a theory and practice of implementing adaptive water management for complex water issues, developed at Tufts, MIT, and Harvard. The Water Diplomacy approach diagnoses water problems, identifies intervention points, and proposes sustainable solutions that are sensitive to diverse viewpoints and values, ambiguity and uncertainty as well as changing and competing needs.
Increasingly complex water problems require negotiated solutions. Water Diplomacy teaches the skills to transform a fixed quantity of water into a flexible and sustainably shared resource. Water Diplomacy shifts the discussion from “allocation of water” to “benefit from water resources” to open up new avenues for resolving water conflicts.
Water issues create contentious arguments over its availability, access and allocation for human needs, agricultural use, industrial development and ecosystem services. Science or policymaking alone is not sufficient. Sustainable solutions can only come from diplomacy that takes science, policy, and politics into account.
Below you will find information about various efforts to advance and implement the evolving theory and practice of water diplomacy.
The Water Diplomacy Graduate Program at Tufts University educates doctoral students who will become the next generation of teachers and scholars of water diplomacy. Supported by the Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) of the National Science Foundation, this degree teaches interdisciplinary water professionals to think across boundaries, integrate explicit and tacit knowledge, and link knowledge and action from multiple perspectives to help resolve water issues through mutual-gains negotiations.
The Water Diplomacy Workshop (WDW) is an annual “train-the-trainer” event that builds the capacity of senior water managers. Through highly interactive presentations and exercises, it helps participants master important water network management tools, and gain the skills needed to teach these tools to others. The 2013 WDW is scheduled for June 24-28 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Read about it or apply.
The Research Coordination Network (RCN) is a group of researchers and practitioners who will synthesize theory and practice to address complex water problems where natural, societal, and political elements cross multiple boundaries. Supported by the National Science Foundation, this global Water Diplomacy RCN explores ways to incorporate recent developments in complexity theory and negotiations, as well as advances in social networking technology, to generate actionable knowledge for adaptive water management.
Aquapedia is a managed wiki that gathers case studies of water management and water conflict. It is meant to provide reliable, relevant, and readily available water information and wisdom from users and producers of explicit and tacit water knowledge. The potentially transformative and collaborative power of AquaPedia will, we hope, make water a flexible and expandable resource.