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Towards Intangible Freshwater Cultural Ecosystem Services: Informing Sustainable Water Resources Management

1
Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
2
Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Garrote
Water 2021, 13(4), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040535
Received: 13 January 2021 / Revised: 8 February 2021 / Accepted: 17 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
Rivers provide a range of Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) such as aesthetic values, sense of place and inspiration, which remain insufficiently studied due to challenges associated with the assessment of their subjective and intangible attributes. However, the understanding of CES remains important as they are strongly linked to human wellbeing. This study utilizes a questionnaire-based survey to capture views from two villages along the mainstream of the Beas River in India, to identify the CES it provides, to assess how local communities appreciate their importance and how they relate to river flows. In total, 62 respondents were interviewed. Findings show that the Beas River provides several CES but among these, spiritual/religious ceremonies and rituals, aesthetic values and inspiration benefits were indicated as absolutely essential to the local communities. Results also demonstrate that people’s perception of the quality of CES is sometimes linked to river flows. It can be concluded that the Beas River is crucial in the functioning and livelihoods of local communities as it lies within the core of their cultural, religious and spiritual practices. This study reinforces the need to consider the full suite of ecosystem service categories in sustainable water resources development, planning and decision making. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural ecosystem services; freshwater; human wellbeing; rivers; water resources management cultural ecosystem services; freshwater; human wellbeing; rivers; water resources management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ncube, S.; Beevers, L.; Momblanch, A. Towards Intangible Freshwater Cultural Ecosystem Services: Informing Sustainable Water Resources Management. Water 2021, 13, 535. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040535

AMA Style

Ncube S, Beevers L, Momblanch A. Towards Intangible Freshwater Cultural Ecosystem Services: Informing Sustainable Water Resources Management. Water. 2021; 13(4):535. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040535

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ncube, Sikhululekile; Beevers, Lindsay; Momblanch, Andrea. 2021. "Towards Intangible Freshwater Cultural Ecosystem Services: Informing Sustainable Water Resources Management" Water 13, no. 4: 535. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040535

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