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Expert forecasts and the emergence of water scarcity on public agendas

Society and Natural Resources

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DOI: 10.1080/08941920600561173

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Abstract

Expert forecasts of worldwide water scarcity depict conditions that call for proactive, preventive, coordinated water governance, but they have not been matched by public agendas of commensurate scope and urgency in the United States. This disconnect can not be adequately explained without some attention to attributes of forecasts themselves. I propose that the institutional fragmentation of water expertise and prevailing patterns of communication about water scarcity militate against the formulation of a common public definition of the problem and encourage reliance on unambiguous crises to stimulate social and policy agenda setting. I do not argue that expert forecasts should drive public agendas deterministically, but if their purpose is to help prevent water crises (not just predict them), then a greater effort is needed to overcome the barriers to meaningful public scrutiny of expert claims and evaluation of water strategies presently in place. Copyright ?? 2006 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Expert forecasts and the emergence of water scarcity on public agendas
Series title:
Society and Natural Resources
DOI:
10.1080/08941920600561173
Volume
19
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Society and Natural Resources
First page:
465
Last page:
472