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

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Abstract

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
Chapter10
Pages165-181
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128105245
ISBN (Print)9780128105238
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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SCHIRMER, J. (2017). Assessing and Managing the Social Effects of Water Reform in Agricultural Areas. In B. Hart, & J. Doolan (Eds.), Decision Making in Water Resources Policy and Management: An Australian Perspective (pp. 165-181). London, UK: Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-810523-8.00011-2