Collaborative processes as a recipe for sustainable river basin development?

A study of Swedish water councils in three regulated rivers

During the last decade, the ideas of collaborative planning have been widely implemented in European water administrations through progressive and innovative EU legislation on river basin management. Sweden has undergone a major change in its use of collaborative river basin planning, with the establishment of approxim1tely I00 stakeholder groups, referred to as water councils. To explore the consequences of this and to generate support with respect to sustainable collaborative processes the objectives are to:

  • Generate a deep understanding how the Swedish water councils function in relation to sustainable water
  • Identify key issues for making the ongoing participatory and collaborative shift in river basin planning
  • Provide guidelines for how the Swedish water councils and responsible authorities can develop their work in relation to collaboration,

An innovative framework for sustainable development as a process will be used as the theoretical basis for studying collaboration for water planning in three regulated rivers with high ecological values and flood risks. The following issues, of key importance to sustainable processes, will be studied:

  • How collaborative planning can support the integration of knowledge from different disciplines,
    • of values, and
    • in terms of coordination
  • How collaborative planning can support participation
    • in terms of inclusion of local knowledge and perspectives, and
    • for generating legitimacy and engagement

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