Weekly Wave: UCOWR Publishes New Article on DEIJ in Water Dialogues
April 21, 2023
Water Resources Research Center,
April 21, 2023
The current issue of the Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, a publication from the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), contains a groundbreaking article titled “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in Water Dialogues: A Review and Conceptualization.” Lead author Simone A. Williams, a recent WRRC graduate research associate and current PhD student in the UArizona Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, carried out the first systematic literature survey encompassing a range of literatures relevant to DEIJ in water resources. Flowing from a WRRC research initiative led by Director Sharon B. Megdal, the article goes beyond a review of the available literature to articulate a conceptual framework for engaging and enabling diverse voices to participate effectively in water dialogues. A concept of “just water dialogues” emerged from the analysis, along with concepts of how such dialogues can support just water resource decision-making. Williams and co-authors Susanna Eden, Valerisa Joe-Gaddy, and Sharon B. Megdal describe how power imbalances, disparate individual and organizational capacities, and failure to recognize cultural identities and unique knowledge undermine effective engagement. They end by highlighting strategies to address these issues, such as building bridges with diverse, often underrepresented, groups and suggesting avenues for further research.