RCN: Building A Community of Practice for Household Water Insecurity Research
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The Household Water Insecurity (HWISE) Research Coordination Network (RCN) will advance the conceptualization of domestic water provisioning and water insecurity in relation to broader social and environmental challenges. HWISE will build a community of practice and collaboration that focuses on key analytics and theoretical advances coupled with the development of research protocols and standardized assessments to document, benchmark, and understand the causes and outcomes of water insecurity at the household level. Water insecurity is broadly defined as the situation wherein individuals or households cannot benefit from the processes that support water flows, quality, and services in support of human capabilities and well-being. This RCN will benefit U.S. society by focusing analytical and methodological efforts on a critical issue facing millions of the country''s most vulnerable people facing acute and chronic water insecurity. The HWISE network is comprised of scientists from many disciplines and is designed to enhance collaboration, improve the interaction between researchers and policy-practitioners to benefit society, and build publicly available infrastructure. The RCN will host a public HWISE Portal to disseminate all RCN products and provide access to new forms of social, visual, and narrative data infrastructure, in addition to traditional survey, geospatial, and qualitative research instruments and data.This RCN advances the goal of sustainable and socially equitable water policy and interventions through the robust evaluation of key water security problems. The RCN gives explicit attention to the causes and outcomes of household water insecurity and translates research outcomes into meaningful and useful products for practitioners, communities, and decision-makers. The HWISE Network advances conceptual innovation through an interdisciplinary dialogue, which necessarily demands that the interdisciplinary scientific community develop and evaluate research methods to advance cross-site comparisons, including the challenge of household water insecurity in the United States. The RCN will integrate geospatial methods and data, making the network well positioned to contribute to an unprecedented high-resolution, spatio-temporal, cross-cultural understanding of household water decision-making and providing the groundwork to test new hypotheses about water-society interactions. To achieve these objectives, the HWISE RCN will organize thematic workshops, networking activities, conference-based events, research capacity-building activities, inter-network exchanges, and special sessions in strategic venues that enhance and support of academic and policy communities.This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.