It is widely recognized that integrated approaches are required to manage our limited water resources in an effective and sustainable manner. In the Netherlands, this is mostly realized by organizing integrated spatial development processes. This paper presents a discussion in which the distribution of freshwater is integrated with spatial development in the southwestern Delta in the Netherlands. This discussion is characterized by uncertainty in knowledge and stakeholders with diverging perceptions. By actively involving these stakeholders in a process of problem structuring, it was possible to reach an agreement on the preferred direction for solutions. Problem-structuring involves that stakeholders actively participate in formulating the problem and its solutions. It is characterized by interaction between stakeholders and the integration of expert knowledge and stakeholder knowledge. Based on these practical experiences, we conclude that putting integrated water management into practice benefits from a problem-structuring approach. This enhances learning processes and contributes to the development of an agreed upon and valid knowledge base. As the context of such processes is highly dynamic, there is a need for transparent and adaptive process management.
- Problem structuring . Water management . Negotiated knowledge . Freshwater .Agriculture . Case study