Towards an integrated “Heartware – Hardware – Software” Approach to Lake Management: Insights Water Warriors Living Lab, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia

Author(s): Zeeda Fatimah Mohamad
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Institution or organization of origin: Universit Malaya
Country: Malaysia


This paper presents the 8-years’ experience of the Water Warriors Living Lab, a grassroots sustainable campus action research initiative in applying the integrated ‘Heartware – Hardware – Software’ approach for integrated water management at the University of Malaya since the year 2013. It advances the proposition that a heartware approach (as introduced by the ILBM community) is needed to enhance sustainable water management efforts, in addition to the more strategic hardware and software approaches. The paper describes how the Water Warrior’s experience in applying the heartware approach has been a strengthening factor in resolving water management issues the university, and discusses important lessons learned to date. The inspiration and initial testing ground of this approach was the revival of Lake Varsiti, a small lake located at the heart of the main campus. Since then, the successful revitalization of Lake Varsity has inspired other efforts on water management, within and beyond the campus. Our theoretical and longitudinal empirical insights can hopefully provide renewed appreciation on how local, organic and humanistic factors that characterizes the Heartware approach can be essential ingredients for the long term ‘sustainability’ of water conservation efforts.

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