Values in water management
- Department Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
Abstract. Values play a key role in water management and natural resources management more generally. They can be used by individuals, groups, organisations and whole societies to judge and justify actions. In addition, they can be enacted in practice and embodied in water institutions and infrastructure. Values can be seen as responses to the necessities of human existence and the need to live together and form functioning societies. Mechanisms that can explain their origin, effects and development include reciprocity, socialisation, formal and informal sanctioning, new information, and socio‒economic change. Depending on the type of value, different measurement methods can be used, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, Q methodology, content analysis of cultural texts such as newspaper articles, argumentation analysis and participant observation. The article recommends research at the level of social groups and organisations because of the large role these play in water management. Consequently, it is important to measure their values, including both their environmental values ‒ how they relate to their environment ‒ and their social values ‒ how they relate to each other.
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