Assessing framing of uncertainties in water management practice

N. Isendahl, A. Dewulf, M. Bruchnach, G. Francois, S. Moellenkamp, C. Pahl-Wostl

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The importance of problem framing in relation with environmental problems has been stated in various scientific contributions. In this paper we intend to relate it to the issue of uncertainties in water management. Dealing with uncertainties in water management is an important issue and will increase to be so in light of global changes, in particular climate change. To know how uncertainties are framed in water management practice then is important in order to evaluate strategies for dealing with these uncertainties. With the aim of identifying what are important parameters for the framing of uncertainties in water management practice, in this paper we analyze uncertainty situations described by decision-makers in water management. The analysis builds on a series of ¿Uncertainty Dialogues¿ carried out within the NeWater project with water managers in the Rhine, Elbe and Guadiana basins in 2006. During these dialogues, representatives of these river basins were asked what uncertainties they en2 N. Isendahl, A. Dewulf, M. Brugnach, G. François, S. Möllenkamp, C. Pahl-Wostl countered in their professional work life and how they confronted them. Analysing these dialogues we identified several important parameters of how uncertainties get framed. Our assumption is that making framing of uncertainty explicit will allow for better dealing with the respective uncertainty situations. In order to get a broader picture of the framing of an uncertainty we therefore suggest to add a third axis to the uncertainty matrix developed earlier by Brugnach et al. (2007) detailing on the relation of actors towards an uncertainty situation. This axis is assembled from the parameters identified in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-22
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational Conference in Adaptive and Integrated Water Management, Coping with complexity and uncertainty -
Duration: 12 Nov 200715 Nov 2007

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference in Adaptive and Integrated Water Management, Coping with complexity and uncertainty
Period12/11/0715/11/07

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