The need for boundary spanners in integrated water resource management

Jodi Delozier, Mark E. Burbach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Water management is increasingly challenged by climate and technological changes, socioeconomic trends, and aging infrastructure, among myriad others challenges. The traditional top-down, fragmented approach to water management is insufficient to address these challenges. Integrated water resource management, a collaborative and holistic approach, is critical to successful water management. The involvement of those who excel in multi-sector and diverse stakeholder collaboration are required. Boundary spanners are individuals within an organization who can reach across organizational borders to build relationships, interconnections, and interdependencies in order to manage complex problems. Although these individuals may operate on the edge or periphery of an organization, they position themselves as both internal and external communicators. Boundary spanners actively work toward collaboration, attempting to link diverse stakeholders, processes, and information from multiple perspectives in order to influence policies and practices and increase social learning between stakeholders. The multilevel nature of boundary spanning aids the movement and acknowledgement of ideas across various sectors, organizational or geographic boundaries, and political alliances. This article describes the need for, and incorporation of, boundary spanners in integrated water resource management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnthromes - Carved up by Humanity
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128160978
ISBN (Print)9780128160961
StatePublished - Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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