Title of the publication: Water
Collaborative water governance deals with diverse actors under participatory systems of decision making. This form of water governance involves stakeholders with fundamentally different values and premises about water resources, as well as different understandings of the problem and how to approach it. Thus, one of the major challenges of collaborative water governance relies on the diversity of frames carried by stakeholders involved and the shift from hierarchical decision-making to a more collaborative and participative process. The fragmentation of frames can represent an obstacle, impede mutual understanding, and negatively influence decision making and policy outcomes. Based on participative observation, interviews, and document analysis, we explored the drivers behind the framing process in the multi-actor platform of the Katari River Basin, located in Bolivia. The results highlight a participatory process design favoring the fragmentation of frames and a unidirectional decision-making process, where public authority, scientific–technical expertise, and the local community’s knowledge are insulated, and communication among actors is asymmetrical. At the same time, this research reveals the influence of the political context in the framing process.
Title of the publication: Sustainable Production and Consumption
The looming threat posed by climate change-fueled droughts has triggered a slew of projects concerned with the reuse of treated wastewater for agricultural purposes. Across the globe, there is also a growing interest in the direct consumption of treated wastewater. Whilst the requisite technology is well established and safety can be guaranteed, the instigators of these projects still anticipate consumer resistance. However, there are currently few studies that provide insight into the public acceptance of treated wastewater. Moreover, the results of these studies are often inconsistent or inconclusive, particularly in regard to the relationship between the acceptance of wastewater reuse and environmental concern. Using representative survey data gathered from 300 respondents living in Flanders, Belgium, we show that water conservation behaviour and a sense of environmental group-efficacy positively affect public acceptance. Our study also demonstrates that feelings of disgust and fear of contamination are key drivers of consumer resistance to wastewater reuse and potentially override environmental concern. In the discussion, we propose an alternative approach to better understand consumer's environmental attitudes and their resistance to the use of treated wastewater. In the conclusion, we briefly highlight the relevance of our findings for public communication and policy.