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If you have a question about AquaPedia that is not answered here, please add it to the discussion page or contact an Administrator for help .

Why should I get involved with the AquaPedia Project?

Wisdom and insights related to the creative resolution of complex water problems are invaluable. However, sharing and finding this knowledge isn’t always easy. We're always looking for volunteers who want to share their knowledge of a water problem or help others to clarify and share their knowledge about water.

Why should I volunteer to contribute a new case study?

We provide significant editorial and technical support to share your case in AquaPedia. We have a group of students and staff affiliated with Water Diplomacy who will work with you to get a new case online, or answer questions you might have about editing existing cases. We can help you design and publish your case in a way that maximizes the ability for your case to expand and grow, while protecting and appropriately crediting your intellectual contributions. Developing and publishing a case in AquaPedia helps you to build a network of relationships with the global water community.

Publishing your case in AquaPedia demonstrates how you value freely available and trusted knowledge resources for anyone from anywhere. Our freely accessed, community edited database is a platform to share knowledge widely and help break disciplinary information silos. Your active engagement in preparing a case, refining other cases, and providing different perspectives are essential to create and sustain AquaPedia as an open access resource.

AquaPedia case studies continue as living documents. Cases can grow and change as new information, insight, and perspectives are added by you or other contributors and your case will be connected with other similar stories about water. You can add to it indefinitely – and others can also help to expand it. You can make suggestions and requests for the additions and information that would help make your case more complete, more helpful to other water professionals, or more useful to anyone.

There will never be any fees to publish in, edit, read or otherwise use AquaPedia. Your work in AquaPedia can be cited, referenced, and included in your CV.

What are the types of user accounts?

Non-registered users (non-logged-in users or the general public) may read anything on the AquaPedia site. This includes viewing user pages. Anyone in the world with an internet connection may read AquaPedia.

All registered users (users) may additionally create and edit their own user page (profile) and discuss pages using discussion tabs, and leave messages on user talk pages. They can contact users via email for those with that preference enabled

Confirmed Users (confirmed-users) may additionally create and edit case studies, background articles, and analysis (ASI) articles. The distinction is simply to make sure that new users are able to interact with the community before contributing new information. This helps to make sure they are aware of use policies and prevents trolling, spam and some of the other negative aspects of an open system.

Editors may additionally approve page revisions and develop new help pages.

Adminstrators may additionally approve all new edits, change forms and formats, administer accounts. Administrator revisions are automatically approved. Administrators are grouped into two varieties: "Volunteer Administrators" and "Administrator/Sysops." These two groups have the exact same rights on AquaPedia, but this distinction expresses the level of access to the "bones" of the website. Administrator/Sysops are the only users who also possess (unrelated) accounts to the back end of the site and can address issues regarding software configurations or server problems.

There are some additional categories available to some users:

Reviewers have the ability to approve revisions, like an editor. We are not currently using this classification

Bureaucrats are users with the ability to administrate accounts, but do not have the reviewing and document administration permissions that editors have. We are not currently using this classification.

Sudo is the special right of administrator/sysops to log into another users account for account maintenance, troubleshooting, or editing "low-tech" contributions made by email through the interface. All of these sessions are logged.

Bot This classification is reserved for automated programs that require accounts. These programs can do things like spell check cases, create lists of cases for administrators to further review, and fix broken links.

Why can't newly registered users edit/create cases? .. and how do I get "Editor" status?

To help prevent spam, page vandalism, and keep contribution quality high, we require most new users to complete a few steps prior to upgrading their account (allowing editing).

New users should complete these steps to get upgraded to "confirmed-users"

1) Verify your email account. The system will send you a link to click through. If you missed this email, then visit your Preferences page to fix your address or resend the verification email.

2) Contact an administrator and let us know that you would like to be able to edit/contribute. Send a Message to an Administrator to request Account Upgrade

3) Your account will be upgraded. This may take up to 3 days, especially if you apply during a weekend or on a U.S. holiday. If after several days, you don't receive a message confirming your account upgrade, you should send us another message.

Right now, we don't have a formal path to editor or administrator status. We'll figure something out, but it will only be available to users who have demonstrated a significant desire to improve and review articles and cases.

What about preferential treatment? Some accounts appear to have been created as confirmed users

The purpose of two-tiered access to editing and creating content is only to make sure that users editing AquaPedia are doing so for the right reasons -- i.e.: adding to the discourse and knowledge base for a topic related to a water conflict. The wrong reasons for account creation include: spamming, scamming, trolling or marketing a product, among others.

If an administrator is confident that the person is applying for an account because of a legitimate interest in participating in the AquaPedia Project, then the account can be created with confirmed-user status. Otherwise, the user will need to make a good faith effort to complete the steps outlined above and contact an administrator for an account upgrade.

Who are the AquaPedia editors and administrators?

Generally speaking, Water Diplomacy affiliated individuals, mainly at Tufts University.

How was AquaPedia Started?

AquaPedia was originally developed at Tufts University. The initial AquaPedia website content consisted of case studies drawn from the Tufts Fall 2008 University Seminar on Water and Diplomacy: Integration of Science, Engineering, and Negotiations. At that time, faculty and students of Tufts University envisioned opening AquaPedia to the entire water management community to provide an environment for sharing water knowledge and wisdom across boundaries. Today, we have the capability to develop this knowledge base and community through our Water Diplomacy initiative.

Some of these initial student case studies are archived at Since the original conception of AquaPedia, we’ve been trying to refine the methodolgy and organization for organizing case studies and enhancing collaborative work flow.

Who provides financial support and who are the people behind AquaPedia?

AquaPedia is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and Tufts University through its University Seminar Program.

AquaPedia is affiliated with Water Diplomacy, a group of organized initiatives centered around a theory and practice of adaptive water management being developed at Tufts, MIT, and Harvard.

The people organizing and launching AquaPedia include Dr. Shafiqul Islam, Amanda C. Repella, Elisabeth A. Daley, and the Water Diplomacy IGERT graduate students at Tufts University.

We have received content development assistance from the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University.

How can I contact AquaPedia?

We have a contact form located at this link. We can direct your question to the correct person and then reply directly to you.