To explore, define, and establish the field of water ethics as a body of theory, a research agenda, and methods and strategies for implementation.
The working group will look at how water ethics can improve governance of water systems, at what levels (for example: local government, watershed, river basin, national, trans-boundary, sectoral) and through what institutions water ethics can best be applied.
Dr Aaron Wolf – College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, USA
The ethics of water use includes both descriptive analysis to render tacit values explicit, as well as normative analysis prescribing what the ethical norms should be. Ethics can also drive innovation and creative solutions by establishing design parameters. For example, maintaining nature’s share of river flows is critical for long term water quality and security, but water is also needed for irrigation. But rather than seeing it as a trade-off, ethical considerations can highlight the importance of both irrigation and environmental flows, motivating a search for solutions that can meet both needs. Ethics does not solve the problem but clarifies priorities when looking for solutions.