal Hassan, Altaf A. Siyal, and Shaofeng Jia. 2020. "Agenda Setting in Water and IWRM: Discourse Analysis of Water Policy Debate in Pakistan" Water 12, no. 6: 1656. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061656

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