Shifting Course: Climate Adaptation for Water Management Institutions

This publication identifies a set of  common principles for climate-adaptive institutions, specifically for water management.  It was originally inspired by a session organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature and Conservation International at the 2010 Stockholm World Water Week. This report is a provides operational guidance on how to make water management institutions more climate-adaptive.  Although the climate debate is often centered on temperature, water is what will determine whether a community (a village, city, or region) or ecosystem can survive - according to the report. 

The report seeks to develop a better understanding of the challenges that actually face water institutions.  It also explores some of the existing literature on adaptation that may be useful in considering the question of what makes an institution adaptive. Fifteen principles of climate-adaptive institutions are described and analyzed through five case studies from different geographical and institutional contexts (Appendix 2). These case studies - from Nepal, Brazil, Tanzania, the United States, and Australia - are used to explore these principles and to highlight different institutional responses to climate change and related challenges. The final section offers some concluding thoughts about next steps for research and action planning.


Publication Date: November 2011

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Jonathan Cook
  • Sarah Freeman
  • Eliot Levine
  • Margot Hill

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