Exploring a water data, evidence, and governance theory

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Title: Exploring a water data, evidence, and governance theory
Authors: Zogheib, C
Ochoa-Tocachi, BF
Paul, JD
Hannah, DM
Clark, J
Buytaert, W
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The hydrological evidence on which water resource management and broader governance decisions are based is often very limited. This issue is especially pronounced in lower- and middle-income countries, where not only data are scarce but where pressure on water resources is often already very high and increasing. Historically, several governance theories have been put forward to examine water resource management. One of the more influential is Elinor Ostrom’s theory of common-pool resources. However while used very widely, the underlying principles of Ostrom’s approach make pronounced implicit assumptions about the role of data and evidence in common-pool resource systems. We argue here this overlooks how power relations, user characteristics, system arrangements, and technological advances modulate fundamental associations between data, evidence, and governance, which we contend need to be considered explicitly. Examining the case of water allocations in Quito, Ecuador, we develop a set of concrete criteria to inform the ways in which Ostrom’s principles can be applied in a data-scarce, institutionally complex, polycentric context. By highlighting the variable impact of data availability on subsequent evidence generation, these criteria have the potential to test the applicability of common assumptions about how to achieve water security in a developmental context, and hence offer the possibility of developing a more encompassing theory about the interactions between water data, evidence, and governance.
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2018
Date of Acceptance: 16-Nov-2018
ISSN: 2468-3124
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 19
End Page: 25
Journal / Book Title: Water Security
Volume: 4-5
Issue: 4-5
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Imperial College London
Natural Environment Research Council [2006-2012]
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K010239/1
President's PhD Scholarship
Publication Status: Published
Embargo Date: 2019-11-22
Online Publication Date: 2018-11-22
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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