Equity and Social Justice in Water Doctrines
The role of institutions in the management of natural resources, such as surface water, have long been seen as promoting an efficient and socially just distribution of the available resource. Perceptions of basic liberties and procedural and distributive justice are often at the core of many water disputes throughout the world. During the past 15 years there has been a number of extensive studies exploring community perceptions of fairness and justice in water management and the development of fairness principles (see e.g., Nancarrow, B. E., and Syme, G. J. (2001). Soc. Justice Res. 14(4): 441-452; Syme, G. J., and Nancarrow, B. E. (1992). Perceptions of Fairness and Social Justice in the Allocation of Water Resources in Australia. CSIRO, Division of Water Resources, Perth, Australia (Consultancy Report No. 92/38); Syme, G. J., and Nancarrow, B. E. (1997). Water Resour. Res. 32: 1843-1850; Syme, G. J., Nancarrow, B. E., and McCreddin, J. A. (1999). J. Environ. Manage. 57: 51-70; Syme, G. J., Nancarrow, B. E., and McCreddin, J. A. (2000). Risk Anal. 20(6): 905-916). This paper contributes to that body of knowledge by evaluating three water doctrines underpinning water management using a variety of social justice criteria, drawing examples from the United States and Australia as appropriate. The notion is that if the water doctrine of a state or country conforms to a set of social justice principles then the water policies derived from it should produce just outcomes.
Social Justice Research