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Water Ethics Initiative


The growing interest in values and ethics related to water policies cuts across many academic disciplines and entails diverse sets of stakeholders from religious groups to environmental advocates to Indigenous leaders.  WCI seeks to stimulate debate and collaborative action among all interested parties. 


Our activities include:

Awareness and Capacity Building - Creating awareness about water ethics, documenting ethics in practice, and building capacity to "do" water ethics.

   •    Strengthening the Field of Water Ethics.  What sorts of "infrastructure" is needed to support the emerging field of water ethics?  Currently there are only two textbooks aimed at the graduate level, but there are also several edited volumes and many more articles exploring various aspects of ethical water management.  These issues were explored in a virtual roundtable hosted by Water-Culture Institute in 2021 which is available for download.

Water Ethics Charters - Developing written statements of key value principles comprising consensus positions that all stakeholders within a water basin can endorse.  
   •    Global Water Ethics Charter.  In collaboration with other organizations, Water-Culture Institute led an innovative effort from 2013-2015 to develop a declaration (charter) prescribing a set of the ethical principles to guide decisions about water use and water ecosystem management. Though unfinished, the Charter remains useful as a tool for developing local charters or critiquing local water policies from an ethical perspective.  Download the Global Water Ethics Charter here.

   •    Local Water Charters can provide a tool for integrating water ethics into new plans, policies and programs, as outlined in this short Handbo
ok for Crafting a Local Water Ethics Charter


Berlin Water Charter

Berlin Water Charter

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