Inderscience Publishers

Inadequacy of positivistic research to explain complexity of water management

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The paper looks at alternative scientific research approaches and traditions related to Water Resources Management (WRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) services. How can they explain the problem-oriented water governance challenges, and how do they apply to multi- and inter-disciplinary research? It is argued that the bias in favour of a positivistic approach and natural sciences in water research prevents adequate answers to wider water governance challenges and institutional and management issues. Water research should be expanded to include diverse multi-, pluri-, cross-, inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches as joint efforts, while individuals could be encouraged to seek transdisciplinarity.

Keywords: diversity, hermeneutics, positivism, research approaches, scientific research, water research, water management, water resources management, water supply, sanitation services, water governance

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