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Indigenous water management systems: Interpreting symbolic dimensions in common property resource regimes
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Water Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6166-4992
2006 (English)In: Society & Natural Resources, ISSN 0894-1920, E-ISSN 1521-0723, Vol. 19, no 4, 357-366 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Water is a natural resource subject to management in many small-scale societies as common property. A dominant approach to understanding the sustainability of such common property resource (CPR) management regimes is the rational action model, which assumes that their successful governance is achieved through collective action based on a rationally constructed set of working rules. By presenting a holistic study of indigenous water management system in small-scale community setting in India, this article argues that the relationship between water resources and society extends beyond a materialistic mundane relationship, to incorporate a ''symbolic'' orientation. It concludes that rooted in the cosmology of the society, the indigenous water management system represents a mechanism to reinforce the symbolic constructions and also to fulfill water-related needs that cut across material and nonmaterial realms. The outcomes of the article enhance the understanding of management of CPRs, adding an alternate perspective concerning beliefs and values associated with such resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 19, no 4, 357-366 p.
Keyword [en]
community, cosmology, CPR theory, indigenous water management system, sociocultural matrix, symbolic orientation, water
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-15418DOI: 10.1080/08941920500519297ISI: 000235276500005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-32844474292OAI: diva2:333459

For full article, please contact Nandita Singh at

QC 20150724

Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2015-07-24Bibliographically approved

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