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ERIC Number: EJ796035
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Imagined Communities, Contested Watersheds: Challenges to Integrated Water Resources Management in Agricultural Areas
Ferreyra, Cecilia; de Loe, Rob C.; Kreutzwiser, Reid D.
Journal of Rural Studies, v24 n3 p304-321 Jul 2008
Integrated water resources management is one of the major bottom-up alternatives that emerged during the 1980s in North America as part of the trend towards more holistic and participatory styles of environmental governance. It aims to protect surface and groundwater resources by focusing on the integrated and collaborative management of land and water resources and interests on a watershed basis. In this paper, we draw on the policy network perspective on governance to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of watershed-based processes of collaboration and integration for water quality protection in agricultural areas. The policy network perspective focuses on the interaction of actors, institutions and ideas within and among policy sectors to capture the intricacies of the policy process in increasingly complex and fragmented societies. Empirically, this study is based on the analysis of agro-environmental strategies for water quality protection in the Province of Ontario over the last 15 years. The contamination of a rural municipal well in Ontario in 2000, with its tragic consequences, translated into an ongoing pluralistic debate and strong attempts to fundamentally change the provincial policy style for addressing drinking water threats, especially agricultural pollution. Based on our analysis, we suggest that meaningful scales for collaboration and integration of land and water resources and interests at the local level, from the point of view of Ontario's agricultural policy network, do not currently include the watershed. We conclude that, instead of forcing watershed-based governance structures, the exploration and examination of more creative and flexible ways of linking watershed imperatives to existing socially and politically meaningful scales in agricultural areas of Ontario and elsewhere is warranted.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada