Stakeholders Perspectives on the Use of Indicators in Water Resources Planning and Related Strategic Environmental Assessment

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Abstract

Water resources planning is currently designed to meet emerging challenges and encompassing a more comprehensive and integrated water management. The main focus of current water resources planning is to promote good water resource conditions through the implementation of innovative water policies. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to characterize and assess the status of water resources, monitor the implementation of planned actions, disseminate information and support the decision-making process. Indicators are often regarded as appropriate tools for supporting these tasks, although their use in this context is not imperative. The present study intends to explore the stakeholder perspective on the role of indicators in the water resources planning and management processes and their strategic environmental assessment process using a Portuguese case study. To achieve this objective, semi-structured interviews with the various stakeholder groups involved were conducted. The treatment of the obtained data using content analysis shows that the interviewees consider indicators to be an essential tool for supporting water resources planning. Some participants express concerns and suggest changes to the selection models and to the communication and decision-support capacity of the sets of indicators used. All stakeholders in the process consider that improvements to the indicators to be used in future processes are possible. In light of the results, it can be concluded that there is a long way to go for indicators to be used to promote better communication with stakeholders and to support decision-making processes; simultaneously, they can form the basis for the review and development of the subsequent cycle of the planning process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1950001
JournalJournal Of Environmental Assessment Policy And Management
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • indicators
  • River basin planning
  • stakeholders
  • strategic environmental assessment

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