UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding structure and character in rural water governance networks Horning, Darwin Glen


Governance has emerged as one of the key concerns amongst water experts focused on sustainability. Achieving sustainable states of water governance requires alignment of governance structures with water management objectives that are context specific. Two rural watershed planning processes in the province of British Columbia- the Similkameen Valley (Similkameen) Watershed planning network and the Kettle River (Kettle) Watershed planning network - were investigated using social network analysis (SNA) and social discourse network analysis (s-DNA) to map the socio-ecological relationships and analyze the discourse upon which water governance networks are being built. The resulting network structures and key actor characteristics revealed limited evidence for a transition towards collaborative and adaptive water governance models, which have been argued to be better suited in addressing key goals such as adapting to climate change impacts. Recommendations are made for improving water governance processes in rural regions to achieve effective implementation within the context of the new British Columbia Water Sustainability Act, 2014. SNA and s-DNA provide a means, through interdisciplinary research, to examine social network drivers and potential barriers to sustainable water governance development. Identifying network structures and measuring network characteristics gives resource managers the insight to intervene into evolving governance processes, to ensure proper alignment with contextually determined water sustainability goals. Results from this research will enable those involved in water governance design and implementation to make informed water resource decisions leading to effective, adaptive, and sustainable water governance.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International