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Meeting the challenges of transdisciplinary knowledge production for sustainable water governance

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Renner, Schneider Flurina, Hohenwallner Daniela, Kopeinig Christian, Kruse Sylvia, Lienert Judit, Link Steffen, Muhar Susanne,
Project Montanaqua: Anticiper le stress hydrique dans les Alpes - Scénarios de gestion de l'eau dans la région de Sierre-Crans-Montana (Valais).
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Mountain Research and Development
Volume (Issue) 33(3)
Page(s) 234 - 247
Title of proceedings Mountain Research and Development
DOI 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-13-00002.1


Increasing pressure on mountain water resources is making it necessary to address water governance issues in a transdisciplinary way. This entails drawing on different disciplinary perspectives, different types of knowledge, and different interests to answer complex governance questions. This study identifies strategies for addressing specific challenges to transdisciplinary knowledge production aiming at sustainable and reflective water governance. The study draws on the experiences of 5 large transdisciplinary water governance research projects conducted in Austria and Switzerland (Alp-Water-Scarce, MontanAqua, Drought-CH, Sustainable Water Infrastructure Planning, and an integrative river management project in the Kamp Valley). Experiences were discussed and systematically analyzed in a workshop and subsequent interviews. These discussions identified 4 important challenges to interactions between scientists and stakeholders-ensuring stakeholder legitimacy, encouraging participation, managing expectations, and preventing misuse of data and research results-and explored strategies used by the projects to meet them. Strategies ranged from key points to be considered in stakeholder selection to measures that enhance trustful relationships and create commitment.