Water Management and Irrigation Governance in the Anthropocene: Moving from Physical Solutions to Social Involvement

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Sandra Ricart

Abstract

The rising water turbulence in the Anthropocene changes the water research and policy agenda, from a water-resource efficiency to a water resilience focus. Irrigation systems, as examples of complex social-ecological systems, deal with both the uncertainty of ecosystem dynamics and the interdependencies resulting from human needs. The water-agriculture nexus is context-dependent, socially constructed and technically uncertain, and it should be analysed as a hydrosocial cycle, which likewise takes into account the inseparability of social and physical aspects of water systems. Water management options have typically been categorized as either supply management or demand management, and even though physical solutions continue to dominate traditional planning approaches, these solutions are facing increasing social opposition. Focused on the Anthropocene dynamics, how to ensure stakeholders’ involvement? The value of stakeholder participation is to reduce the rigid influence of the technocratic state by devolving greater decision-making power to users directly invested in, and knowledgeable of, the management of natural resources. This paper aims to review key questions about water governance in order to promote the transition from being problem-oriented to proactive and forward-thinking management tools by ensuring social learning.

Keywords:
Irrigation, water management, stakeholders, governance, climate change, Anthropocene

Article Details

How to Cite
Ricart, S. (2018). Water Management and Irrigation Governance in the Anthropocene: Moving from Physical Solutions to Social Involvement. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 15(4), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.9734/JGEESI/2018/42125
Section
Review Article