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Article

WaterCoG: Evidence on How the Use of Tools, Knowledge, and Process Design Can Improve Water Co-Governance

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Interessen Im Fluss, D 30449 Hannover, Germany
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Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Alle 20, 8830-DK Tjele, Denmark
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Applied Systems Thinking in Practice Group, School of Engineering and Innovation, Faculty of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, 404 39 Gothenbur, Sweden
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Research Centre for Built Environment, Research Centre for Built Environment—NoorderRuimte, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Zernikeplein 7, P.O. Box 3037, 9701 DA Groningen, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wietske Medema
Water 2021, 13(9), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091206
Received: 26 March 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 21 April 2021 / Published: 27 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Learning for Sustainable Water Resource Management)
The European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) encourages water managers to implement active stakeholder involvement to achieve sustainable water management. However, the WFD does not describe in detail how member states should operationalize participation. The need for local experience and local understanding of collaborative governance (co-governance) processes remains. The WaterCoG project evaluated 11 local pilot schemes. Building on the participatory, qualitative evaluation of pilot schemes from Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Germany, the authors take a closer look at how co-governance can improve water governance, how water managers can make best use of tools and knowledge, and how they can improve process designs. The results reflect how social learning and successful co-governance are linked. Social learning as a shared understanding of complex ecosystem and water-management issues can be supported with active stakeholder involvement and citizen science. As such, in co-governance processes, stakeholders need technical access to data and knowledge and a shared process memory. This enables them to develop a shared understanding and facilitates bringing together competing interests and finding new solutions. Participatory tools became part of successful processes by building trust and knowledge based on commitment. However, proficient process design and facilitation make these tools more effective. View Full-Text
Keywords: collaborative governance; water management; social learning; participatory tools; citizen science; evaluation; participatory processes collaborative governance; water management; social learning; participatory tools; citizen science; evaluation; participatory processes
MDPI and ACS Style

Borowski-Maaser, I.; Graversgaard, M.; Foster, N.; Prutzer, M.; Roest, A.H.; Boogaard, F. WaterCoG: Evidence on How the Use of Tools, Knowledge, and Process Design Can Improve Water Co-Governance. Water 2021, 13, 1206. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091206

AMA Style

Borowski-Maaser I, Graversgaard M, Foster N, Prutzer M, Roest AH, Boogaard F. WaterCoG: Evidence on How the Use of Tools, Knowledge, and Process Design Can Improve Water Co-Governance. Water. 2021; 13(9):1206. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091206

Chicago/Turabian Style

Borowski-Maaser, Ilke, Morten Graversgaard, Natalie Foster, Madeleine Prutzer, Allard H. Roest, and Floris Boogaard. 2021. "WaterCoG: Evidence on How the Use of Tools, Knowledge, and Process Design Can Improve Water Co-Governance" Water 13, no. 9: 1206. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091206

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