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    Author(s): Mark E. Burbach; Kristin Floress; Linda Stalker Prokopy
    Date: 2019
    Source: Social Science for Water Resources Management. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education: 167: 1-5.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (421.0 KB)


    Managing water resources is becoming increasingly difficult as demographic, economic, institutional, technological, and climate changes manifest across the U.S. and around the world (Cosgrove and Louchs 2015). These extraordinarily complex water quality and quantity challenges facing water resource management are "wicked problems" (Gold et al. 2013). Wicked problems - those that are difficult to resolve because of complexity, uncertainty, and divergence and fragmentation in viewpoints, values, and intentions (Rittel and Webber 1973; Head 2008) - arise in numerous resource management contexts. The act of simply trying to define the problem illustrates the level of difficulty associated with resolution. For example, multiple perspectives on an issue, the level to which numerous social and natural systems are connected, and the overwhelming number of potential fixes that need to be understood to clearly define the issue make water management a wicked problem.

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    Burbach, Mark E.; Floress, Kristin; Stalker Prokopy, Linda. 2019. Catalyzing Change: Social Science for Water Resources Management. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education: 167: 1-5.

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