Assessing and Managing the Social Effects of Water Reform in Agricultural Areas

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    Implementing policies and programs that change how people can access, use or interact with water resources is often socially contentious. Despite this, the assessment of social effects often remains a secondary consideration in the design and implementation of water reform. This chapter identifies key principles for assessing and managing the social effects of water reform. The importance of social acceptability to successful water reform is examined, together with the role of social assessment in achieving this. Three key principles for successfully assessing and managing social effects are then examined, using examples from the design and implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan: (a) the importance of good public participation, (b) ensuring robust methods are used to assess the social outcomes of water reform throughout design and implementation, and (c) ensuring social effects are considered when selecting and designing the policy instruments used to enact water reform.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDecision Making in Water Resources Policy and Management
    Subtitle of host publicationAn Australian Perspective
    EditorsBarry Hart, Jane Doolan
    Place of PublicationLondon, UK
    PublisherAcademic Press
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128105245
    ISBN (Print)9780128105238
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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