Water is a fundamental resource for society, and at present a range of challenging water issues face communities in the UK and internationally. These include concerns over flooding, sea level rise, climate change, drought and supply security, water quality, biodiversity and landscape quality, access for recreation, water and energy (e.g. fracking), effective urban drainage, and waste management.
Towards Hydrocitizenship joins a growing body of academic and policy initiatives which seek to address local hydrospheres (interconnected water flows and exchanges) holistically, in ways which address these interdependent issues on catchment and systems based scales.
This approach is an adapted version of participant action research. The project teams will spend time exploring water issues and resources in the round in a selected area, and social issues, and seek to develop projects with relevant individuals, groups and communities. The projects will be arts based (e.g. film, story-telling, oral history, site specific performance, guided walks) (but can incorporate scientific data) and will seek to generate 'win-win' synergies across eco-social challenges with water as a key focus. The work will explore connections within communities and between communities – those connections ranging between harmonious and conflictual, and latent or extant, human and non-human.
Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council this project brings together teams from arts, academic, governance, SME and third sector communities to work with local communities on a range of water based eco-social issues.