Title: Youths' environmental traits in water management as a precursor for good water governance

Authors: Kevin Gatt

Addresses: Department of Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta

Abstract: Today's youths are yesterday's future generation and tomorrow's guardian of future generations. Successful water governance requires the sustainable management of water resources which in turn implies the maximisation of economic, social and environmental goals. Research by the author has already shown that youth economic traits are on the whole encouraging and that they are ready to accept that valuing water resources may have some negative economic outcomes but that these do not automatically exclude positive environmental action. From a societal perspective, the same research has also shown that youths, whilst conscious of the value of water and the need to value it properly, often consider such action to be dependent on others. This paper details the environmental traits of the current Maltese youth cohort as part of a wider assessment of Maltese society and provides the third complementary link to the published discussions on economic and social traits. This would permit the formation of the basis for developing a robust water governance framework for Malta. It demonstrates that there is potential to bank on today's youths as future guardians of water resources but also indicates that a greater effort should be undertaken to secure the mainstreaming of knowledge and awareness across all learning pathways.

Keywords: water resources; water governance; water conservation; youths; sustainability; sustainable development; social traits.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2017.085709

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2017 Vol.9 No.2, pp.105 - 118

Available online: 28 Jul 2017 *

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