JWARP  Vol.5 No.4 A , April 2013
Can Integrated Water Resources Management Increase Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change Adaptation? A Critical Review
ABSTRACT

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is now a global paradigm. While conceptions of IWRM principles vary between contexts, it primarily aims to ensure more coordinated management between different aspects of water issues such as water quality, land management and habitat protection. However, one increasingly significant cross-cutting management issue is climate change adaptation which presents multiple problems for IWRM approaches. This paper therefore seeks to gauge the extent to which IWRM principles can, and indeed are, enhancing the adaptive capacity of water management through reducing vulnerability and increasing the resilience of social-ecological systems. A review of research into vulnerability and resilience to date suggests that IWRM has significant potential for supporting some of the key determinants of adaptive capacity. However, despite IWRM being promoted as an attractive approach, our assessment argues that IWRM, as currently practiced, cannot readily enhance flexibility and adaptability, which is required for climate change adaptation. Normative recommendations for future policy are then provided.


Cite this paper
A. Gain, J. Rouillard and D. Benson, "Can Integrated Water Resources Management Increase Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change Adaptation? A Critical Review," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2013, pp. 11-20. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.54A003.
References
[1]   A. K. Gain, C. Giupponi and F. Renaud, “Climate Change Adaptation and Vulnerability Assessment of Water Resources Systems in Developing Countries: A Generalized Framework and a Feasibility Study in Bangladesh,” Water, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2012, pp. 345-366.

[2]   J. B. Agyenim and J. Gupta, “IWRM and Developing Countries: Implementation Challenges in Ghana,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Vol. 47-48, 2012, pp. 46-57. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2011.06.007

[3]   A. K. Gain and M. Schwab, “An Assessment of Water Governance Trends: The Case of Bangladesh,” Water Policy, Vol. 14, No. 5, 2012, pp. 821-840. doi:10.2166/wp.2012.143

[4]   Z. W. Kundzewicz, L. J. Mata, N. W. Arnell, P. Doll, P. Kabat, B. Jiménez, K. A. Miller, T. Oki, Z. Sen and I. A. Shiklomanov, “Freshwater Resources and Their Management,” In: M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden and C. E. Hanson, Eds., Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 173-210.

[5]   W. Medema, B. S. McIntosh and P. J. Jeffrey, “From Premise to Practice: A Critical Assessment of Integrated Water Resources Management and Adaptive Management Approaches in the Water Sector,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2008, Article 29. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art29/

[6]   N. L. Engle, O. R. Johns, M. Lemos and D. R. Nelson, “Integrated and Adaptive Management of Water Resources: Tensions, Legacies, and the Next Best Thing,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2011, Article 19. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol16/iss1/art19/

[7]   D. Huitema, E. Mostert, W. Egas, S. Moellenkamp, C. Pahl-Wostl and R. Yalcin, “Adaptive Water Governance: Assessing the Institutional Prescriptions of Adaptive (Co)management from a Governance Perspective and Defining a Research Agenda,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2009, Article 26. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art26/

[8]   N. L. Engle, “Adaptive Capacity and Its Assessment,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2011, pp 647-656. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.01.019

[9]   F. Miller, H. Osbahr, E. Boyd, F. Thomalla, S. Bharwani, G. Ziervogel, B. Walker, J. Birkmann, S. van der Leeuw, J. Rockstrom, J. Hinkel, T. Downing, C. Folke and D. Nelson, “Resilience and Vulnerability: Complementarity or Conflicting Concepts,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2010, Article 11. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss3/art11/

[10]   G. Sartori, “Concept Misinformation in Comparative Politics,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 64, No. 4, 1970, pp. 1033-1053. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1958356 doi:10.2307/1958356

[11]   O. Fritsch and D. Benson, “Integrating the Principles of IWRM? River Basin Planning in England and Wales,” International Journal of Water Governance, 2013, in press.

[12]   F. Molle, “River-Basin Planning and Management: The Social Life of a Concept,” Geoforum, Vol. 40, 2009, pp. 484-494. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2009.03.004

[13]   A. K. Gerlak, “Federalism and US Water Policy: Lessons for the Twenty-First Century,” Publius, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2006, pp. 231-257. doi:10.1093/publius/pji032

[14]   P. A. Sabatier, C. Weible and J. Ficker, “Eras of Water Management in the United States: Implications for Collaborative Watershed Approaches,” In: P. A. Sabatier, W. Focht, M. Lubell, Z. Trachtenberg, A. Vedlitz and M. Matlock, Eds., Swimming Upstream: Collaborative Approaches to Watershed Management, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2005, pp. 23-52.

[15]   R. N. L. Andrews, “Managing the Environment, Managing Ourselves,” Yale University Press, New Haven, 2006.

[16]   H. Cook, “The Protection and Conservation of Water Resources: A British Perspective,” John Wiley & Sons Ltd., London, 1998.

