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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Integrated regional water management: Collaboration or water politics as usual?


This report analyzes the effectiveness of integrated regional water management (IRWM) in the San Francisco Bay-Area of California for decreasing fragmentation and increasing collaboration among water management stakeholders. The theory identifies the elements of traditional water management politics that lead to fragmentation and conflict. The water-politics-as-usual model is then compared to the collaborative model of integrated water management. The evolution of IRWM in California is briefly described. A survey of Bay Area stakeholders is used to assess whether participation in the Bay Area IRWM achieves the goals of collaboration and integration. The basic results suggest the Bay Area has made only incremental progress away from the fragmentation and conflict seen in the past.

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