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Special Collection: Water Science and Collaboration

Ronlyn Duncan, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, New Zealand

Water is usually discussed in terms of "management" and is often conceived as a technological issue requiring treatment plants, pipes and pumps. While these are undoubtedly important aspects of managing water resources, this special issue of Case Studies in the Environment links water science and collaboration to explore the social and cultural dimensions of the ways we obtain information and establish rules and conventions to protect, distribute and access water. Concerns about the current state of water and the water quality and quantity challenges we are likely to face in the future have been a catalyst for collaboration in many countries. To our delight, the case studies we are assembling capture different types of collaborations and explore different ways of knowing water and the changing ways in which water science is done. Opening up these social and cultural dimensions of water raises important questions about the politics of data collection, the changing role of science and scientists in water management and new delegations of power and authority in managing water resources.

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