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Hydrological Sciences Journal

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Water -- Research -- Case studies, Water -- Social aspects, Water -- Government policy -- United States, Intersectionality (Sociology) -- United States, Equality, Diversity, Social justice


We propose representation justice as a theoretical lens for socio-hydrology and water governance studies. An exploratory survey of 496 water sector employees in the United States revealed that self-identifying females felt more strongly discriminated against due to their gender and other social factors, compared to self-identifying males. Responses unveiled how macro- and microaggressions impede career pathways to leadership positions and, therefore, representation. We identify ways in which socio-hydrology can benefit from a representation justice lens by considering the following: (1) how power and politics shape the composition of the water sector and decision-making processes; (2) how available quantitative data do not account for lived experiences of individuals in the water sector; and (3) how intersectionality cannot easily be accounted for in current socio-hydrological models. We offer a representation justice research and water management agenda that goes beyond quota filling to include meaningful engagement with diverse groups, lenses, and knowledge.


© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.



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