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01-09-2012 | Issue 12/2012

Water Resources Management 12/2012

The Development of Water Allocation Management in The Yellow River Basin

Journal:
Water Resources Management > Issue 12/2012
Authors:
Chun Xia, Claudia Pahl-Wostl

Abstract

For decades, the Chinese government has been searching for solutions to cope with the increasing imbalance between the supply and demand of water in the Yellow River Basin. This paper aims at a better understanding of the development of the water allocation regime in the Yellow River Basin between 1950 and 2009, introducing a fresh perspective based on the notion of “regime transition”. Accordingly, we investigated 1) whether so-called “Windows of Opportunity for Transition (WOPTs)” emerged, triggering a transition, and whether WOPT(s) resulted in a stable transition towards the new regime; 2) how informal learning processes and epistemic communities have contributed to the regime change. We adapted Kingdon’s “multiple stream model” and identified four WOPTs from the 1950s, analyzing the reconfiguration process of the regime after the onset of the transition. Our examples of two types of informal learning processes demonstrate their contribution to the creation of WOPTs and the reconfiguration of the regime. Furthermore, this study indicates, in a qualitative manner, how epistemic communities contribute to the knowledge base of the regime, and thus to its development. Finally, we have provided a general insight into the further development of the water allocation regime and highlighted potential avenues for further studies.

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