A systemic approach to managing multiple perspectives and stakeholding in water catchments: some findings from three UK case studies

Collins, Kevin; Blackmore, Chris; Morris, Richard and Watson, Drennan (2007). A systemic approach to managing multiple perspectives and stakeholding in water catchments: some findings from three UK case studies. Environmental Science and Policy, 10(6) pp. 564–574.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2006.12.005

Abstract

As the EU-wide Water Framework Directive enters into public policy, the UK faces significant challenges in managing its water resources, including exceptional flood and drought events in recent years. New legislation is resurfacing existing conflicts and generating new debates among multiple stakeholders about managing water catchments. Existing policies and practices are under strain as a result. This paper reports how the SLIM project in the UK researched the role of a systemic approach to managing multiple perspectives and stakeholding in water catchments and the new challenges this presents to existing forms of knowledge and practice. The authors apply the conceptual tradition of systems thinking and practice, and the methodological approach of systemic co-researching inquiry to empirical studies in the Tweed, the Ythan, and the Eye Brook catchments, in the context of a review of policy and practice in the UK. The extent to which systems approaches to multiple stakeholding can lead to social learning for concerted action is considered. An assessment of the implications of the research findings for policies and practices in managing water catchments concludes the article.

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