ABSTRACT

This chapter serves as a theoretical and epistemological underpinning for the book by outlining the book’s research approach and scholarly contribution in light of a critical evaluation of relevant literature. By focusing on what has been written about water in relation to power, conflict, perception, and equity, I will provide an overview and analysis of the different bodies of literature that tackle the issue of water scarcity and conflict resolution in general, and equitable allocation concepts and measurements in particular. Moreover, several popular movements that take a stand on environmental justice and discrimination are introduced and questioned. Although far from an all-encompassing review, this chapter nonetheless provides an anecdotal review and critique of selected research that has attempted to tackle the issues of environmental equity and water allocation. By describing and analyzing relevant previous studies, the research draws conclusions about the effectiveness of each approach introduced by different literature in order to formulate a rigorous research agenda that avoids their shortcomings and drawbacks and further builds on their foundation. In addition, the overall research agenda and scope of this book are delineated briefly and generically in this chapter. More specifically, I will show how this book engages with methods and approaches from the planning and environmental justice disciplines while incorporating concepts and debates from other disciplinary approaches.