Water management reforms promoting deliberative, decentralized decision making are often accompanied by procedures designed to accommodate a range of stakeholder perspectives. This paper considers the role of political and ethical norms affecting this ‘procedural turn’ in order to understand the management of transitions in complex socio-technical systems. It examines the discourse and practice of water reforms in Alberta, Canada in order to identify how new procedures were designed alongside changes to management institutions. It finds that the existing social and cultural context is an uneasy fit with procedural norms theorized in deliberative models of democracy. Using examples from the Alberta case, it draws out implications for understanding the procedural turn in water management and the role of norms affecting transitions toward sustainability.
Schmidt, J. J. (2014). Water Management and the Procedural Turn: Norms and Transitions in Alberta. Water Resources Management, 28(4), 1127-1141. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-014-0544-z