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Social participation in water management and governance recently became a reality in many economies and societies. Yet the dimensions in which power regulation, social equity and democracy-building are connected with participation has been only tangentially analyzed for the water sector. Understanding the growing interest in social participation involves appreciating the specificity of the contemporary period within its historic and geographic contexts as well as uncovering larger political, economic and cultural trends of recent decades which frame participatory actions.
Within a wide variety of cases presented from around the world, the reader will find critical analyses of participation and an array of political ecological processes that influence water governance. Sixteen chapters from a diverse group of scholars and practitioners examine water rights definition, hydropower dam construction, urban river renewal, irrigation organizations, water development NGOs, river basin management, water policy implementation and judicial decision-making in water conflicts. Yet there are commonalities in participatory experiences across this spectrum of water issues.
'At last, this book recognizes that power differentials are critical to social participation in water resources management. These authors probe the actual benefits of participation to marginalized people and consider whether and how participation can be transformative rather than tokenism.' Helen Ingram, University of Arizona and University of California at Irvine 'It is now largely assumed that participation is a necessary component of good water governance. This book provides a welcome examination of what social participation in water management really means, when it works and, as importantly, when it might not.' Mark Giordano, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka 'This is a significant contribution to the field of social participation in natural resource management and provides some key insights for those interested not only in water governance, but ecosystem services in general, the economy of nature and the transformative potential of social participation in legislation and policy setting.' Ecosystem Marketplace
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