Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Haeffner, M, D. Hellman, A. Cantor, I. Ajibade, V. Oyanedel-Craver, M. Kelly, L. Schifman & L. Weasel. (2021). Representation justice as a research agenda for socio-hydrology and water governance. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 66:11, 1611-1624. DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2021.1945609
We propose representation justice as a theoretical lens for socio-hydrology and water governance studies. An exploratory survey of 496 water sector employees in the United States revealed that self-identifying females felt more strongly discriminated against due to their gender and other social factors, compared to self-identifying males. Responses unveiled how macro- and microaggressions impede career pathways to leadership positions and, therefore, representation. We identify ways in which socio-hydrology can benefit from a representation justice lens by considering the following: (1) how power and politics shape the composition of the water sector and decision-making processes; (2) how available quantitative data do not account for lived experiences of individuals in the water sector; and (3) how intersectionality cannot easily be accounted for in current socio-hydrological models. We offer a representation justice research and water management agenda that goes beyond quota filling to include meaningful engagement with diverse groups, lenses, and knowledge.