Next Water Governance

Project: Research

Project participants


The NEWAVE project departs from the notion that the global debate about water governance needs a reset, and aims to point the way forward. It does so by developing research and training for a new generation of future water governance leaders, and by equipping them with the transdisciplinary skills to better tackle water challenges. The central organizing framework in NEWAVE is formed by the “three Ps” – which reflects the insight that future water governance leaders should have a deep and transdisciplinary understanding of 1) Problématiques - the nature of nowadays water challenges; 2)
Paradigms – the ideational underpinnings of current approaches to water governance; and 3) Patterns – the way in which
newly proposed approaches interact with existing institutions. NEWAVE proposes cutting edge research on all these aspects
from a global perspective, a highly sophisticated training program to teach the required skills to analyze these issues in a
reflexive way and to come up with recommendations about them, and a close collaboration with several of the most
prominent players in the water governance debate. NEWAVE will not only be active in Europe, but will additionally target the
water governance debate in a carefully selected number of emerging economies and developing countries, and has the right
partners on board to do so. Because of its excellent design, NEWAVE will help to recognize and avoid the traps in the
current debate on water governance, such as panacea thinking, the disregard of institutional contexts, and the neglect of
politics or normative considerations such as justice and equity. NEWAVE thus presents an opportunity to make a step
change in an salient societal debate in Europe, and far beyond, and is designed to leave a strong legacy in terms of
networks, insights and skills acquired.

Research outputs