Help:Case Study

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There are two types of articles in AquaPedia, Case Studies and Background Articles.

Case Studies are created using a special tabbed form that allows a user to enter information typical of any case study in a way that uses semantic information to link cases automatically. By filling out a case study form, a case is automatically connected to other cases and articles that deal with related topics or have similar characteristics.

Viewing Cases

All cases can be viewed from the Browse All Cases page. This page will allow you to browse by geographic location (map) or through topical lists.

Discussing and Commenting on Cases

Users can discuss and comment on cases using the "Discussion" tab, located on the upper left-hand side of the content area. Users can use the discussion board feature to comment on case content and discuss the case and its development with other users.

Editing Cases

All confirmed users can edit cases. When viewing any case on AquaPedia, there is an "Edit" link on the top right hand side of the content area. Clicking that link will bring you to the editing interface. More information about the technical aspects of editing are available on the Help section of this site.

Creating Cases

All users with accounts on AquaPedia can create a new case using a special form. Every case on AquaPedia must have a unique title. Please write a descriptive title that describes both the location and major focus of the new case.

For example: "Colorado Basin" is not an appropriate case title, as this title could also define an actual river basin, and doesn't express the intent of the case. Better case titles could be:
  • "Case study on intra-basin cooperation within the Colorado River Basin, U.S.A"
  • "Balancing ecosystem services and water allocation for human usage in the Colorado River Basin"
  • "Evolution of the water management policies in the Colorado River Basin"

Tour of a Case Study

This section uses screenshots and short descriptions to orient a new user to the structure of a case study.


Each case begins with a short summary of the material addressed in the case. If you edit a case, you may want to update the summary to reflect any significant changes.

This screenshot highlights the table of contents, case description (including background articles), and case summary. Top-level headings in the TOC refer to specific tabs visible in the edit mode.

Case Description

The case description box is where the majority of the semantic data for the case is stored. These are facts about the size of the population effected by a case, climate and land use information, and the most important uses of water that are relavant to the case.

Background Articles

Water Conflicts can have overlaps. Many cases have been written about sharing of the Colorado River between U.S. states, however there are additionally cases regarding how the Colorado River is shared between the U.S. and Mexico.

Rather than have to provide background on a shared water body, a relevant water project (such as a hydropower or storage project), or treaty, certain types of articles can be created and linked to cases.

There is a tab in the “edit” view of an article where you can add new article links to a case. These articles may already exist in AquaPedia, or you can create new articles. Articles can be linked to a multitude of cases.

For example, a specific dam may be integral to a case regarding water rights between two riparians, but that dam may also be important to a case regarding one of the riparian’s approach to balancing hydropower and rival water needs. The dam would be identified as a “water project” article, and could be linked to both cases.

Historic, Economic & Political Framework

This is a largely freeform section for entering the history relevant to the case. This should be as brief as necessary for the case, and link to supporting articles, where relevant. See guidance on providing and including references/citations here.

This screenshot highlights Issues (including the variables and stakeholders, Analysis, Synthesis & Insights section, Key Questions, External Links, and References

Issues and Stakeholders

Identifying the specific issues and stakeholder groups involved in a conflict is a starting point for finding generalizable knowledge between cases. By selecting the types of stakeholders and general issues involved, you will be linking a case to others that deal with similar issues or groups.

Analysis, Synthesis & Insights (ASI)

These sections are user specific – only the user who creates an ASI can edit that particular ASI. Other users are welcome to comment on the discussion page, but the ASI is under control of the original author. Other contributors may be named, but they will not be able to edit the document.

This section is for academic insight or original research contributions to the case. This would be an appropriate place to include information that is well researched, but contentious for one or more reasons. The other sections of the case study must provide a very balanced and meticulously cited viewpoint of the case, but in real world problems that are ongoing, it is often difficult to a) arrive at consensus on the causes and implications of an aspect of a problem or b) fully document all viewpoints in a conflict. Even experts may have conflict on the interpretation, lessons learned, and future steps for a water problem. ASI sections are created so that there is room for all voices in understanding a water conflict, even the unpopular ones.

Not all cases will have ASI sections, and some cases may have several ASI sections. Guidance on Adding an ASI section

Key Questions

The purpose of these questions is to be able to examine cases through a common framework – by selecting one of these questions and expressing how a particular case has knowledge, insight, or examples that can help the water management community to answer these broad questions, you link the case to other cases that have attempted to address a part of the same question. This creates links between cases that may not have other aspects in common, but may help illuminate commonalities between otherwise disparate cases and help grow the body of knowledge about water conflicts and contentious water management problems.

More on Key Questions: About Key Questions: How to Suggest Additional Key Questions

External Links

While links may be included in document references, you may feel that some links are worthy of specific mention. We encourage links to other databases, official websites of organizations involved in a case, or other websites that can offer additional research value to someone interested in a case. Avoid linking to content that is ephemeral in nature, such as the front page of a newsletter (rather than an archived document), or resources that do not directly relate to case material. If another user cannot determine the reason or value of a link within an article, it may be deleted).


References appear at the end of each case, but are included inline within the text. See guidance on providing and including references/citations here.

Related Pages

Browse All Cases on AquaPedia

Create a New Case Study