Thrust Areas Ecosystem Water Institute Classification Level
Water, Land Use and Ecosystems Water and Climate Water and Society Water Resources Sustainability Springs Wetlands Watersheds Aquifers Lakes Coastal Zone  Water Institute Classification 1  Water Institute Classification 2  Water Institute Classification 3  Water Institute Classification 4
Thrust Area: Water and Society

Water availability, water quality, and resulting ecological impacts are influenced by, and also affect, decisions made by numerous and diverse stakeholders across individual, community, informal and formal institutional scale. Understanding and predicting the perceptions, attitudes, values and behaviors of these complex hierarchical stakeholder groups; how these factors translate into conflicts (i.e., between knowledge, values and actions; between individual actions and public goals; and among stakeholder groups regarding public goals); and understanding the role and distribution of power among stakeholder groups remain significant research challenges. Nonetheless, improved understanding of these factors is essential to resolve real or perceived conflicts, improve decision making processes regarding complex water issues, and design innovative educational, incentive, or regulatory strategies to change undesirable behaviors to achieve long term water resource sustainability goal. Basic research in this thrust area focuses on 1) social, behavioral, and economic factors that affect water use, management, and policy making, including interactions between land-use change and water quality and quantity; 2) the dynamic interactions between individual and collective behavior, public policy, and environmental impacts; and 3) applying this knowledge to improve our understanding of complex water conflicts and developing new models for their resolution.

Water and Society Projects