This book explores creative interdisciplinary and potentially transformative solutions to the current stalemate in contemporary water policy design. A more open policy conversation about water than exists at present is proposed – one that provides a space for the role of the imagination and is inclusive – of the arts and humanities, relevant stakeholders, including landholders and Indigenous peoples, as well as science, law and economics.
Written for a wide audience, including practitioners and professional readers, as well as scholars and students, the book demonstrates the value of multiple disciplines, voices, perspectives, knowledges and different ways of relating to water. It provides a fresh and timely response to the urgent need for water policy that works to achieve sustainability, and may be better able to resolve complex environmental, social and cultural water issues. Utilising a broad range of evidentiary sources and case studies from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere, the authors of this edited collection demonstrate how new ways of thinking and imagining water are not only possible but already practised, and growing in saliency and impact. The current dominance of narrower ways of conceptualising our relationship with water is critiqued, including market valuation and water privatisation, and more innovative alternatives are described, including those that recognise the importance of place-based stories and narratives, adopt traditional ecological knowledge and relational water appreciations, and apply cutting-edge behavioural and ecological systems science.
The book highlights how innovative approaches drawing on a wide range of views may counter prevailing policy myopia, enable reflexive governance and transform water policy towards addressing water security questions and the broader challenges posed by the Anthropocene and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.