Complexity in Water Management and Governance

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenAufsätze in SammelwerkenForschung


Water management is often facing complex problems,
which are particularly challenging to address. But while
the term ‘complexity’ has increasingly been used, the
concept and its implications for management and governance
have often remained unclear. Building on both
conceptual and empirical research, this chapter sheds light
on complexity in the water field from a management and
governance perspective. Analytical concepts of complexity
are described and distinguished from related concepts
such as ‘wicked’ and ‘uncertain’ problems. Further, three
types of approaches to address complex problems are
discussed, characterized by various understandings of
complexity, governance approaches, and emphasis put on
inputs (processes) and outputs (results). The chapter
provides examples of addressing complex problems,
including installing an Integrated Water Resources Management,
implementing a Nexus approach to environmental
resources and sectors, and addressing poor water
quality within the European Water Framework Directive.
The chapter concludes on the future role and design of
governance research in addressing complex water management
TitelHandbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples
HerausgeberJanos J. Bogardi, Joyeeta Gupta, K. D. Wasantha Nandalal, Léna Salamé, Ronald R. P. van Nooijen, Navneet Kumar, Tawatchai Tingsanchali, Anik Bhaduri, Alla G. Kolechkina
Anzahl der Seiten10
VerlagSpringer Nature AG
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-60145-4
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-030-60147-8
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2021


  • Umwelt Governance - complexity, European Water Framework Directive, Integrated Water Resources Management, Nexus, Uncertainty, Water quality, Wicked problems