'Everyone Will Get Better Together': How Those Responsible for California's Bay-Delta Water System Understand Collaboration
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 25, 2009
This paper examines how a variety of stakeholders and agency officials involved in collaborative governance and policy making for California’s Bay-Delta water system understand and express the meanings, features, and benefits of collaboration. California’s water supply system is essential to the large, heavily populated state. It is centered on the “Bay-Delta” estuary, the primary source of urban and agricultural water that is now recognized as an endangered ecosystem. Data from a multi-year and multi-method qualitative research project were used to identify the repertoire of meanings of “collaboration” held by diverse participants, across settings and over time. Participants shared many core understandings of collaboration, including a strongly positive view and a pragmatic justification of collaboration as the best way to achieve workable, consensus based solutions to Bay-Delta problems. Participants also considered “getting everyone at the table” as key to collaboration, and saw collaboration as creating familiarity, trusting relationships, and shared understandings that had practical benefits.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: Collaboration, Water Policy, California
Date posted: December 2, 2009