Resilient societies: water solutions in a new context

19–21 October 2011 • Twente University’s Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS) will host a conference on «Governing Risk and Vulnerability: for Water, Energy and Climate Change». The water theme of the IGS conference will concentrate on connecting science and policy, while remaining cognizant of the importance of locality and context and the dynamic nature of both water and society. The topic will be addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective. Both technical and non-technical scholars are invited to submit papers, organize open sessions and provide demonstrations.


» Conference website


2011.08_IGS.smallWater is the life blood of most societies and as is noted by the World Water Assessment Programme of the United Nations, the majority of water concerns faced around the world are due to ‘people issues’ and not for a lack of scientific or technological capability. As such, it is the inability to provide good governance of water that challenges nations both in the developed and developing worlds. Solutions to these problems are needed in what is an increasingly dynamic and interconnected society and environment, under the urgent and impending pressures of climate change. With water being such a key resource to society, it is important focus on resilient solutions which marry good science and robust theory. It is these solutions that this conference will address from various interdisciplinary and contextual perspectives.

Water systems and hydrology are not easily confined and are at all times in flux. It is thus important to remember to base our research and actions on a systems based approach and understanding. Interdisciplinary research and boundary spanning activities will be key to the future solutions to our water management needs and should form the basis of current and future policy actions. This theme will support research, networks, policy and governance actions that combine various stakeholders such as experts, academics, practitioners and students who strive to link theory and practice to contribute to resilient societies.

There is emerging concern over the effects of and the need for adaptation to climate change, particularly in terms of water resources. The inclusion of scientific information into policy making (both international and domestic) is a critical part of any natural resource governance framework. Science is not static and hence it needs a fluid and discerning entrance into the decision-makers sphere. What is the value and role of epistemic communities, interest groups, and other science-policy related organizations, mechanisms and institutions in terms of how a governance system can best incorporate science to effectively manage a natural resource? Different situations and contexts call for different solutions, though does that mean that we can not learn from each other’s experiences?

These and other questions will be discussed during the water parallel sessions of the IGS conference 2011.


Session topics include:

  • Sharing experiences in water management across borders
  • Integrated coastal development: Towards Building with Nature?
  • Water Conflict and the Middle East
  • Re-conceptualizing models and modeling as boundary objects in water governance
  • Approaching Climate Change for Water Adaptation (ACCWA)
  • Water Modeling Game (Dutch) – Two Options
acrobat_icon Conference flyer