[17]   L. Robins, “Major Paradigm Shifts in NRM in Australia,” International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2007, pp. 300-311. doi:10.1504/IJGENVI.2007.016110

[18]   D. Benson and A. Jordan, “Understanding Task Allocation in the European Union: Exploring the Value of Federal Theory,” Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2008, pp. 78-97. doi:10.1080/13501760701702215

[19]   H. H. G. Savenije and P. Van der Zaag, “Integrated Water Resources Management: Concepts and Issues,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Vol. 33, No. 5, 2008, pp. 290-297. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2008.02.003

[20]   A. K. Biswas, “Current Directions: Integrated Water Resources Management—A Second Look,” Water International, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2008, pp. 274-278. doi:10.1080/02508060802272812

[21]   World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), “Our Common Future,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1987.

[22]   L. De Stefano, “International Initiatives for Water Policy Assessment: A Review,” Water Resources Management, Vol. 24, No. 11, 2010, pp. 2449-2466. doi:10.1007/s11269-009-9562-7

[23]   D. Benson, A. Jordan and D. Huitema, “Involving the public in Catchment Management: An Analysis of the Scope for Learning Lessons from Abroad,” Environmental Policy and Governance, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2012, pp. 42-54. doi:10.1002/eet.593

[24]   M. M. Rahaman, O. Varis and T. Kajander, “EU Water Framework Directive vs. Integrated Water Resources Management: The Seven Mismatches,” International Journal of Water Resources Development, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2004, pp. 565-575. doi:10.1080/07900620412331319199

[25]   B. Mitchell, “IWRM in Practice: Lessons from Canadian Experiences,” Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, Vol. 135, No. 1, 2006, pp. 51-55. doi:10.1111/j.1936-704X.2006.mp135001006.x

[26]   N. Funke, S. H. H. Oelofse, J. Hattingh, P. J. Ashton and A. R. Turton, “IWRM in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Mhlatuze Catchment in South Africa,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A,B,C, Vol. 32, No. 15-18, 2007, pp. 1237-1245. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2007.07.018

[27]   L. Horlemann and I. Dombrowsky, “Institutionalising IWRM in Developing and Transition Countries: The Case of Mongolia,” Environmental Earth Sciences, Vol. 65, No. 5, 2012, pp. 1547-1559. doi:10.1007/s12665-011-1213-7

[28]   I. Fischhendler, “Institutional Conditions for IWRM: The Israeli Case,” Ground Water, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2008, pp. 91-102.

[29]   W. O. Mulwafu and H. K. Msosa, “IWRM and Poverty Reduction in Malawi: A Socio-Economic Analysis,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Vol. 30, No. 11-16, 2005, pp. 961-967.

[30]   F. P. Maganga, H. L. Kiwasila, I. H. Juma and J. A. Butterworth, “Implications of Customary Norms and Laws for Implementing IWRM: Findings from Pangani and Rufiji Basins, Tanzania,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Vol. 29, No. 15-18, 2004, pp. 1335-1342. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2004.09.008

[31]   V. Sokolov, “Experiences with IWRM in the Central Asia and Caucasus Regions,” Water International, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2006, pp. 59-70. doi:10.1080/02508060608691915

[32]   P. Stalnacke and G. D. Gooch, “Integrated Water Resources Management,” Irrigation and Drainage Systems, Vol. 24, No. 3-4, 2010, pp. 155-159. doi:10.1007/s10795-010-9106-6

[33]   Global Water Partnership (GWP), “IWRM Components,” GWP, Stockholm, 2012.

[34]   J. A. Ballweber, “A Comparison of IWRM Frameworks: The United States and South Africa,” Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, Vol. 135, No. 1, 2006, pp. 74-79. doi:10.1111/j.1936-704X.2006.mp135001009.x

[35]   E. Mostert, M. Craps and C. Pahl-Wostl, “Social Learning: The Key to Integrated Water Resources Management?” Water International, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2008, pp. 293-304. doi:10.1080/02508060802275757

[36]   C. Pahl-Wostl and J. Sendzimir, “The Relationship between IWRM and Adaptive Management,” NeWater Project, Osnabrück, 2005, NeWater Working Papers No. 3.

[37]   United Nations (UN), “International Conference on Water and the Environment: Dublin Principles,” UN, New York, 1992.

[38]   J. Pierre and B. G. Peters, “Governance, Politics and the State,” St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2000.

[39]   W. N. Adger and A. Jordan, “Governing Sustainability,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511807756

[40]   A. Jordan, D. Benson, R. K. W. Wurzel and A. R. Zito, “Environmental Policy: Governing by Multiple Policy Instruments?” In: J. Richardson, Ed., Constructing a Policy-Making State? Policy Dynamics in the European Union, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012, pp. 104-124. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604104.003.0006

[41]   M. Lockwood and J. Davidson, “Environmental Governance and the Hybrid Regime of Australian Natural Resource Management,” Geoforum, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2010, pp. 388-398. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2009.12.001

[42]   B. Smith, O. Pilifosova, I. Burton, B. Challenger, S. Huq, R. J. T. Klein, G. Yohe, N. Adger, T. Downing, E. Harvey, S. Kane, M. Parry, M. Skinner, J. Smith and J. Wandel, “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Context of Sustainable Development and Equity,” In: J. J. McCarthy, O. F. Canziani, N. A. Leary, D. J. Dokken and K. S. White, Eds., Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001, pp. 877-912.

