Borisova, Tatiana, Laila Racevskis, and Jennison Kipp, 2012. Stakeholder Analysis of a Collaborative Watershed Management Process: A Florida Case Study. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(2): 277-296. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00615.x
Abstract: This study focuses on a Florida watershed where development of a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and its implementation plan resulted in conflicts among stakeholders. The overall goal is to build a better understanding of stakeholder perceptions of water quality problems, water policy processes and decisions, and water management plan development in a region where these issues have become contentious. Findings are based on a stakeholder analysis using qualitative data collected through focus groups with agricultural producers, local governments, and environmental groups, and supplemented with additional qualitative data on the watershed management process. Stakeholder conflicts in this case study are associated with perceived flaws in the structural and procedural characteristics of the stakeholder involvement process: (1) suboptimal watershed stakeholder representation on the TMDL executive committee, (2) an inappropriate voting procedure for making TMDL decisions, (3) limitations in information sharing between regulatory agencies and watershed stakeholders, and (4) stakeholders’ doubts about whether tradeoffs associated with achieving the water quality targets were assessed adequately throughout the TMDL planning and implementation process. This study contributes to the literature on collaborative watershed management by analyzing stakeholder involvement given Florida’s unique institutional settings, where implementation of TMDL pollution abatement is mandatory.