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Water Resource Management: Social Behaviour, Cultural Norms and Societal Structures
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Water shortage is one of the greatest challenges that the world faces today. International and national water initiatives are increasing simultaneously with the number of implemented drinking-water projects. The provision of sustainable safe drinking-water supply is here conceptualized through the Sustainable Livelihood Approach with the view of helping poor people secure their essential basic needs, improve their quality of health and increase their livelihood opportunities. However, a lot of drinking-water projects do not end up with satisfactory outcomes. Widespread results have demonstrated low quality water resource management, worsened access to water supply, constructions shutting down and not the least, that consumers have not been able to take advantage of their new basic drinking-water systems. Projects have often failed in remote rural areas in developing countries where strong social norms, cultural values and power structures prevail.

The research is based on identifying and analyzing to what extent past drinking-water projects have addressed public participation and been aware of social, cultural and structural surrounding factors. By using Gunilla Åkesson’s sociological framework the research also addresses the role and value of sociological aspects in drinking-water projects. It is found that past projects have often failed to include public participation and lacked situational awareness to a sufficient extent. The research show the importance for projects staff, managers and technicians to take into account social behaviors, cultural norms and societal structures in the local environment and to provide local people with health awareness and education. By taking this into consideration it would enable people to change their behavior and take advantage of the improved drinking-water systems provided for them.

In conclusion, there is a need to address more sociological aspects in water resource management in order to promote sustainable safe drinking-water supplies in remote rural areas in developing countries. It can be argued that this is not only applicable in drinking-water projects but also in other areas of fields within grass root development work. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
development work, water resource management, sociological factors, sustainable solutions
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46472OAI: diva2:856826
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
Available from: 2015-10-21 Created: 2015-09-25 Last updated: 2015-10-21Bibliographically approved

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