[43]   G. Yohe and R. S. J. Tol, “Indicators for Social and Economic Coping Capacity—Moving towards a Working Definition of Adaptive Capacity,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2002, pp. 25-40. doi:10.1016/S0959-3780(01)00026-7

[44]   W. N. Adger, S. Agrawala, M. Q. Mirza, C. Conde, K. O’Brien, J. Pulhin, R. Pulwarty, B. Smit and K. Takahashi, “Assessment of Adaptation Practices, Options, Constraints and Capacity,” In: M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden and C. E. Hanson, Eds., Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 717-743.

[45]   B. Smit and J. Wendel, “Adaptation, Adaptive Capacity and Vulnerability,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2006, pp. 282-292. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.03.008

[46]   C, Folke, T. Hahn, P. Olsson and J. Norberg, “Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems,” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 30, 2005, pp. 441-473. doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.30.050504.144511

[47]   P. Olsson, C. Folke and F. Berkes, “Adaptive Comanagement for Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems,” Environmental Management, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2004, pp. 75-90. doi:10.1007/s00267-003-0101-7

[48]   S. Hatfield-Dodds, R. Nelson and D. C. Cook, “Adaptive Governance: An Introduction, and Implications for Public Policy,” The ANZSEE Conference, Noosa, 5-7 July 2007.

[49]   D. R. Nelson, W. N. Adger and K. Brown, “Adaptation to Environmental Change: Contributions of a Resilient Framework,” Annual Review of Environmental Resources, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2007, pp. 395-419. doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.32.051807.090348

[50]   C. Folke, J. Colding and F. Berkes, “Synthesis: Building Resilience and Adaptive Capacity in Social-Ecological Systems,” In: F. Berkes, J. Colding and C. Folke, Eds., Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003, pp. 352-387.

[51]   A. Duit, V. Galaz, K. Eckerberg and J. Ebbesson, “Governance, Complexity, and Resilience,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2010, pp. 363-368. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.04.006

[52]   D. Armitage, M. Marschke and R. Plummer, “Adaptive Co-Management and the Paradox of Learning,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2008, pp. 86-98. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.07.002

[53]   O. Young, “Vertical Interplay among Scale-Dependent Environmental and Resource Regimes,” Ecology and Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2006, Article 27. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art27/

[54]   E. W. Dungumaro and N. F. Madulu, “Public Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management: The Case of Tanzania,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, Vol. 28, No. 20-27, 2003, pp. 1009-1014. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2003.08.042

[55]   J. Warner, P. Wester and A. Bolding, “Going with the Flow: River Basins as the Natural Units for Water Management?” Water Policy, Vol. 10, No. S2, 2008, pp. 121-138. doi:10.2166/wp.2008.210

[56]   F. G. W. Jaspers, “Institutional Arrangements for Integrated River Basin,” Water Policy, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2003, pp. 77-90.

[57]   J. Blatter and H. Ingram, “States, Markets and Beyond: Governance of Transboundary Water Resources,” Natural Resources Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2000, pp. 439-471.

[58]   F. Molle, P. Wester and P. Hirsch, “River Basin Development and Management,” In: D. Molden, Ed., Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, Earthscan, London, 2006, pp. 585-624.

[59]   F. B. Van Cleve, T. Leschine, T. Klinger and C. Simenstad, “An Evaluation of the Influence of Natural Science in Regional-Scale Restoration Projects,” Environmental Management, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2006, pp. 367-379. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0014-8

[60]   H. Ingram and L. Fraser, “Path Dependency and Adroit Innovation: The Case of California Water,” In: R. C. Repetto, Ed., Punctuated Equilibrium and the Dynamics of US Environmental Policy, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2006, pp. 78-109.

[61]   A. K. Biswas and C. Tortajada, “Future Water Governance: Problems and Perspectives,” International Journal of Water Resources Development, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2010, pp. 129-139. doi:10.1080/07900627.2010.488853

[62]   W. Blomquist, A. Dinar and K. Kemper, “Comparison of Institutional Arrangements for River Basin Management in Eight Basins,” World Bank, Washington DC, 2005, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3636.

[63]   C. Pahl-Wostl, “A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Adaptive Capacity and Multi-Level Learning Processes in Resource Governance Regime,” Global Environmental Change, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2009, pp. 354-365. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.06.001

[64]   H. Savenije and P. van der Zang, “Water as an Economic Good and Demand Management Paradigms with Pitfalls,” Water International, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2002, pp. 98-104. doi:10.1080/02508060208686982

[65]   C. Pahl-Wostl, “Transitions towards Adaptive Management of Water Facing Climate and Global Change,” Water Resources Management, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2007, pp. 49-62. doi:10.1007/s11269-006-9040-4

 
 
Top