NAU Faculty Members Publish Book on Overlooked Values in Water Management

Water Management

Kira Artemis Russo, NAU instructor in the School of Communication, and Zachary Smith, NAU Regents’ Professor of Politics and International Affairs, recently published What Water Is Worth: Overlooked Non-Economic Values in Water Resources. The book tackles the complex topic of water management, which includes not only the broad spectrum of conventional and economic considerations but also overlooked non-conventional considerations, such as environmental and spiritual values. The final section of the book discusses the future of water management, including water as a human right.

According to the authors, the intangible aspects of water are often overlooked: “Water managers tend to have narrow views on what they consider to be the value of water. However, not all water use is market driven; therefore, a comprehensive understanding of local community values associated with water can inform decision-making by water managers. We use the term 'water manager' to encompass not only the singular person assigned this community duty but also the many councils and institutions who make decisions regarding local water resources.”