Misfit between physical affectedness and regulatory embeddedness: The case of drinking water supply along the Rhine River

Ingold, Karin; Moser, Andreas; Metz, Florence; Herzog, Laura; Bader, Hans-Peter; Scheidegger, Ruth; Stamm, Christian (2018). Misfit between physical affectedness and regulatory embeddedness: The case of drinking water supply along the Rhine River. Global environmental change, 48, pp. 136-150. Elsevier 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.11.006

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One open question in environmental sciences is whether effective management of natural resources depends on the fit between the bio-physical and the governance system. To address this question, we investigate water quality in transboundary rivers and ask to what extent a fit between the area covered by the physical extent of pollution and the area in which this pollution is addressed through management and policy regulation can be observed. We adopt a spatial approach and argue that the visualization of social-ecological overlap and misfit supports science and practice when taking decisions about how best to explain or address ineffectiveness and cause-effect mismatches in transboundary river management.

We focus on drinking water supply in the international river basin of the Rhine focusing on micropollutants. These persistent trace compounds have potential toxic effects on humans and ecosystems, which makes them a relevant type of pollution that needs to be taken into consideration. Based on a combination of mass flow and social network analysis, we can conclude that the Rhine River is characterized by large social-ecological overlap, but that some parts of the catchment area still lack integration.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Ingold, Karin Mirjam, Metz, Florence Alessa, Herzog, Laura Mae Jacqueline


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science








Fadri Crameri

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2018 11:30

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:09

Publisher DOI:






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