Building the agenda for institutional research in water resource management

William Blomquist, Tanya Heikkila, Edella Schlager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper pursues more specifically the recommendations of a recent National Research Council report recommending greater attention to research on institutions in the field of water resource management. The important challenge for the future in institutional research lies in going beyond the observation that institutions are important and in explaining instead how institutions actually affect management options and outcomes. It is possible to illuminate the relationships between institutional features and water management through comparative institutional research. This paper offers recommendations for studying water institutions in a comparative context, including methodological recommendations concerning approaches to comparative institutional research, and topics for comparative institutional research that appear especially fruitful at this time. The example of conjunctive management is used to illustrate the importance of institutional factors in water management, drawing to some extent on the authors' recent experience with a comparative study of conjunctive management institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-936
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Institutional arrangements
  • Social and political
  • Water law
  • Water management
  • Water policy/regulation/decision making
  • Water resources research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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