Interdisciplinary water development in the peruvian highlands: The case for including the coproduction of knowledge in socio-hydrology

Jasper Oshun, Kristina Keating, Margaret Lang, Yojana Miraya Oscco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Agrarian communities in the Peruvian Andes depend on local water resources that are threatened by both a changing climate and changes in the socio-politics of water allocation. A community’s local autonomy over water resources and its capacity to plan for a sustainable and secure water future depends, in part, on integrated local environmental knowledge (ILEK), which leverages and blends traditional and western scientific approaches to knowledge production. Over the course of a two-year collaborative water development project with the agrarian district of Zurite, we designed and implemented an applied model of socio-hydrology focused on the coproduction of knowledge among scientists, local knowledge-holders and students. Our approach leveraged knowledge across academic disciplines and cultures, trained students to be valued producers of knowledge, and, most importantly, integrated the needs and concerns of the community. The result is a community-based ILEK that informs sustainable land and water management and has the potential to increase local autonomy over water resources. Furthermore, the direct link between interdisciplinary water science and community benefits empowered students to pursue careers in water development. The long-term benefits of our approach support the inclusion of knowledge coproduction among scholars, students and, in particular, community members, in applied studies of socio-hydrology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • Community-based water development
  • Education and training
  • Integrated local environmental knowledge
  • Knowledge coproduction
  • Socio-hydrology


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