Alternative Dispute Resolution in Water Resources Management

by C. Mark Dunning, Corps of Engineers, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: The Role of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Water Resources Planning and Management


In recent years a variety of techniques have been advocated to resolve natural resource conflicts. These approaches have collectively been termed 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' methods (ADR). They include mediation, conciliation, and collaborative problem solving. This paper considers the issue of the use of ADR in water resource management conflicts by considering the following questions: under what circumstances are ADR approaches most likely to be effective in resolving water resources conflicts? what types of water resource conflicts are likely to lend themselves to ADR; what types are less likely to be suitable for resolution? what critical issues need to be addressed if ADR approaches are to be more widely used in water resources issues? The paper examines the relationship of the central assumptions and requirements for ADR processes to water resources decisionmaking structures.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Resource management | Dispute resolution | Natural resources | Decision making | Human factors | Algorithms

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