Keywords: diversity, hermeneutics, positivism, research approaches, scientific research, water research, water management, water resources management, water supply, sanitation services, water governance
Inadequacy of positivistic research to explain complexity of water management
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.