Water management in the Isère département: the first conference for ‘territorial’ members of the public

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Gilles-Laurent RAYSSAC

Specialist in the process of organisation of discussion and public debate, co-founder, Res publica consultancy

Seminar Social life | Thursday January 26, 2006 - 9h - 11h30

What sort of water do we want in 2020 ? A group of people in charge of regional planning and management for the Drac and Romanche river basins asked this question of eighteen men and women from southern Isère. The principle of a citizens’ conference was perfected in Denmark and originated from a practice well-known to doctors. It is a way of allowing one to go beyond the disagreements of politicians and scientists, particularly when scientists disagree among themselves. This approach, which largely proved itself in situations of great uncertainty, (it has allowed several countries to vote on laws regarding medical ethics, GM foods, etc.), was adapted for the first time in regional management. After a training session lasting two week-ends, members of the public had a discussion with about twenty experts and then drafted their opinion : this will help fix the objectives and future directions for the management of Grenoble water.

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