Picturing Sustainable Water Resources Management: Photo-conversations with Irrigators and Policymakers

By Ganesh Keremane and Jennifer Mckay.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The concept of sustainable development has emerged over the last 30 years and its development and articulation has a number of antecedents and it can be interpreted in many ways. But the idea of sustainability, as we now understand it, was articulated in the 1987 Brundtland Report as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, in today’s world the concept is more complex and it includes economic achievements, social institutions of our society and the ecological considerations. In Australia, sustainability is interpreted as Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), which is the formally established policy goal at local, state and national levels. This study is based on the findings of a research study conducted in rural Australia to understand how irrigators who are at the sharp end of Australian water policy visualize ESD. It used a novel method called ‘photostory’ to encourage a dialogue between the irrigators and policy makers who strive to communicate effectively and tried to picture sustainable water management. The photostories represent their experiences in working on the sustainability elements of water policies; they suggest that sustainability to the participants includes sustainability of the social, economic and environmental aspects.

Keywords: Photostory, Sustainable Development, Water Management

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.145-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.011MB).

Dr. Ganesh Keremane

Research Assistant, Centre for Comparative Water Policies and Laws & National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, School of Commerce, University of South Australia (UniSA) and National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Ganesh is based at the Centre for Comparative Water Policies and Laws (CCWPL), in the School of Commerce, Division of Business, and University of South Australia. He is also associated with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). Ganesh is currently working on a NCGRT research examining the policy, institutional, law and governance issues related to sustainable groundwater management in Australia. It will examine public attitudes toward using stormwater treated through managed aquifer recharge process for several non-potable uses and identify the factors that are most likely to influence users’ intended behaviour. The resulting information could be used by planners and utilities to make decisions in individual communities. His research interests are primarily in the natural resources management area with an emphasis on institutional and policy analysis of surface and groundwater management and assessing community attitudes and perceptions towards alternative water sources. His PhD examined the institutional arrangements governing the use of reclaimed water for agriculture in Australia and India, for which he was awarded the 2008 CRC Irrigation Futures Director’s Award.

Prof. Jennifer Mckay

Professor, Centre for Comparative Water Policies and Laws & National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, School of Commerce, University of South Australia (UniSA) and National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Prof. Jennifer McKay is a Professor of Business Law and the Director, Centre for Comparative Water Policies and Laws (CCWPL) in the School of Commerce, Division of Business, University of South Australia. She is one of 20 PI in the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). Prof. McKay’s research interests concern water law reform and in particular regulatory models for the management and allocation of water between competing uses and between competing jurisdictions. She has been recognised as a ‘supported researcher’ and supported by the School of Commerce the University and the ARC, Land and Water Australia, International water Management Institute in these endeavours for many years. She was awarded a Fulbright senior fellowship in 2010 to visit UC Berkeley and is the Australasian Rep for the International Water Law Association. She has been nominated by the Australian Branch of the International Law Association to be a member of the International Law Association committee on International Law on Sustainable Development. Through many years of research and a partnership with the CRC Irrigation Futures and ACIAR and through many years of projects from the ARC, Land and Water Australia and Rural Industries Research and Development Council she has crystallised a comparative law framework for analysing the legal institutional aspects of Natural Resources Management in Australia and India.

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