A few weeks ago I made a visit to UNESCO-IHE the Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands. The Geography department at King’s has a partnership agreement with UNESCO-IHE, working particularly with colleagues who specialise in water governance and water management issues. As well as teaching a session to masters students on critical institutional perspectives, I took part in a discussion with Martin Gischler, Water Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Martin made a presentation on ‘How to incorporate complexity into policy making processes’. We then had a stimulating discussion on the challenges of achieving a balance between recognition of diversity and plurality of water governance in different contexts and the necessary simplifications and abstractions necessary to policy making, a subject I addressed in a paper written with Tom Franks for Water Alternatives: ‘Distilling or Diluting: Negotiating the Research policy interface’.
-Professor Frances Cleaver, Head of the King’s Water Research Group