Knowledge for water governance

Trends, limits, and challenges


  • Arwin van Buuren Public Administration | Erasmus University


Current discourse about water governance in Western countries is strongly influenced
by approaches such as integrated, adaptive and participatory water management.
These approaches put different demands on the production and application of knowledge in water
governance processes, but mainly implicitly and without attention for the possible limits and
trade-offs between these demands. In this article I explicate the role of knowledge within these
various paradigms based upon an initial literature review and find out to what extent these
demands are taken into account in two recent Dutch water governance programs with regard
to flood safety. This theoretical exploration and empirical illustration results in a critical reflection
on the limits and trade-offs between these various demands and suggest some lines
for a research agenda about organizing knowledge for water governance which are different
from the dominant perspectives currently dominating the literature on adaptive, integrated and
participatory water management.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

van Buuren, A. . (2013). Knowledge for water governance: Trends, limits, and challenges. International Journal of Water Governance, 1(1-2), 157–175. Retrieved from



Research Article