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Ethics and Water Governance

David Groenfeldt, Water-Culture Institute; Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Jeremy J Schmidt, University of Western Ontario

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04629-180114

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Abstract

Ethics and values are important dimensions of water governance. We show how a "values approach" contributes to an understanding of global water governance, and how it complements other perspectives on governance, namely management, institutional capacity, and social-ecological systems. We connect these other approaches to their own value systems and the ethical attitudes they engender. We then offer a way to explicitly incorporate, and where necessary adjudicate, competing value systems through a values-based approach to governance. A case of the Santa Fe River in New Mexico, USA illustrates how value systems are reflected in water policies and how these values affect governance priorities, such as in environmental flows. The values-based approach clarifies tacit values and creates space to align local values with those needed for effective water governance at the global level.

Key words

ethics; Rio Grande; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Santa Fe River; values; water governance

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087