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NEWAVE (2019-2023)

NEWAVE is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) on the ‘Next Water Governance’, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to equip a new generation of future water governance leaders with fundamental knowledge, advanced skills, and adequate tools to address current and future water governance challenges.

NEWAVE is rooted in the conviction that the rising threats of future water crises and hydro-social challenges, present an urgent need to enhance the global capacity to reflect critically on the current water governance trajectory. In that light NEWAVE takes three interrelated steps as it aims to:

  1. Bring together an excellent trans-national and transdisciplinary network of water governance organisations.
  2. Develop and implement a cutting-edge actionable research agenda on the key water governance priorities and insights for future directions.
  3. Train a new generation of water governance Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and ensure that they have the trans- and interdisciplinary skills to make significant contributions to both the academic and extra-academic water governance world.

Vibrant emerging research agendas on adaptive water governance, on political ecology of water and water justice, on community and polycentric water governance have converged to provide alternative perspectives and solutions to address the complexity of human-water problems. NEWAVE will approach the challenge of water governance from three interrelated angles, problématiques, paradigms and patterns (the three “Ps” heuristic framework). Each of these three ‘P’ angles provides its own distinct window on the water governance debate, thereby offering excellent opportunities for cumulative knowledge development and training.

  • The first P — problématiques — allows the NEWAVE team to critically probe the nature of contemporary water problems, to diagnose them and to develop an understanding of the socio-hydrological conditions in which paradigms are diffused and governance approaches are tried out.
  • The second P — paradigms — allows to engage with the ideational underpinnings of water governance, making it possible to understand why proponents of certain approaches have come to accept and embrace them, why they propagate them, and how the global circulation of ideas about governance works.
  • The third P — patterns — allows to explicitly uncover the socio-environmental impacts of various patterns and modes of governance, and in turn assess their performance.

The research component of this training network will be guided a heuristic framework built around 3 overarching and interrelated research questions (RQ) and a number of sub-questions that address the fundamental dimensions of water governance related to the dialectical socio-environmental relationship between problématiques, paradigms and patterns of governance:

  • Problématiques: (RQ1) What are the most important contemporary water-human problématiques?
  • Paradigms: (RQ2) How do paradigms arise, circulate and impact water governance applications?
  • Patterns: (RQ3) What patterns of governance are prevailing in the global water governance arena and what are their outcomes?

The exceptional and diversified scientific experience of the NEWAVE Consortium, as well as the interdisciplinary approach and the prominence of the partner organisations, guarantee the ESRs exposure to the latest scientific concepts and methodologies from fundamental to applied research.

Contact information: Jampel Dell’Angelo and Caterina Marinetti.

For more information, please visit