Volume 36, Issue 5

September 2020

Research Article

Using two-eyed seeing to bridge Western science and Indigenous knowledge systems and understand long-term change in the Saskatchewan River Delta, Canada

Razak Abua, Maureen G. Reeda and Timothy D. Jardineb

aSchool of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada; bSchool of Environment and Sustainability and Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Contact: Razak Abu | Email: razak.abu@usask.ca


Although researchers now recognize that Indigenous knowledge can strengthen environmental planning and assessment, little research has empirically demonstrated how to bring together Indigenous knowledge and Western science to form a more complete picture of social-ecological change. This study attempts to fill this gap by using ‘two-eyed seeing’ – an approach that brings together Indigenous and Western perspectives on an equal basis – to collect and analyze changes in the Saskatchewan River Delta since upstream dams were built in the 1960s. Results found corroboration across the knowledge systems that operation of dams has lowered summer flows and created unnaturally high winter flows. The knowledge systems, however, diverged in some areas, such as the production of northern pike, where local residents observed abundant pike but records showed the pike commercial harvest declining to near zero. Indigenous knowledge alone provided information about berries and berry seasons. This two-eyed seeing approach can enhance environmental assessment and planning by providing a more accurate and coherent narrative of long-term social-ecological change.

Pages: 757–776


Research Article

Sustainable water resources development in northern Australia: the need for coordination, integration and representation

Barry Harta,b, Erin O’Donnellc and Avril Horned

aWater Science Pty Ltd, Echuca, VIC, Australia; bAlluvium Consulting Australia Pty Ltd, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; cLaw School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; dSchool of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Contact: Barry Hart | Email: barry.hart@waterscience.com.au


The Australian government’s push to develop northern Australia identified water security as crucial in underpinning any new agricultural developments. Compliance of the current water resources planning frameworks in the three northern Australian jurisdictions – Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory – with the National Water Initiative is reviewed. An updated approach to water resource development in northern Australia is then proposed that could involve the Australian government taking a greater coordinating role. Four key requirements of this new approach are then discussed: new coordinating legislation (for example, a Northern Australia Water Act); greater involvement of First Nations communities; a more coordinated and integrated water resource planning process; and improved and more transparent processes for water infrastructure funding.

Pages: 777–799


Research Article

The spatial component of integrative water resources management: differentiating integration of land and water governance

Tom Scholtena, Thomas Hartmannb,c and Tejo Spitab

aHuman Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; bEnvironmental Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands; cFaculty of Social & Economic studies, Jan Evangelista Purkyne University, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Contact: Tom Scholten | Email: t.scholten1@uu.nl


Contemporary water-governance approaches lack an understanding of the differences revealed when land and water governance interact. Conflicts arise because the spatial component is less regarded in water-governance approaches. This explorative paper introduces an analytical framework for the common management of land and water along three frontiers: the vertical frontier concerns the interaction between subsurface groundwater and land uses on the surface; the horizontal frontier refers to coastlines or riverfronts; and the fluent frontier is about inundations and flood events. Rather than a panacea for all governance issues, this paper proposes a more differentiated perspective on integrative watergovernance approaches.

Pages: 800–817

https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2019.1566055 (Open Access)

Research Article

Adaptive governance: a catalyst for advancing sustainable urban transformation in the global South

T. Yasmina, M. Farrellya and B. C. Rogersb

aHuman Geography, School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; bSociology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Contact: T. Yasmin | Emails: tahmina.yasmin@monash.edu; tyas1@student.monash.edu


Adaptive governance has been proposed by many scholars as an approach to sustainable resource management, and has subsequently been applied in many countries. While the conceptual origins of adaptive governance have largely emerged from the global North, there has been little critical attention to the utility of adaptive governance concepts in the global South. Through a qualitative meta-analysis of adaptive governance scholarship published between 2000 and 2018, this article characterizes the key attributes of adaptive governance in the global North and examines whether these attributes are present in contemporary scholarship on the global South. In doing so, the article confirms that adaptive governance principles are present, but reveals distinctions regarding how these manifest in the global South. The article proposes a guiding framework to advance the design and implementation of future adaptive governance interventions in the global South.

Pages: 818–838


Research Article

Cost and schedule overruns in large hydropower dams: an assessment of projects completed since 2000

Judith Plummer Braeckmana, Tim Disselhoffb and Julian Kirchherrc,d

aCambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK; bLeuphana, University of Lüneburg, Germany; cFaculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; dSchool of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK

Contact: Judith Plummer Braeckman | Email: Judith.plummerbraeckman@cisl.cam.ac.uk


This paper presents novel data on cost and schedule overruns in recent dam projects started and completed since 2000 and compares them with pre-existing data sets on projects started before 2000. Combining these data, a meta-data set was created of 184 cost overrun and 191 time overrun data points. For post-2000 projects, the average cost overrun was 33% and schedule overrun was 18% as compared with 46% and 37% respectively for pre-2000 projects. While a decrease in the averages was observed, the change in cost overruns is not statistically significant, whereas the change in time overruns is significant.

Pages: 839–854


Research Article

Functionality of handpump water supplies: a review of data from sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region

Tim Fostera, Sean Fureyb, Brian Banksc and Juliet Willettsa

aInstitute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia; bSKAT Foundation, St. Gallen, Switzerland; cGlobal Water Challenge, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Arlington, VA, USA

Contact: Tim Foster | Email: tim.foster@uts.edu.au


Handpumps are heavily relied upon for drinking water in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries, but their operation and maintenance remain problematic. This review presents updated and expanded handpump functionality estimates for 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Our results suggest that approximately one in four handpumps in sub-Saharan Africa are nonfunctional at any point in time,which in 2015 was roughly equivalent to 175,000 inoperative water points. Functionality statistics for Asia-Pacific countries vary widely, but data gaps preclude a robust region-wide estimate. In spite of data inconsistencies and imperfections, the results illustrate the persistent and widespread nature of rural water supply sustainability concerns.

Pages: 855–869