Values in water management

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Values, defined as principles or standards of behaviour, are crucial for understanding 5 how individuals, groups, organisations and whole societies interact with their water systems. Values can be used to judge and justify actions (ideal values) and they can be enacted in practice and embodied in water laws and water infrastructure (actual values). Moreover, they can be individual or social. Depending on the type of value, different measurement methods can be used. For research into the co-evolution of human and water systems, discourse analysis of cultural texts such as newspaper articles is a good 10 method since such texts are often available for longer periods. For comparative research, data from the World Values Survey or the European Social Survey may be used. To achieve progress, future socio-hydrological research should take as its starting point the main social groups and organisations in the area of concern and study 1) how these have evolved, 2) how their interactions with each other and with their physical environment have evolved, and 3) how they influence and are influenced by the prevalent social values and management institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018


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