Water DiplomacyA Negotiated Approach to Managing Complex Water Networks


Shafiqul Islam and Lawrence E. Susskind

In this book, the authors show how open and constantly changing water networks can be managed successfully using collaborative adaptive techniques to build informed agreements among disciplinary experts, water users with conflicting interests, and governmental bodies with countervailing claims.

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“This book offers a water diplomacy framework that challenges conventional wisdom in water resources research and practice. It focuses on networks rather than systems and value creation rather than zero-sum thinking. The selected readings, commentaries, and simulations provide essential grounding that is invaluable to water resources students, researchers and professionals.” – Helen Ingram, University of Arizona and Founding Warmington Endowed Chair, University of California at Irvine.

“Water management, both in terms of quantity and quality, leaves much to be desired in nearly all countries of the world. Thus, all over the world we see tensions developing between various stakeholders of different water uses. An important question is how these tensions can be diffused peacefully and in a timely manner? In this must read book, Islam and Susskind address this complex question and discuss the processes and alternatives that can be successfully used in a logical and easily understandable manner” – Asit K. Biswas, founder and president, Third World Centre for Water Management, Atizapan, Mexico, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School for Public Policy, Singapore.

About the book Water is the resource that will determine the wealth, welfare, and stability of many countries in the twenty-first century. This book offers a new approach to managing water that will overcome the conflicts that emerge when the interactions among natural, societal, and political forces are overlooked. At the heart of these conflicts are complex water networks. In managing them, science alone is insufficient but neither is policy-making that doesn’t take science into account. Solutions will only emerge if a negotiated or diplomatic approach—that blends science, policy, and politics—is used to manage water networks.

The authors show how open and constantly changing water networks can be managed successfully using collaborative adaptive techniques to build informed agreements among disciplinary experts, water users with conflicting interests, and governmental bodies with countervailing claims. Shafiqul Islam is an engineer with over twenty-five years of practical experience in addressing water issues. Lawrence Susskind is founder of MIT’s Environmental Policy and Planning Program and a leader of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Together they have developed a text that is relevant for students and experienced professionals working in a variety of engineering, science, and applied social science fields. They show how new thinking about water conflict can replace the zero-sum battles that pit experts, politicians, and stakeholders against each other in counter-productive ways. Their volume not only presents the key elements of a theory of water diplomacy; it includes excerpts and commentary from more than two dozen seminal readings as well as practice exercises that challenge readers to apply what they have learned.

Table of contents I: A Water Management Fable for All Time (with Maia Majumder) II: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Water Management III: Understanding and Characterizing Complex Water Management Networks IV: Addressing Complex Water Management Problems V: A Non-Zero Sum Approach to Water Negotiations (with Peter Kamminga and Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio) VI: The Practice of Water Diplomacy in a Nutshell (with Elizabeth Fierman) VII: The Indopotamia Role Play Simulation (with Catherine M. Ashcraft)

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.