Social and Cultural Values and Representation Justice: Implications for Water

February 07, 2024
In the background is a photo of water splashing. At the top of the image above the splash is the text, "New research!" Below that, in blue, is the name of the research paper.

Professor and Center for Changing Landscapes Director Mae Davenport was the lead author of research recently published in Society & Natural Resources. "Social and Cultural Values and Representation Justice: Implications for Water" explores how socially and culturally diverse Minnesotans value water. While some values are universal — safe drinking water, for example — other values and priorities vary by sociocultural identities. 

“Minnesotans don’t all experience water in the same ways — we have different water relationships depending on where we live, our cultural worldviews, our life experiences and the hardships we face,” says Davenport. “Unfortunately, because of historical and institutional injustices that still affect people today, culturally diverse and non-dominant racialized groups have been underrepresented in positions of power and underserved by decisions that affect human-water relationships.”

This work was supported by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Funding for this project was also provided by the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council and Clean Water Funds established by the Minnesota Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment. 

Several members of the Department of Forest Resources and Center for Changing Landscapes contributed to the research.

Read the University's press release to learn more.