Social and Cultural Values and Representation Justice: Implications for Water

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Water management involves the provision of water uses and benefits for people and communities, with direct environmental justice implications. Beyond water supply for physiological survival, people depend on water systems for material and non-material values. Understanding how different communities value water and prioritize its protection is critical to effective water governance. We use a psychometric water values scale administered through two survey research study designs to explore how socially and culturally diverse Minnesota residents value water. While some values are universally shared (e.g., safe drinking water), other values and priorities vary by sociocultural identities. Survey results reveal how race, ethnicity, and gender identities are associated with different water values and priorities. We conclude that water science and policy need more inclusive understanding and representation of the diversity of water relationships, experiences, and values across the state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

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© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Environmental justice
  • environmental policy
  • representation justice
  • water equity
  • water governance
  • water values


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