This paper traces the emergence and dominance of a singular discourse about rural development. The “more water” discourse that emerged in the 2000s in Canterbury was rooted in the idea that vibrant communities depend on economic growth, which hinges on accessing more freshwater for irrigation. Using thick description of the work of a catchment committee, this paper charts the dominance of this discourse and the attempts to channel “more water” through a tightly controlled collaborative and consensus-based approach. More democratic processes would welcome difference, questioning of prevailing approaches to development, and may lead to more diverse economies and resilient communities.
- Canterbury Water Management Strategy
- development discourses
- rural development