Learning from the past; changing perspectives on river management in the Netherlands

A. Offermans*, R. Cörvers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Sustainable water management strategies are able to cope with uncertainties in our natural environment and societal domain. Uncertainties in the societal domain reflect different and changing perceptions in policy and society on how water should be managed and which objectives should be preferred. Changing perceptions may lead to a loss of social support for policy strategies, forcing policy makers to take adapting measures quickly or to cancel plans. To explore the social robustness of water management strategies and to identify under what circumstances those strategies gain or loose social support, we use the Perspectives method. Resulting from our historical analysis of water management in the Netherlands as from 1900, we present insight in the dynamic nature of perspectives. These insights may be beneficial for scientists and policy makers. Closely monitoring of perspective change and anticipation on growing undercurrents, developments and conceivable events, helps us to increase the social robustness of water management strategies. 

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-22
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


    • Perspectives on water
    • Social support
    • Sustainable water management

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