Water, Governance, and Infrastructure for Enhancing Climate Resilience

Water management, climate change, and climate variability—along with their numerous interlinkages and the extent of related hydrologic, economic, social, environmental, and political impacts over time and space—have become issues of increasing global concern. Despite their importance for freshwater systems and the fundamental services they provide, numerous factors and uncertainties prevent us from forecasting their likely future multidimensional and multisectoral impacts with any accuracy. These factors include, but are not necessarily limited to, a lack of scientific understanding of their complexity and interrelationships, as well as an absence of reliable data that would otherwise allow us to understand them more reliably. Therefore, policy alternatives, management and development decisions, and investment choices on any adaptation strategy are challenging tasks under the best of circumstances. Given the uncertainties related to climate change and variability, nonclimatic factors have thus become more relevant. Governance—or decision-making by multiple actors with dissimilar interests grouped under formal and informal institutions—is one of the most important. This chapter discusses several case studies that analyze the roles that infrastructure and governance play in the context of adaptation in increasing resilience to climate variability and change in different regions, basins, and projects. Water infrastructure is fundamental to build resilience and adapt to climate variability and change. However, to be effective, it needs to be part of a governance framework that considers multisector needs and multilevel actors in the longer term.

By Cecilia Tortajada, Chapter of the book: Increasing Resilience to Climate Variability and Change: The Roles of Infrastructure and Governance in the Context of Adaptation, edited by Cecilia Tortajada, 2016, Springer, Singapore, pages 1-13. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-1914-2_1

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