event 09 июн. 2022

Research Article // Unravelling hidden factors explaining competition for and overuse of groundwater in Azraq, Jordan: digging deeper into a network of action situations

By Daniel Oberhauser, Ramona Hägele and Ines Dombrowsky. In Azraq in Eastern Jordan, farmers, domestic users, and a wetland ecosystem compete for and overexploit limited groundwater resources. Current studies explain parts of the problem, but do not take a comprehensive social–ecological systems perspective and tend to miss underlying hidden factors. The study reveals that a diversity of action situations, including water, agricultural, environmental, energy, and land governance, but also the monarchy’s underlying social contract and the informal concept of wasta, infuence outcomes on the ground. The paper shows that no panacea exists, but that systems thinking may help identify a range of intervention points, some more sensitive than others, that could support a social–ecological transformation towards sustainability.

category Research Papers, Publications and Books tag Water tag Water-resource management tag Governance (of the Nexus) globe Ближний Восток и Северная Африка
Unravelling hidden factors Jordan case

Abstract

In Azraq in Eastern Jordan, farmers, domestic users, and a wetland ecosystem compete for and overexploit limited groundwater resources. Current studies explain parts of the problem, but do not take a comprehensive social–ecological systems perspective and tend to miss underlying hidden factors. To explain decision-making in this complex social–ecological system, we combine the concept of networks of action situations (NAS) with the political economy concept of the social contract. While the NAS allows a systematic exploration of the system, the concept of the social contract allows a deeper understanding of how informal institutions and power infuence the system. Besides a comprehensive literature review, we draw on social network mapping and 67 semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders. We fnd that the main confict arises between a heterogeneous group of farmers, who use groundwater for irrigation agriculture supported by a strong political lobby, and the water authorities, which rely on the aquifer for domestic water supply at national level. The original wetland with its diverse ecosystem services has largely disappeared and its remainder is maintained artifcially. Our analysis reveals that a diversity of action situations, including water, agricultural, environmental, energy, and land governance, but also the monarchy’s underlying social contract and the informal concept of wasta, infuence outcomes on the ground. We show that no panacea exists, but that systems thinking may help identify a range of intervention points, some more sensitive than others, that could support a social–ecological transformation towards sustainability.

Published

07 April 2022

In

Sustainability Science (2022)

Citation

Oberhauser, D., Hägele, R. & Dombrowsky, I. Unravelling hidden factors explaining competition for and overuse of groundwater in Azraq, Jordan: digging deeper into a network of action situations. Sustain Sci (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625...

DOWNLOAD

Unravelling hidden factors explaining competition for and overuse of groundwater in Azraq, Jordan: digging deeper into a network of action situations

Related Resources

Контактная информация

Cecilia Vey

Информационный бюллетень

Будьте в курсе!

Мы информируем Вас о текущих проектах, событиях, мероприятиях, публикациях и новост